Vail Design at Altitude column: Power of good design
October 10, 2016
The power of good design goes well beyond something "looking nice." Good design creates a feeling of happiness and a sense of peace. It's easy to fall in love with design, and get some great design ideas, when you're watching HGTV. While you're looking at the transformations on those TV shows, thinking how easy the design process seems, well, we can't help but share a few insider secrets with you.
TV designers look like they come in, revamp a space, change layouts, remove walls, add rooms, retile and paint all in about a week. Well, unfortunately, the design process just doesn't work that way. On the positive side, HGTV has created so much excitement about design, remodeling and creating beautiful spaces, it's almost like viewers can live vicariously through the homeowners.
Don't D.I.Y. Design
Some clients want to do it themselves. It seems so easy to do it yourself, to reap the benefits of saving money. Does it really work that way? Unfortunately, I can testify it doesn't work that way.
I try to advise homeowners to hire professionals, both because they know what they are doing and because they give accurate bids and deliver their services on time. These men and women are specifically trained to deliver the results you want. Tile setting can be tricky, as can skim coating walls, painting kitchen cabinets — it all seems "not that hard" until you start the job and realize the finished look, when done yourself, is disappointing.
Using craftsmen promises beautiful results, though. It's so worth the price to be thrilled at the end (on time and within budget, to boot). Pay for the special touches when it counts: beautifully smooth or textured walls, special finishes on your grandmother's coffee table … you won't regret it.
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I love watching "Property Brothers" and "Flip or Flop" (busted, I have a bit of an HGTV habit!), but I probably look at it differently than most. I love the way you see the graphics pop up so quickly as they are changing layouts and creating the home of the buyer's dream. In reality, those drawings take a significant team and can take more than a week to complete — and usually a team of designers to put it together.
Take Your Time, Be Thoughtful
More than anything, though, I want to stress that a great project outcome takes time and thoughtfulness. You are building, or remodeling, a home where you will live for years. You want to love this space and want it to fit the needs of you and your family. Take the time it deserves, and be patient.
A well-designed project takes communication — a lot of open communication between family members. The designer asks many detailed questions to understand the clients' wants, needs, vision, budget and overall dream for their space. Even a small remodel requires a great deal of attention to detail. I fully believe a good project, with a smashing outcome, requires an interior designer to walk through the home and get to know the client. Designers are trained to see things differently and to help clients understand the process.
I don't deny that an online design service is great for some people. But good design is a talent. The ability to communicate the good design is just as important. I love what I do; interior designers love working with clients and problem solving, finding opportunities and creating spaces that feel just as the client envisioned.
Feel the power of good design. This doesn't mean not finding what you like, creating a look book or watching shows that inspire you. It means good design takes work, but it's worth every moment and every dime spent.
Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She's been an interior designer for more than two decades and works with all budgets and timelines.