Fiona Duke Interiors

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How to keep on top of your design project

PACE - 'The speed at which something happens or develops' (English Oxford Dictionary)

PACE is an essential ingredient for any design project.

Whilst chatting to a fellow interior nut, Karen Knox from Making Spaces,

we were discussing how hard it can be sometimes as an Interior Designer to 'pace' yourself whilst working on a project as sometimes it can truly be all consuming as all the elements of the design come together. It got me thinking of how important the element of pace is to any project and how it can impact and effect the overall success of a design.

The pace at which you approach a project will have a direct effect on how you keep on top of you design as it unfolds. 

As the Designer, working on any project, you have an element of responsibility with regards to keeping a certain level of pace in order to keep make sure the design goes from concept to completion on time and ideally on budget.

- regular contact with client, contractors and on site visits

- offering new ideas and approaches as and when new situations arise

- managing the 'team' involved in the project 

- dealing with any 'surprises/obstacles' along the way

- communicating any changes to ensure everyone is aware......

However, the pace at which the client approaches a project is also key for the success of any design. 

Anyone who has embarked on a design projects knows that it can be quite a journey. Emotionally and financially!

Once the concept design has been agreed everyone is full of excitement as they watch the process unfold. Often these early stages are visually quite progressive as the initial design changes are made. It doesn't actually take that long to smash a wall out and realise a brand new space!

Spirits are high as clients return from work to see progress and change and their expectations are being met even as the dust begins to wander into every room within the home. 

However, what I find is that the initial excitement and intrigue present in these early weeks of a design, can start to wain once these first bold changes have been made and progress on site starts to appear a bit slower. The novelty of having builders in the house or making 500 cups of tea a day suddenly loses it's appeal and the whole adventure is no longer one of intrigue but one of frustration.

Part way through a build, the client will quite possibly lose a bit of momentum for lets face it, they are the ones actually 'living' with all the upheaval, worry, stress of the entire project. (By the way, let me assure you the Designer is also feeling these emotions, we just have the luxury of actually being able to return to their own home! )

The success of the final finishes design is often resting on these last stages of the design. It's usually when all the key decisions are being made:

- wall finishes

- flooring choices

- finishing touches

If momentum is lost at this stage, at time when key decisions need to be made, it can really have a negative impact on the end result. At certain points in the design process key elements need to be confirmed in order to move onto the next and progress. If this isn't managed then the managed order starts to all breakdown.

I have to say I have been so lucky and have worked with some wonderful clients over the last few years and they genuinely make the project. As the Designer you are tasked with coming up with the concept and ideas but you still need an element of pace and impact from the client to action these. The most successful projects I've been part of are the ones where the client has pace and where they remain focused in these final stages of the design.

I am currently working on a wonderful project where the client's pace is determining and guiding the entire project. He listens, digests and makes decisions and gets involved. His pace is ensures that everything happens and develops at the right stage. At times his pace is so brilliant that it's hard to keep up with him but his energised pace has maintained direction and momentum for the project throughout and has definitely contributed the enjoyment of the entire process and most importantly, to its success. 

So don't forget folks that when you're at the end stages of your design don't lose faith but keep up the pace - and you will be rewarded.


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