The simplest way to put together a design team is through your builder. He should be able to introduce you to a number of architects and designers in your area that he’s worked well with on other projects and who he thinks will be a good fit for you. The alternative is to do the research yourself through online searches on Google / Instagram / Houzz, local design magazines, referrals from friends or, in the case of architects, by looking at the AIA (American Institute of Architects) directory.
Once you’ve found architects or designers whose styles appeal to you, use the same vetting principles you would for a builder. Have they worked on homes of a similar style, size and price as you’d like? Are they a good personality fit – do they ‘get you’ and what you’re trying to accomplish?
Due diligence is always important. For the architects, it may be worth asking a couple of builders if their plans work well from a construction perspective. Some architects complete great designs superficially, but their plans may be prone to a lack of detail and lots of mistakes which could make the build process more challenging. As for designers, some may feel fun and inspiring when you meet with them but make sure you visit a couple of their completed homes (or at least look at photos of entire home projects). If you’re looking for timeless elegance throughout your home and their homes have a mixture of bold ideas and a little too much bling for your taste, then it probably isn’t the right choice for you.
Finally, when you’ve picked the right design team for you, trust them! High end architects and designers know how a home should flow and how to style an entire home. There’s no need for you to drown in all the details and if you challenge and change too many of their choices, your home is likely to be less cohesive and less stylish overall. Make sure they know which details are important to you but embrace their work and enjoy their creativity.
June 27, 2021.
Coming soon…designing your dream custom home.