Hiring Design Professionals

by Annie St. Claire

Initially, buying a home is a fun and creative adventure, but once the honeymoon wears off, you are suddenly faced with living in your new space and it may not be as functional as you thought it was when you bought it.   You may suddenly get that urge to change things around and make the space feel truly your own , but deciding just how to go about doing that may seem overwhelming to you.

By now you have decided that building a cathedral would be just as difficult as deciding what to do in your home, but rest assured that there are design professionals who can help you figure out what to do and how to get it done, but more about them in a minute.

Where to Begin

The first step is to look at the big picture of what you want your home to ultimately look like.  Sit down, write up a list of everything you want to do to fix up your home and garden, or maybe you just want to start from scratch and build from the bottom up.  Whatever your goals for your home are, write them out on a piece of paper and make Xerox copies for any design professional that will need them.  If this is a project to be done over time, assign a date of completion to each item you have.  This puts your thoughts in the physical universe and helps you to stay on target with your goals.

Which Design Professional Comes First

If you are going to hire an Architect, or a Landscape Architect or Landscape Designer or an Interior Designer or any other professional in the construction industry, how do you know who to hire first and what to look for when you hire them?  You might wonder after you hire them if they are all going to get along and see eye to eye on things.  After all they are all going to be in your space and sometimes all together at the same time.

The best thing to do is meet with them all at the beginning of your project, give them your Xeroxed goals list and tell them you are working with other design professionals to install your project.  This gives everyone a chance to work out their involvement in the project, prevents stepping on each other’s toes during the process and encourages collaboration between colleagues.  This way you can see how they all work together and make any personnel changes if needed.

Each design professional will assist you in working out the exact steps they will take in creating and installing your project.  If you are installing a rather large project, you may wish to hire a General Contractor to oversee the project for you.  They may coordinate the actions of each of the design professionals and keep everyone on track towards the completion of your project.

Most design professionals welcome other professional collaboration because the aesthetics and functionality of the space should increase dramatically when each designer brings their expertise to the table.   If the house looks good, the interior design will enhance that and the gardens should fit in with the architecture of the home and the surrounding community.

Overall, the project should reflect the homeowners ultimate dreams.  A good design professional, whether it be an Architect, Interior Designer or Landscape Architect will all work together to give you, the home and garden of your dreams.

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