How to Work With A Professional Designer Remotely
Many homeowners in the Upper Valley have been spending a lot more time in their homes lately than they could have ever imagined. During this time, many of our neighbors have found parts of their homes don’t look as beautiful or function as effectively as they would like. They see the need for change, but might not be comfortable making an appointment to visit a showroom. If you fall into that group, don’t worry. You are not alone, and you don’t have to postpone the renovation of your dreams. We have developed tools that our clients and our designers can use to design and manage renovations remotely.
Step 1: Determine your Goals. Our initial conversations with prospective clients focus on how they want their new kitchen or bath to function, look and feel. How will the space be used, and who will be using it most often? What functionality does your current kitchen lack, and what is on your wish list for the new space? What do you enjoy most about your existing kitchen or bath? What are your primary motivators for renovating now? How often do you cook and for whom? What other tasks do you perform in the kitchen? What is the style of your home? What other goals do you want to achieve?
Step 2: Measuring the Space. Before stay-at-home orders were issued, we would visit with our clients in their homes and measure the space. Many are not comfortable with that option during the pandemic. As such, we have developed measurement tools that homeowners can use that enable us to get started. We use Facetime, Zoom or another video platform to assist our clients in measuring the space. On the first pass, the measurement does not have to be completely accurate, but it will provide sufficient information to develop preliminary design concepts and a budget. Before the final design is submitted, we will want to measure the space in person, and we will do so wearing protective equipment to safeguard the health of our clients and our staff.
Step 3: Video. To gain a better appreciation for our clients’ space and style, we ask that they video their existing kitchen and several other rooms. These videos provide additional tools that are necessary to meet the space and style needs of our clients.
Step 4: Developing the Design. We prepare a preliminary design based on our client’s goals, wishes and budgets and present it with different options. We encourage our clients to make an appointment to visit the showroom to see, feel and experience firsthand different cabinets, countertops, fixtures, backsplashes, flooring and hardware and styles, colors and finishes. If a homeowner is not comfortable visiting our showroom, we can arrange to have a limited number of samples delivered to the home or alternatively provide a virtual tour of the showroom through Zoom or another video medium. We then fine-tune the design to incorporate comments from our clients and modify, as needed, for final presentation before ordering products. It is critical to ensure that you are 100% comfortable with the solutions presented. The number one cause of budget overages and expanded timelines is making changes after approving the final design.
Step 5: Construction. We can use video technology to oversee the construction process and installation. Our designers can monitor progress as it’s happening; issues can be addressed or amended in real-time.
Step 6: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. In today’s environment, it is even more critical to have a constant flow of communication between the homeowner, designer, contractor, installers and trade professionals. We work with homeowners in (insert name of service territory) to develop a communications protocol that they are comfortable with and that respects their time.
Many of our clients appreciated the virtual processes that we use to create dream spaces in their homes. Virtual design can take place based on the homeowner’s schedule, and we have found it has increased collaboration. Even after the health risks pass, we plan to continue to offer design services remotely because not only do they work, they make the process easier for our clients, and that’s priceless.
If you would like to discuss a remote design for your new kitchen or bath, give us a call at 603-448-9700 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.