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Home&Style: Artisans at work: Interior design is about collaboration

This home perched above Vail is a showcase in the trades collaboration.
Project by Slifer Designs | Special to the Daily |

It started as a concept drawing in fall, and many months later, I met at Jacklyn’s Glass studio to discuss the details for a client project. That initial meeting was followed up with many site meetings with Marmot Electric, Triumph, Beck Building and White Lighting to fine-tune the lighting component. Alpine Glass, Beck and Slifer Designs collaborated in the studio to create a solid vision of what would come to life a few months later in a home perched high above Vail.

More and more tradespeople are working together to create the best project possible. We’re bringing our know-how to the table, along with the many skilled craftsmen who work in this valley, to bring a client’s vision to life. Interior design is a multifaceted and exciting profession. But we’re alone at our desks much of the time, selecting, measuring and creating detailed plans. These plans rely on the input of highly trained and skilled craftsmen — those people who are often under-sung heroes of the job.

The tradesmen are the electricians, carpenters and plumbers who do the behind-the-scenes work, the work that doesn’t really get noticed until it doesn’t work. They are essential to the project process and are essential to us … and to our clients.

A few years ago, I had a client who didn’t think tile work was that difficult. Until they selected tile that had to be installed with such detailed precision — the layout had to be carefully coordinated with plumbing locations, shower niches, a glass cube shower enclosure and freestanding, lighted bench.

Obviously, we listen closely when our clients explain their vision and what they want in their home. Sometimes, it’s easy to picture, and we are able to make it work in a rather simple fashion. Other times, though, the plan seems easy enough until the details come to life. What good is an oyster table if it’s not connected to a drain system?

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Slifer Designs drew and designed it, R & H Mechanical and Beck engineered the drain and used their know-how to run the drain through the floor under the table and Lincoln Cabinets made the vision a reality. It’s a conversation stopper for sure.

This type of collaboration is awesome, not only to complete one project but because it gives us all insight into one another’s process, ideas and know-how. We love the collaboration that comes when five, 10 or even 15 of us are sitting around the table with plans, coming up with fresh ideas and new concepts.

If you’re thinking of doing a spring update, then pull out your vision board, create a look book and don’t be afraid to get down into the nitty-gritty with craftsmen, artisans and tradesmen. The best way to keep costs down and the timeline on task is to get everyone on board right from the start. Working together only makes projects shine brighter.

Andrea Georgopolis is a senior designer at Slifer Designs. She loves to collaborate and bring client visions to life.


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