Creating a Vision for Your Home with a Complimentary Interior Design Consultation
Sineath Construction clients receive a complimentary one-hour design consultation with our interior design partner Becky Walter of Yurko Walter Architecture and Interiors. Becky’s work helps our clients envision how they want to live in their space and tie it all together, from the bones like cabinets and flooring to the accent details like tile, color, and texture.
Becky has what she describes as a circuitous design background, with her career evolving from a merchandise designer for Disney and later an apparel illustrator and designer for Nike before joining the visual retail design team at Nike. She started designing for the built environment in Nike’s commercial retail spaces. She’s been consulting with Sineath Construction’s clients for past three years.
Becky was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about how this design consultation helps clients arrive at a theme and identify preferences, which help make decisions and selections easier and enjoyable.
What is your favorite aspect or aspects about interior design?
I really love getting people to think about the area around them and helping coax out of them what are the most important experiences. It takes a lot of listening and sometimes reading between the lines to guide them. Many times, clients want to jump right in and start choosing colors and materials, but oftentimes clients need to back up and spend some time considering how they want to feel and experience their space first. It may seem like I ask a lot of random questions, like where do you keep your broom and vacuum cleaner, where do you want to put your Christmas tree, do you collect anything, and how many people typically cook in your kitchen?
These experiences help me to understand their priorities and help us to design together intentionally for these experiences. The experiences could range from things like family dinners all at one big table, a place for the kids to put their own coats and shoes away, a place to display a collection, etc. Designing to maximize these experiences is what I enjoy most. The color and materials – that part comes easy after we first connect how people want to live in their space.
Sometimes we design out of frustration, because the experience is something the homeowners don’t want to have, too, such as the frustrating experience of coming home and entering in the back door, sidestepping the dog’s dish and the laundry with a handful of grocery bags. Going through this exercise also helps people to let go of the idea that their home should look like what they see in a design magazine. This process lets me focus on a custom fit for the homeowner first. And then we’ll make it beautiful together! When I’ve earned a client’s trust on this process – that’s my favorite aspect of interior design.
Sineath Construction clients receive the benefit of a one-hour interior design consultation with you. What happens during this consultation?
During the design consultation, I mostly listen to clients and go through the inspiration images, photos, and ideas they have. As they describe the vision for their home in their own words, I can usually thread together the themes and preferences that appear in their words and images. I ask questions to gain more clarity or to draw out more information so that I have a good understanding of the vision they have for their new space. From there, it is my job to reflect their descriptions and vision to them in the form of a palette and visioning sheet. Hopefully, I have illustrated for them what they described to me. This point is essential because at the heart of this, it is my job to draw out their vision, expand upon it and bring it to a built reality.
How does this consultation help clients with the process of selecting materials and finishes and everything else for the inside of the house?
The palette and visioning sheets serve as a visual design brief for the home, and they show the whole house materials including flooring, cabinetry, and some whole house paint colors. These selections serve as the bone structure, and they hold the interior of the house together. This helps to unify and elevate the design.
Now we add the secondary materials and then bring it all together with accent colors and materials. These accent elements punch up different spaces and give individual interest to rooms. Having a defined palette also helps to edit down the choices.
Selections can get overwhelming at times. This process also helps clients to portion out the selection process – getting whole house material selections done first, then focusing on secondary colors and materials and finally bringing it all together at the end with accents such as tile, wallpaper, soft goods, and accent paint. At any point in the process we can reflect back against the palette and use it as a map to make sure we are on track. When we are done with the project, we should be able to look back at the palette and say, “Yup, we hit the mark.”
What can clients expect to receive after that consultation?
Sineath Construction’s clients will receive a printed sheet that clearly communicates the vision for the house showing ideas and suggestions for some of the specific ways we will create that vision. They will also receive printed sheets showing the palette of colors and materials.
Why is this design consultation important in the grand scheme of building or renovating a house?
Working from a palette of materials and colors will help unify and elevate the home. Another benefit of interior design involvement is understanding a client’s priorities and helping to make sure that we spend their finish dollars consistent with their priorities. If a client loves to bake, we might splurge a bit on a French door wall oven knowing that we need to save a bit on some other selections. Helping clients to make strategic decisions about where they spend their allowances is also a big part of interior design work. Again, this goes back to some of those random questions I may ask that help me understand the experiences a client most values.
What expectations do clients need to set for themselves during the consultation and later during the selections process?
Trust that you are in good hands with the design process. Let the process portion and pace the work out so as not to be overwhelming. There will be some work on the front end for them in sharing their ideas and vision, but in the end, we will have a lot of fun bringing it all together.
What tips do you have to help make picking a theme or style easier for clients?
Pinterest, Houzz, and magazine images are great communication tools, but give yourself the freedom to create your own look inspired by what is uniquely valuable to you and your family.
Any final thoughts or additional comments that might be helpful?
I mentioned earlier that earning a client’s trust is a key part of the design process. One of the things I enjoy most about working with the Sineath team is the level of professional trust among the build-team. There is a culture of collaboration and trust among the whole build-team, and I really value the way this benefits the entire experience. It benefits all of us on the build-team side and extends to the clients too.