Monthly Archives: April 2012

5 Elements to a Quality Design Experience: Strategy

 

Part 2:  Strategy

During the initial design consultation and subsequent meetings with a client, the designer will elicit many ideas for the remodeling project.  This can be an overwhelming assortment of ideas for the customer to juggle, and without an experienced designer, could create havoc during the design process.  The designer’s professionalism and experience will be essential for combing through all the ideas and determining which will enhance or improve the design for the remodel and also which ideas are consistent with the client’s budget.  Some clients enter the process with very specific materials they would like to use while others may have a strong sense of what they like and don’t like but no specific products or ideas.  As the designer helps the client build a design strategy they will consider the materials, together with the costs associated with the project, prioritizing some while shelving others for later consideration.  In this first stage of planning, as the designer-client team narrow down the materials and design concepts, the client may struggle with letting go of some ideas that just aren’t working. However, as the final concepts start to materialize, a project that balances aesthetics with budget and quality will be worth the efforts.

As a final step in planning the design, the designer and client will determine roles for the research of materials, finishes, fixtures, etc. needed to complete the design.  A designer is a resource, and not all clients choose to use this resource in the same way.  Some clients prefer to do the legwork for these projects all on their own, with modest amounts of time spent reviewing product with the designer.  Others clients prefer to have the designer do all of the research and then present options from which the client will select.  Obviously, the more the clients choose to use the designer, the more costly the design process becomes.  For the budget conscious client, a professional designer will provide them with the right resources and guidance to accomplish the research successfully. This will help avoid frustration, confusion and wasting Valuable time.  As part of the strategizing, the designer and client should review the design tasks and discuss options for task distribution, in order to stay focused on budget and insuring top quality results.

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Pence Garden Tour – Tickets on Sale Now!

Morse Remodeling is proud to sponsor the Pence Gallery’s annual Garden Tour again this year.  This is the 21st year for this fantastic spring time event.  This year the tour will include eight gardens located in Central Davis.  The gardens will include a fruitful large vegetable garden, a low-water garden design, and a fascinating selection of native plantings and trees.  Local artists will be found in the gardens creating plein air paintings and a silent auction with a generous array of gifts and services will be held during the event.  Tickets are now on sale at the Pence Gallery and will be available at Redwood Barn, Newsbeat & Beyond the Garden Gate soon.  For more information, check out the Pence website.

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5 Elements to a Quality Design Experience: Communication

As a design-build firm we have the opportunity to watch the remodeling process from its inception through construction and completion.  Over the years, it has become apparent that a good design and positive experience during the early stages is critical to a quality remodel.  As a team, we recently sat down and discussed what makes a successful design experience.  Over the course of the next several days, we will post the top 5 elements of a quality design process, based on our years of experience and the feedback we have received from customers.  Below is Part1.

Part 1:  Communication

Undoubtedly, the number one factor pivotal to a successful project is communication.  This starts with the very first consultation, when the customer begins sharing their ideas, visions, questions and concerns with the designer.  Many of the elements that lead to a successful design experience originate from this interview process. Several months ago, architect Andrea Montalbano published an article on the Morse blog describing the client interview.  This is a great read for anyone considering a new design project or for those interested in entering the field as a designer.

For the designer, this process begins with active listening during the interview. It is imperative that the designer pay attention to the customer as they share their ideas and issues regarding their current home.  Customers hire a professional designer to help them for a reason. A good designer is a good listener, who will hear the subtleties and then ask follow-up questions to get the full story. While listening to the customer’s ideas, the designer should also be picking up on clues to lifestyle, differing opinions or needs between partners, and other elements the designer must take into consideration that the customer may not have even considered.   Beyond the obvious questions such as color choice, active listening will produce some deeper questions such as how a room is used throughout the year – should it be flexible to make it easily converted for multiple uses?  These questions create an opportunity to help the customer dig deeper and think more in-depth about the design, and highlight when the desires and practical needs of the customer may clash.  Through active listening and good questions, a good designer can create a design that surprises the customer by satisfying needs that only become evident to the customer through the interview process.  The dialogue and communication during the design process should be one of discovery for both the customer and the designer, the end result being a design that exceeds the customer’s original goals.

Check back soon to read the next part in our series:  Strategy.

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Award-winning Design Team is Hiring a New Lead Designer

At Morse Remodeling, Inc. we promote a high-energy, creative & collaborative work environment.  As a design-build firm, communication and team work are keys to a fun and successful experience, not only for our customers, but for our team as well.  Our new lead designer will be essential to facilitating the positive flow of information in all aspects of our projects.  Knowledge of design and construction are essential as well as a keen understanding of marketing and sales.  If you or someone you know has the potential to join our award winning crew, please keep reading! 

Responsibilities include:

  • * Working with customers to design their project as well as identifying all products needed for that project.
  • * Lead design and estimating meetings with customers, trade partners and vendors.
  • * Sales skills and knowledge associated with the home improvement industry.
  • * Ability to solve design questions and problems between design and production staff.
  • * Move projects forward in a timely and efficient manner.
  • * Accurately Measure existing structures and provide detailed floor plans for design development.
  • * Create drawings as needed for clarification, specification, and detail pertaining to a larger scope of work or design.
  • * Create & manage libraries of design resources customers can use in order to assist them with design development and inspiration.
  • * Manage remodeling and construction budgets and client relationships as they pertain to their projects.
  • * Create detailed estimates and project descriptions to be used for clear communication of the design for construction use.
  • * Continually work to improve skills and knowledge within the interior design and architectural field.
  • * Manage multiple projects efficiently and professionally, meeting all deadlines.

 Requirements:

  • * Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design or Architecture is preferred, but not required.
  • * Two years plus industry experience via internship or work experience is desired.
  • * Understanding of residential remodeling and construction practices which includes knowledge of all trades & industry products as well as their applications necessary to complete a project.
  • * Must have strong technical graphics skills, free-hand drawing design skills, and drafting skills.
  • * Ability to read and understand building plans and associated codes.
  • * Proficiency in: MS Office, CAD (Vectorworks, Auto Cad, Chief Architect) in addition to a strong design portfolio demonstrating knowledge of finish materials, industry standards and code requirements.
  • * Possession of a vehicle and a valid California driver license is mandatory.
  • * Individually motivated and works well in a team environment as well as independently.
  • * Excellent time management, organizational, and communication skills.
  • * Critical thinking and reasoning skills.
  • * Highly motivated for career success.

To apply please email resume to mary@morseremodeling.com

No phone calls please.

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