Maybe you've watched every season of Fixer Upper and you can't get enough, or you've been dreaming up a renovation for a new office space in that beautiful old building you love. Whatever you're dreaming of, the process of designing a beautifully and functional space from scratch can be daunting to most of us. Lucky for you, interior designer Blake Marlar has shared our team’s process for creating the overall look and feel of Paris Board of Public Utilities' renovation.
Take it All in
Every project begins with a kickoff meeting. This is when we sit down with the client and get to know them and what they want for the space. Asking as many questions as possible in the beginning always helps keep the project on schedule and moving forward. In this case, the clients wanted an updated, inviting environment for customers. The space needed to provide privacy for client conversations, while keeping the space open as possible.
Evaluate your Space
Accurate dimensions are critical when beginning a new project. Visiting the site and verifying all existing windows, doors, and columns will be a great help when beginning space planning. This step includes making sure that all features the client wants are where they should be, and helps find the most efficient way to use the space.
The client wanted to make sure that customers could find who they need to speak with as easily as possible. We accomplished this by opening up the lobby to keep sight lines to the receptionist, tellers, and customer service open.
Research, Research, Research
You can never have too much information, especially when dealing with a new type of facility. I always find it helpful to visit and research facilities similar to the one I will be designing. For instance, not every bank or school functions the same way, so it's always important to combine research with the unique needs of the business. This project involved researching how to create a welcoming environment for employees and customers to interact.
Build a Palette
Inspiration for a space can come from anywhere; whether it's school colors, a photo, or a fabric pattern. Each new project brings the opportunity to create a refined solution specific to the client’s vision for the space. We help select paint colors, materials, furniture, and fabrics that convey how the client wants people to feel and interact in the space, making sure that the finishes are as durable as they are beautiful. I always remind myself that the end space isn’t for me, and that I am here to help the client’s vision come to life.
The Final Product
During construction, you get to see all aspects of the design process come together. We use 3D models to help our clients visualize how the space will look before it is completed. This gives them a preview of what to expect when construction is over - as well as an opportunity to spot anything they may want to change. Throughout the remainder of the project, we make site visits to ensure the project stays as close to the plans as possible. The most rewarding part of a project is seeing the completed space in use.