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How does the designer collaborate with the architect and the contractor?

When it comes to a gut renovation - a seamless collaboration between your designer architect, and contractor is the key to success.

We each bring complementary skills and expertise, we collaborate through the entire project and find creative solutions to the problem solving game which is called ‘renovation’.

How to create your dream team?

The ideal scenario is that in which the whole team is put together before construction begins. Designer, architect and contractor. Ideas and solutions are always easier and much cheaper to fine tune on paper, rather than on site! Once the construction started and walls are in place, ideas and solutions are more limited.

If I am your first call, I can always help you put together a dream team depending on each project needs. I help you identify the best fit for your job and make the introductions.

1. How I collaborate with the architect?

Floor plan

The architect is usually the first to provide the floor plan drawings that serve as the foundation. The interior designer will come in and collaborate with the architect by modifying the floor plan according to your lifestyle. As an interior designer I pay closer attention on how the home will be used day to day and therefore adapt the design to fit your needs.

Let’s say your family dreams of a cinema room with a ‘cloud’ L shaped sofa. Although it seems irrelevant at the point of construction, it does affect the layout, so as an interior designer I make sure your lifestyle dreams fit into the floor plans.

Another example is the size of your bed. It affects where the reading lights and switches go. Whether your like to watch TV in bed or not also affects the wiring and the layout. As an interior designer, I want to make sure that your desired living experience is housed by the structure of your home.

Choosing finishes

Once the floor plan is approved I will work closely with the architect to fine tune the hard finishes of the space. Think about bathrooms and kitchens, tiles, faucets and fixtures, ceilings, flooring, paneling, hardware and very importantly custom built-ins.

The choice of materials, finishes, and fixtures significantly impacts the look and feel of a space. Architects provide technical guidance on the suitability of materials based on structural requirements but interiors designers think about their functionality and welcoming aspect in your day to day life.

I usually draw the bathroom and kitchen elevations, choose all finishes and fixtures and plan and draw all the built-ins. After the plans are agreed on, we move on and present them to the contractor to get exact prices and timelines. In many cases revisions are needed so the process is repeated until everything is cleared and approved.

2. How do I collaborate with the contractor?

Once the plans and selections are fully approved, construction begins.

The contractor will use my detailed drawings to execute the design. As a designer, I make frequent site visits during this phase, check site progress and make sure to catch and resolve any un-expected issues that come up.

During the construction phase I generally present to my clients the 'furnishing design plan', so I can get it approved and start placing orders. I stay in close communication with the contractor so that I can schedule the furnishing installation days once construction is finished.

There you have it... This is just a short glimpse of the collaboration needed to complete a smooth renovation in an efficient and smooth manner.

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