4 Tips for Choosing an Architect or Interior Design Partner

| November 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

Whether it’s an new office building, meeting room space, a restaurant, bar, retail unit or even a personal project, you will most likely need to enlist the services of an architect and interior designer.

This article offers a few starting points to help you create your brief, initiate the review and selection of prospects, and how to approach the project for the best success:

image2_designLSM1. Budget

The biggest point here is to be realistic. By process of research, you can obtain rough baseline costs per square foot from contractors and architects. Yes, you may want the best quality, lowest costs and fastest turnaround… these things don’t generally come hand in hand though so set your expectations at the right level.

Involve a design team as soon on in the project as you can since they offer invaluable insight and steering to ensure your project budget or dreams don’t escalate out of control.

If things are tight, build up different scenarios that allow you to spread the cost over time – a phased delivery plan can help if you don’t want to (or can’t) wait until you have all of the money in place.

image_1_designLSM2. Have a well-developed project schedule

Again, this falls down to being realistic.

Ensure enough hours are given to the design and architectural teams so that they can take time to learn about your vision, your routine and all other aspects that will contribute to the final space.

Even the most standard of project tasks such as administration and production of design and specification documents are often overlooked and must be factored into the plan.

3. Communicate

Talk to prospective architects and designers as much as you can – it needs to be a good marriage of minds in any case and you need to connect for the project to work well.

Communication is especially important when it comes to conveying what you want (or don’t want as may be the case). Build a scrapbook of pictures, photos, materials, textures, colours. Anything to help you tell the story of your vision and help your chosen design or architectural partner bring it to life.

Under this communication umbrella also falls the very important task of learning about the credentials, experience and qualifications of the prospective partner. Do some research and ask how they price and charge for project delivery – is it phased? Or a lump sum approach?

Once things are up and running, don’t let them tail off either. Communication must be maintained at all times – even if it is a short phone call or email every few days.

image3_designLSM4. Be flexible

This comes down to trust primarily, which you should work to glean as quickly as possible from the relationship with your newly appointed architect or interior designer based on their credentials and portfolio. Larger, international architects and design partners will be able to provide an array of literature and references from previous projects. Try to visit some of the reference sites in person if you can to get a feel for the spaces that have been created.

Don’t be afraid to push your boundaries and step outside your comfort zone too.

Of course they need to be, and should be clear on your aims, brief, design-style and expectations, but give them creative freedom to put derivative ideas and concepts out on the table. After all, design and form are our lifelong passion and we like to get to pass skills from this love affair onto new projects every once in a while.

About the author: Beth Nicholas is an approved writer for Design LSM – an award-winning international architectural, interior design and branding practice offering services for hotels, restaurants, bars, retail and residential properties.

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Category: Interior

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