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Design Homework: The Secret to a Home that Feels Like You

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For most people, “homework” is a word loaded with meaning and memories. If you are like me, you probably remember the schooldays of your youth: the scent of a new textbook, freshly sharpened pencils, the clack of the calculator. More recently, your experience with homework might extend to helping your children with their assignments, albeit on very different devices.

Whether these experiences were enjoyable for you or not, they always had a purpose: learning. When I tell you that we assign design homework to our clients, the same is true. It is how we — and you — learn valuable information about what you desire most from your home so we can bring it to life. 

Fortunately, I think you will also find these “assignments” significantly more fun than anything academia has ever dished out! Here is what you can expect…

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Design Homework: The Prep

Our Design Discovery Session is our first working meeting together, at which time we will discuss your goals, your style preferences, and your lifestyle. To make the most of our time together, we request that you thoughtfully consider these details in advance and share them with us. Yes, this is where the design homework comes in:

  1. Complete our Lifestyle Questionnaire. We will ask you to complete our Lifestyle Questionnaire, which asks general questions about your home, your family background and your routines. Please be as honest and thorough as possible to give us a complete picture. 
  2. Explore Your Style as a Family. We request that you peruse our portfolio as well as design websites, like Houzz and Pinterest, to get a feel for what appeals to you stylistically and functionally. All decision-makers should be involved in discussing opinions and preferences. It’s okay if you don’t agree on everything; we will work together to find a beautiful compromise.
  3. Curate Inspiration Photos You Love. After reviewing the world of inspiration, we ask you to select 6-8 images that speak best to your likes and dislikes. Include specific notes on what appeals to you in each image and what does not. We will review your homework with you during your Design Discovery Session. At the risk of sounding like one of your past school teachers, it is important to have this important work completed prior to our meeting so we can provide you with personalized recommendations. 

That’s it. We will discuss your work together during our meeting and further define your style and needs. Best homework ever, right? 

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Design Homework: Project Field Trips

As a child, field trips were almost as exciting as Snow Days. Was there anything better than a school-day spent outside of school? During the design process, we harness this same sense of excitement and discovery by offering you the option of taking design field trips, if desired. Here are some options:

Furniture Showrooms: After we present you with our design selections, you may want to see some of the items in person to judge their look and feel for yourself. If so, we advise a field trip to some of our preferred showrooms to “sit test” a piece and see why we love it. Not interested in making a trip? No problem — we have already seen and/or tested pieces ourselves and can fully vouch for our selections.

Appliance Specialist: If your project includes a kitchen renovation, we will always send you to meet with our appliance specialist. Together, you will review your specific needs and hear more about the appliances’ features and details. Once you have made your selections, we will ensure that your desired appliances integrate seamlessly into our design.

Art Gallery Tours: We love supporting artists and makers so we often incorporate original pieces that bring out our clients’ personalities and make their homes unique. While we’re happy to source art for you, we understand how personal of a choice art can be so if you want to be involved in the process, we can provide introductions to some of our favourite local artists, makers and galleries. Treat yourselves to a tour, let us know which pieces you love, and we’ll help you select the perfect piece(s) for your home.

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Final Tips for a Successful Design Project

Early & Timely Communication: My best tip for successfully completing your design homework — and for a successful project, in general — is to involve all decision-makers from the start. Having constructive discussions together is essential to uncovering whether or not you are on the same page about your future home. 

Openness to Compromise: If you discover that you are not on the same page, that is okay. While we do not provide marriage counseling, we do have over 20 years of experience, including some personal. We know how to create compromise in a way that everyone gets something that makes them happy. This is one of the many advantages of hiring us.

Have Some Fun: With the busyness of life’s daily adventures, when will you tackle this homework? My advice is to put the kids to bed, grab a glass of wine or two, and spend some time together dreaming, discussing, and prioritizing your goals. Just like that feeling of arriving at school with completed homework, you will radiate confidence before, during, and after the design process.

Ready to get started? Reach out to us here. Together, we’ll create a comprehensive plan to uncover your home’s hidden potential and bring your project to life.

Until next time,

Lori

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