kitchen design selectionsWhen starting a custom home or remodeling project, planning the interior design features of the home can often be both the most exciting and intimidating part of the process. From setting a budget to selecting options that work with your personal style, it requires a lot of work and decision-making. At Associates in Building + Design, our team is experienced at helping clients narrow down their options and make decisions while staying within budget. Whether clients are building a custom home or remodeling, the design process with ABD follows the same general steps.

The design process starts almost as soon as the design agreement is signed at the start of a project. Heather Schreiner, ABD’s General Manager and Interior Designer, is introduced to the clients early on. Her first step is to find out if the clients have a Houzz account that will allow her to see their vision and get an idea for their style. Occasionally, she even asks to view Pinterest boards, although Heather points out that Pinterest can be tricky as photos shared on the site often blur the lines between reality and fantasy. Through these sources, as well as conversations with the client during the site measure and concepting stage, Heather can get a good idea of their style and vision, which helps her in the pre-selection process.

Next, Heather starts the design pre-selection process. She begins researching product options, from tile to paint and beyond, based on the client’s budget and style, and makes sure it’s available in the quantities and time frame desired. From this research, Heather puts together two presentations with options for a variety of design elements that depend on what work is taking place. For example, if a client is remodeling their kitchen, these presentations will include flooring options, backsplash choices, cabinet selections, countertop options, hardware collections and more. For clients that are building a custom home, Heather may make multiple presentations for different areas of the home as time allows, which helps the client spread out the decision making so it’s not entirely too overwhelming.

Clients get to review the presentations in the ABD showroom, which features nearly every product, vendor option and interior design element that the firm offers. Here, the clients can see their options in person and decide if Heather’s presentation has hit the mark or needs a little bit of tweaking. Heather tells each client that while yesses are great, saying no is just as good, so don’t be afraid to say no – they’re the one that has to live with the finished product, and she promises no feelings are hurt if the clients don’t like her design choices! The one thing she asks from her clients is to stay away from the word ‘maybe,’ because it prevents everyone from moving forward in the process.

After design decisions have been made, Heather puts all the final selections together and does any follow-up with the clients as needed. Occasionally, clients truly can’t decide on an element or two within the home. When this happens, if time allows, Heather and the design team can create an allowance in the budget so that the client can make the decision a little later in the process. While this is a great safety option, it’s only a possibility on a few select elements, like hardware or lighting, and it may limit options since there won’t be as much time to order product later in the process.

When clients come in to sign their final contract for their project, they get another opportunity to see all their design selections. Heather creates a mood board for each project or room, allowing clients to really visualize what the elements will look like in their home. This is also a great final opportunity to make any last-minute changes or confirm their choices.

As the project moves forward into the actual remodel or building stages, Heather continues the design process by ordering materials, checking items as they come in and preparing them for installation. In addition, she checks in on every project she is a part of at least once a week. As one of the only people involved in projects from start to finish, clients are often comforted by the fact that she is always involved, and that the design process never leaves her capable hands.

No matter the project, ABD understands that it’s a huge undertaking for every client. Throughout the design and build or remodel process, ABD aims to always put the client needs first and be as accommodating as possible while keeping the project on time and on budget.

If you’re planning a remodeling project or are ready to build your dream home, ABD is the design + build firm for you! Contact the team today for more information on how they can make your dreams a reality!