At ElkStone, we are very particular with the trades that we partner with. We strive to partner with companies that share a similar attention to detail at every aspect of the job. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of our Preferred ElkStone Designers. While our estimators do a great job of helping you keep the flow of your home, adding a designer into the process can up the level of that flow.
INTRODUCING ELKSTONE PREFERRED DESIGNER:
What Kind of Degree Did you Earn?
A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The University of North Texas
What is your Signature Style?
Mostly Transitional; which is a blend of modern and traditional forms. If there is a common thread among every room I create it is, at least one antique, a special art piece, a plant to add warmth and a look of being curated with time.
HGTV defines Transitional style: a marriage of traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials and fabrics equating to a classic, timeless design. Furniture lines are simple yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or rounded profiles.
How do you help me discover and communicate my style to you?
Asking good questions helps but I’ve also found the best way to “visually communicate” a style preference is to ask my clients to spend time scanning their favorite magazines and online websites and saving looks that speak to them in some way. I always tell my clients, likes are immediate, so usually if something makes you go hmmmm…it’s worth sharing. When they share these tear-outs, pins, etc. I’m able to ask deeper questions to really pinpoint a design direction.
Do you provide examples of work that are similar in style, scope & Budget to the
Home Owners Projects?
If a homeowner asks, I am always happy to share portfolio images from a past project and detail similarities, but truly, every project is unique and client specific. No two projects are exactly alike so therefore while a budget may be very similar, the project typically unfolds in a very different way based on the Client’s personal style, tastes and involvement.
How do you document and Share your work?
My free time is limited but when I have the time to do so, I enjoy sharing a recent project image and description on facebook. My up-to-date portfolio sits on my website and is easily shared online with prospective clients.
How do you manage the project budget?
I use google sheets which stores and shares information easily and in the 24/7 accessible cloud. My clients are always surprised with how this aspect of the projects seems so simple. When I hear this, I feel I am doing my job well! The design process should be simplified and fun for the client.
How much time does an average basement project take once the construction is finished?
We usually come onto a project while it is still under construction to help make the important finish decision and often consult on the interior architecture at this point too. The average is under 2 months.
Where do you find Inspiration?
I am inspired first and foremost through nature. I find the blue-greens of the ocean mixed with the neutral tones of sand the most soothing color palette in a home. When I travel I find fresh perspective too, especially in architecture.
How do you stay up to date with current trends, technology and codes?
I keep a library of books on hand in my office with I can easily research in when needed. New technology is something I’m always learning…it comes often times as I’m sourcing for, say, a plumbing fixture, I’ll learn about the new self-cleaning toilets on the market now and save the thought for the next client short on time to clean house! And I like to keep current on design trends such as color, pattern by watching fashion. Interior trends typically follow fashion trends, but do tend to be around a bit longer, thank goodness. 😊
What is your communication style?
I use a lot of email. But then there are the times when a face to face conversation is the only thing that will do. I feel it’s the most productive as we can understand clearer and often communicate more effectively in person. Emoticons only express so much.
What does a successful project mean to you?
One that the client is proud of. If I hear they can’t wait to open the door to their new home or office each day as they walk back in, that brings me so much joy! And since details are so very important, I like to hear how the Client discovers new things they didn’t see at first when the project is complete. For example, how a mirror places just right reflects the sun into their room in the afternoon.
What is your feeling on trendy design features?
Trends are fun but should be considered as a short-term investment, and thus I caution on using too many as they will date the project. I encourage incorporating any trends in smaller ways, less costly ways such as through a pillow pattern or paint color. I lean toward creating interiors that will not be dated in five years’ time, so I tend to use colors & classic patterns that have longevity.
What does it look like to work with an ElkStone designer?
Fun, Of Course! As I mentioned before, the design process can be overwhelming, but when you have the right team, it should seem simple and fun. The right team can take the dilemma of too many decisions to make and turn it around to effective solutions that are budget-minded and beautiful.
How does the design process flow?
After an initial consultation at the job site, I create a Project Program to define the scope and get us on the same page for budget. The design process is fairly creative from there with some research, a little more development then one or two very fun design presentations with the client, always face to face, if possible. We may make a revision or three or some add-ons, but once the proposed design and any revisions are approved, ordered and wait time is over, the magic unfolds as we begin installing and the Client sees all the ideas come to life!
We welcome you to check out more of Kate’s portfolio at Noble Design Group or Facebook and if this is a service you are interested in incorporating into your basement finish space, please let your estimator know at your complimentary consultation.