Trying to select a dream-team for your design project? Cue instant overwhelm. There’s a whole schwack of talent out there to research, vet and evaluate, not to mention…it’s an investment in your home! Beyond expertise, your design partner should tick boxes that have you saying heck YES – this is the one. So, we’re sharing a few important, but often-overlooked tips and considerations:
1. Lean on real-human recommendations and stories.
Don’t forget to round out your online inquiries with a few personal network asks. In an industry where business is (and should) be personal, word-of-mouth can lead right to your ideal fit. You’ll want to make sure examples of their design style resonate, but once you’re in talks, don’t be afraid to ask more about the people behind the projects! What types of clients do they work best with? Have they worked with clients on numerous projects over the years?
2. Look for a first connection-point that’s memorable in all the right ways.
What constitutes a remarkable first impression for you may differ slightly from the next person, but everyone appreciates responsiveness. Note how prompt, easy and seamless it is to set up an introductory meeting. Do you feel heard and supported from the get-go? Are your questions encouraged? If you have concerns or fears, are they addressed with the rationale and empathy you need to feel confident?
3. Ensure they can pick up your vision, no matter its beginning status.
Maybe you’re all set with a Pinterest board, or maybe you’re struggling to pinpoint your vision altogether! There could also be the added complexity of a partner whose design style differs from your own. When sharing your vision – whatever that looks like – ask how the process will work based on where you’re starting out.
4. Seek a fee and relationship style that aligns with your preferences.
First, look for transparency on general fee structure. Are there a few offerings to choose from? How can each be further customized? How do management fees factor into the design budget itself? Second, how will collaboration, communication and updates take place throughout the process? How hands-on (or off) is their approach, and does it match how your desired level of involvement?
5. Your gut instinct is saying “go for it!”
Yep, it sounds a little cheesy! There are plenty of technicalities in the mix when choosing a design team, but don’t forget a gut check on your checklist. Reflecting on the bonds we’ve built over the years – from new clients to new-hires – it’s advice that stands the test of time.
So, there you have it! At DWK, we’re all about removing intimidation and providing honest, personalized, stress-free planning. Curious? Let’s connect!
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