When Matt Ulrich and I decided to share an office three years ago, I don’t think we imagined that our teaming up would lead to the current publication of our Connect-the-Dots e-newsletter (along with fellow architect, Juli MacDonald) nor the potential for combined project work. We saw it as a great opportunity to move our home-based businesses into an office space where we each would gain valuable “curbside” exposure with our location on a main street in the community. We had spoken about how beneficial it would be to pass referrals to each other through our client bases, but our main goal was to grow our businesses.
Three years later, not only have we grown our businesses, but we have also had the pleasure to work together on a major kitchen renovation that incorporated Integrated Design principles. At the time, my thought was to bring a team of trusted building trades together to provide great service for my client. I assumed that task as part of my project management responsibilities. I hadn’t realized there was a term other than working in collaboration to tie us all together.
I had been working for several years with a client on various rooms within their home; formal dining room, living room, master bedroom/bathroom, various guest and children’s bedrooms and bathrooms, so I was very excited when they said they were ready to renovate their kitchen. Not only to redesign the space, but they wanted to incorporate green design building principles, practices, materials and interior finishes. I had asked if I could introduce them to several professionals that I knew that would be able to design and construct this project. They agreed to meet with the various disciplines.
I introduced them to:
Along with myself, Lisa Kawski of lmk interiors, ltd., we formed the the design and construction team. We began working as an integrated group from the onset of the project.
You may be wondering what the difference is between Integrated Building Design and the more traditional design process. Let me first define my views of the traditional design process and follow with Integrated Building Design.
Whether it be new construction or a renovation, approaching the design/build of a building as an interdependent system; where the goal is to make sure that all facets work in harmony rather than against each other, benefit both the client and all of the disciplines involved.
Out of that project; Matt, Juli and I established Connect-the-Dots. Attending networking events and building trade meetings, we realized we enjoyed working together as well as learning more about sustainable building practices. Our desire to offer clients a one-stop resource to assist them with their design needs would prove beneficial through this pairing. Our mission is: We are a professional collaboration between three friends who share a passion for green design, each from our own perspective: architecture, landscape design and interior design. Our goal is to share useful and up-to-date information on green design, filtered through our distinct, but connected points of view. Through our e-newsletter, which we have been sending out since last May, we connect the subscriber to our individual blogs. We are very excited to announce the launch of our micro website this month: www.ctdcollaborative.com. Please share this web address with those that you think would enjoy it. They can subscribe to receive our e-newsletter on the site.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (978)335-1140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamilton Wenham Green Presents:
GREEN SPEAKER SERIES
I am a member of the Hamilton Wenham Green Business Group. On March 3rd, Wednesday, at 7 pm I will be presenting Eco-Friendly Interior Finishes: ideas for implementing eco- friendly materials in the redesign of both kitchen and bath.
location: Hamilton Wenham Public Library @ 14 Union Street South Hamilton – (978)468-5577, lectures are free and open to the public, please come.
This is some of the dialog I hear upon receiving a telephone inquiry or meeting with a client to discuss how I can help them with their interior design needs. Whether the project involves one room or an entire home, planning accordingly is of utmost importance. This allows the client to make informed decisions regarding budget, scheduling, specifying and purchasing.
Just like most things in life, having a plan going forward provides parameters that enable one to have a sense of the scale of a project or task. I like to provide my clients with a road map for their needs. At the initial phone call or meeting with a client I learn of what they are seeking to do with their home. Sometimes, through this conversation we discover other areas that they have been thinking of working on, but have pushed aside in light of prioritizing the task they feel is at the forefront. By sharing all of their thoughts, we can not only focus on the space they would like to begin with, but also lay the groundwork for the additional areas for the future. It sometimes makes sense to add these other areas while doing their main thoughts, just because costs may factor in that enable them to get more for their dollar in the end.
Write a list. Bullets down the side of the page with ALL of the items listed. It begins with:
My responsibility to my client is to help create this list, if they have not already, so that the magnitude of the project is not quite so overwhelming. There may be several decisions to make, but once they can see them in this format, it provides a checklist once the project begins. It also provides the road map to which I referred to earlier.
By creating the master plan for the entire project, it allows the client to budget and prioritize what they can and want to do now but also plan for their future projects. Often times, while working on one area we come across design ideas that can be noted for the next area to be worked on. Whether it’s a fabric to be used for reupholstering a sofa at a later date, a vanity for a bathroom discovered while selecting cabinetry for a kitchen or ordering window blinds for several rooms because they were being offered at a special discount. Being able to view the project as a whole at the onset and then breakdown all of the components, allows the client to have a better grasp of the details involved with creating not only a beautiful space but also a functional one. In the end, master planning for your project can actually help save you money.
For additional questions or thoughts, please contact:
Have wonderful holiday season!