For the past six months, JASON BALL interiors has been working on a project in Eastern Washington. Door-to-door, it's a 5-hour drive, so it's one hike to get there! The project entailed remodeling a kitchen, 3 bathrooms, new paint color scheme and flooring in certain rooms. Along with the construction portion, we also specified furnishings and window treatments for most of the house. So, it's a big project!
When designing and managing a project of this size from this kind of distance, interior designers need to use all the tools at their disposal to ensure the project is constructed as designed. While there have been a couple of site visits and the clients have come to Portland several times, there are still some additional steps we have to take place when working this far away from the project location. Here are our biggest learnings to date.
1. 3-D renderings help everyone visualize the final design. If a designer is not able to be on the job site during the design phase, it's incredibly helpful to create a 3-dimensional drawing of the space as a proxy. A rendering is helpful in knowing how different design elements will interact with each other in the final product. And, by applying different textures and colors to the drawing, it also helps clients see the designer's vision.
2. Draw, draw, draw. While it's part of our process to draw everything to scale in Autocad, we're finding it necessary to go that extra step and put even the smallest detail down on paper. The lack of close proximity means that we'll be able to stop by the job site less than usual once we enter the construction phase. Documentation needs to be accurate to ensure everything is built according to specifications.
3. Regular communication. Once the building process begin, it's imperative there is regular and frequent communication between the entire building team - interior designer, contractors and clients. With e-mail, text messaging, camera phones, the technology is available to ensure the team is always in communication with each other on what's currently going on and what's coming next. An ounce of prevention is worth everything at this point.
Distance doesn't have to be a hindrance in hiring an interior designer any longer. Technology and a thorough understanding of the importance of communication will help ensure your project goes off without a hitch.