What is good design and how is it measured? Is it good because it’s expensive?
Is it good because it followed design principals and was executed well or is it good because it’s a copy of the latest kitchens trending on Pinterest?
Perhaps it’s good because the client wanted a copy of their neighbors recently renovated kitchen? In my humble opinion, good design falls under the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” theory. There’s a fine line between giving a client what they “think” they want and saving them from themselves.
I see kitchens all the time in magazines that I don’t care for at all. It makes me wonder who drove the design? But here’s the deal, it’s just a different designers aesthetic, a different home, a different client and a design that no one needs to understand but the beholder.
For me good design is the result of listening to a client’s ideas, understanding their lifestyle, respecting their budget and home and exceeding their expectations.
Typically, in the beginning of a project clients want to focus on the aesthetic aspects of their new kitchen, but while keeping them excited I have to redirect traffic a bit and keep them focused on the functionality first.
I need to get the heavy lifting of space planning done before we can move onto the pretty stuff.
Once a client trusts and embraces your desire to create a highly functional space for them, the design concept and material phase falls into place much more easily.
Case in point is this featured Darien, CT home. The first day I met the clients and visited their home I thought we were doing a simple kitchen renovation.
After walking the first floor and looking at the space we had to work with, I saw a lot of possibility to create a great living space vs. a new kitchen and 1/2 bath within the constraints of the existing perimeter. Often clients can only see the existing four walls of their kitchen and can’t envision how the surrounding space can be incorporated. This is the reason that even intrepid DIY’ers need help. A good designer helps clients envision possibilities, maximize their investment and avoid mistakes that always cost money.
When I left the meeting a few hours later, I gave them enough ideas to rethink the use of space and flow of their entire first floor. I knew additional costs beyond the budget we discussed would be incurred to do what I was suggesting but they said they had some flexibility and wanted to explore the options.
I could have given them exactly what they asked me for and made the best of their space. I challenge myself to look at clients existing space without considering an addition to design the new space that creates the best living environment possible.
It was wonderful to be a part of re-shaping this young family’s home. I was able to create a functional and beautiful family friendly space that I know they’ll enjoy for years to come.