I have been involved in the landscape design industry for almost 25 years. During my tenure within the industry, I have been involved in numerous projects, worked with a diverse range of clients and collaborated with a plethora of architects, interior designers, builders and tradespeople. By far the most successful outcomes are the result of a collaborative synergy across the entire team, whereby the process of design through to delivery is an enjoyable one across the board. Achieving this outcome is challenging and the process starts with the selection of your design consultancy team.
Listed below are the ways I recommend to make these selections.
- Referrals from friends and colleagues is the best place to start. My business has been built from word of mouth referrals. I have the view if we can generate one new project from every job we do there will always be a steady influx of projects.
- Write a thorough brief including a realistic budget. Be prepared for a brief ‘haircut’ if your consultant can not make the budget/brief fit. We love Pinterest in our office and use it on every project to build a mood look and feel board. Do the same for your project during preparation of your brief and share with your consultant. It makes the process of design so much more efficient if we can cross reference a client’s image with the proposed design.
- Be realistic about timing. One of my longest serving clients once told me he never employs a consultant who is not busy. In his view if they are good you, will need to wait.
- Appoint a lead consultant first (usually the architect). Then ask them for referrals for the secondary consultants both design and mechanical. Cross reference these teams with any personal referrals you may have. It’s surprisingly a smaller pool than you may think and often you will find mutual referrals which is a strong indicator you are on the right track.
- Beware of designers that have poor collaborative reputations. The good ones will understand that a truly great project is one where everyone works together.
- Make sure you get what you want and don’t get railroaded in the design process where the concept becomes the designers dream and not you, the client’s, reality.
- Remember you will be left with the legacy once the project wraps up and the project team will move on to the next job.
- Choose a construction team that has a dynamic flexible approach to building. Often the architects and designers conceptual design is shot down by an ‘old school’ contractor not willing to try different things.
Hopefully these simple tips can assist you in creating a personal design nirvana.
Until next time.