I just got back from a visit to South Carolina and have been doing a little reflecting…
We started designing the Lake Wylie House over 2 years ago. It is now almost complete and looks amazing! On the flight back I was remembering some of our initial meetings and noting how very far we’ve come from that point. In the past 2 years I have gotten to know my clients and their 2 boys much better and so, to see them truly excited about their new home makes me extremely happy. I know, I know… I say this a lot about the process of working with my clients, but the very best thing about being a residential architect is seeing my clients genuinely excited about their home!
Reflecting on Design
“Sometimes it’s good to look back just to remind yourself how far you’ve come.” The following few snippets are from a previous post dated June 26, 2014, documenting what it’s like working with an architect through the progress of the Lake Wylie House (before we had identified it with it’s proper name). It is quite remarkable to reflect on those initial design conversations with my clients now that I know them so much better, and we’ve pretty much made all of these inspirations and adjectives into a real home. That is very cool!
In our meetings I ask our clients to read through their answers to each question. Most of the time each answer broadens into a further explanation of what they were thinking for their answer, how an item currently works in their home, how it doesn’t work, or a story of how the family functions in relation to an item.
Even the page of adjectives that I include as a quick checklist sparked a lot of discussion between the owners as well as more stories about why “this and not that” or why “formal but also casual” and their interpretation of their descriptions.
Each tidbit of information helps to paint the picture of how they live or how they want to live.
In our experience, the more the clients are involved in initial design stages of their home, the better the project will be. After all, we are designing a home that is specific to our clients’ dreams…this is something we certainly can design better with a LOT of input from them.
Our clients for the 018_House answered the PDQ using 2 different colored pens. When we sat down to go through the questions this made the conversation even more fun… the clients would go back and forth with their thoughts, often coming to the same conclusion, or, sometimes leaving things unresolved with a shrug and a grin, “for you to figure out.”
I prefer to meet with my clients in their homes at least once during the Pre-Design process. Spending time in a family’s home – even only a few hours – usually gives a much better picture of how they live. For example, I learned quickly that while the simple answer to “where do you play” was family room/ kitchen, a more descriptive answer for that question was that often “playing” meant one 4 year old, one 2 year old, one Great Dane, one Mastiff, and sometimes a mom or dad, running around the island in the kitchen and through the furniture in the family room chasing whomever is in the lead… A picture is worth a thousand words.
Inspirations + Wish-List Items
I ask my clients to describe what they like or dislike about each image. Our discussion always becomes so much more than merely itemizing a wish-list on paper. With each image my clients are showing and telling me how and why.
Updated construction (almost complete!) photos coming soon. And I am looking forward to sharing more What To Expect from Your Architect as this house finishes up with construction and our clients move in! Such an exciting time!