From time to time, people ask me what it’s like to work with an interior designer. I can’t answer that for anyone but myself, although certainly there are industry standards that a properly credentialed interior designer adheres to. In January of this year I wrote about the inspiration for a house, and some of the design process in Every Room Has a Beginning.
That post was about a very specific house, and the kinds of decisions we made with the homeowners to redesign a beloved home after it was moved cross-island to save it from eroding bluffs. Here are a few more things you should know about the design process:
Clients often say that working with Dujardin makes the design process fun again. What can become quickly overwhelming–the details, schedules, plans, and coordination, with architects, contractors, craftsmen and landscapers–are handled seamlessly, resulting in elegant and sophisticated interiors that immediately feel like home. We can incorporate varying degrees of sustainability or design a completely holistic “deep green” residence, always honoring classic tradition while achieving 21st century style.
Whether you’re building a new home, renovating an existing building, or just designing interiors, it takes a village to create a house. You may need contractors, architects, carpenters, painters, artists, landscapers, energy system installers, plumbers, tilers, electricians and more.
Having the requisite training in a home’s structure, design and function is what makes me a full and welcome partner in team meetings that include any or all of those participants.
Architects and Designers Working in the Office
I’ve devoted my life to the study and practice of interior design. I’m a professional member of ASID, and a member of their very select College of Fellows. (That’s what FASID means when you see it after my name.) I’ve just been elected a Senior Fellow for the Design Futures Council, which recognizes my contributions to the sustainable design movement.
I am a LEED Accredited Professional, with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction. (That’s the LEED AP + ID + C after my name). I belong to a number of professional organizations, have spoken widely about interior design, am an adjunct professor at Fairfield University, and am a professionally trained artist myself. I have a published full-color book of my design work that outlines many of the design principles I believe in.
Once we’ve decided to work together, the planning begins. We start with measurements, and a study of your home’s traffic flow, light sources, assessment of what the room will be used for, and by whom. We talk to you about what you love, and how you envision your home. The goal is to make your home an elegant reflection of your very unique lifestyle and family. To help you “see” the finished product, we create a beautiful binder showing you what we suggest. Here’s an example of a page showing window treatment and lamp options.
Let’s look at one specific room together. First, we show you a layout with all the furniture we suggest, and where it will be placed.
Next, our in-house artist creates a watercolor rendering to give you a feeling for the colors and furniture we think will be perfect.
We present several different styles of breakfronts. You choose which you like best.
And then we look at different chair styles.
Other pieces to be included in the room are next.
Finally, it’s time to look at fabrics.
There are thousands of choices to be made in designing a home, and mistakes can be expensive. By breaking every decision down to carefully selected options, our clients quickly feel in control of the process. They have a partner who cares as much about their home as they do, and we have a great time shopping together, talking together, and making decisions together. After several discussions about what our client likes and prefers, orders are placed. Here’s a look at the finished dining room following this process.
My education, training and credentials, as well as my professional team members, are all important in creating the home of your dreams. But I also believe that creating a beautiful, healthy, comfortable home should be FUN! My clients often refer to me as the “funmaker,” because I love designing homes, and we want the entire project, start to finish, to be something you enjoy. We take care of the hard work for you.
Believe it or not, we’re still having fun! We love our work.