How to write a super brief for your designer in order for them to deliver the best solutions for your project needs and to help the project to run smoothly.

Interior Designer

When embarking upon a renovation project or a new build you will encounter many decisions and choices that will need to be made along the way. Hiring a designer and using their spatial design skills and collective knowledge of materials and finishes will save you stress, time and money.
However, it’s important for you to provide a clear brief to your designer, be it for a kitchen, a colour scheme, spatial planning or for the whole deal – the entire house. The more detailed the brief the more efficiently a great designer can interpret your likes, dislikes, wants and needs.

So, let’s discuss the first steps:
An overview of your background and the property you intend to renovate/build is very useful to your designer as it gives them insights into how observant you are about your style of living and whether or not your home meets your needs.

Client Background
What’s your background? Is the space for a single person, a family, a family with pets? How do you live? Are the occupants hard on a space? What experiences do you have of renovation projects or new builds?

House Background
What’s the house like? Era? Condition? What do you like or dislike about it? What are your aims for the house? How do you live and see yourselves living in the house?

A List of Needs
This can be done on a room by room basis or alternatively it can be a looser styled document with your basic needs bulleted. Either way the more information imparted the more efficiently and successfully your designer can meet your brief and deliver you a successful project. Do you need beds? How many people in the household? Is there a disabled person living in the space? If so, they need to be involved in discussions around their needs. Do you need a sofa? If so, are your pets allowed on the sofa? For example, listing all the members of the family (pets included) will help the designer to source the right fabrics for the various pieces of furniture to be supplied.

If you are new to renovating and have no idea how long a certain type of project will take and you have a compelling situation such as a baby due to be born or moving an office into the home, explaining your situation will help the designer to map out a suitable timescale. This is of course, dependant on the availability of contractors.

Can involve some radical thinking and there is always a need for a contingency plan! Some people are very reluctant to let their designer know what their budget is as they think that the designer will choose the most expensive items to fill that budget. Sometimes a client’s budget expectations are not realistic and hearing that fills some people with feelings of dread and they feel upset. In my 25 years of experience designing I have found it best for both parties to be open and upfront about costs and expectations. It is very difficult for a silk purse to be made out of a sow’s ear.

It’s best to not send big numbers of links to images and websites as this takes a designer too much time to wade through, but use Pinterest or Houzz to create your own look books collated from their image libraries. Links are great for when you are nailing down your final choices with the designer. Images of what you like and dislike is a great help for the designer as they can see recurring themes in the choices of image collections that you send them.

One final piece of advice is to take measurements and photos of furniture and artwork that you will be retaining and using in your new home or office so that they can be incorporated into the overall vision of the project. Good luck with your project and enjoy the exciting process you are about to embark upon.

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