The Secret to Foolproof Design Project Communication? Quick Reference Guides
Filed under Quick Reference Guides
Just when you think you have dotted all your Is and crossed your Ts on a project, the communication wires get crossed. You can’t believe it. You don’t know how there could possibly be any misinterpretation, BUT, yep, there it is! Despite your best efforts and even though you talked about your design concept and emailed about it, something goes wrong.
I found the silver bullet to prevent this from happening EVER again. I know, a miracle, right?
So, without further delay, let me introduce you to my super fantastic Quick Reference Guides. I love these handy miracle workers and use them ALL. THE. TIME. Whenever I get that sinking feeling and the little voice in my head says, “Gosh, my communication is NOT working,” I know it’s time to put a Quick Reference Guide to work.
Quick Reference Guides are the most efficient and accurate way to get information across to clients and trades. Some are educational, others provide a visual guide for homeowners and some just specify details. They are broken down into different categories so you can find the best one for each of your projects. These categories include:
- Living Room
- Laundry Room
- Dining/Breakfast Room
- Art/Window Treatments
- General (great for all jobs!)
Of course, you can always Google the answers you will find in the Quick Reference Guides while on the job site, but why not be buttoned down, look professional and already have all the answers you need at your fingertips? And, since I already did the work for you by designing these Quick Reference Guides, everything is pulled together and packaged for you. No time and energy necessary on your part.
Put Quick Reference Guides to Work
Have you ever had a discussion with a client where you were trying to explain how many people can comfortably sit around a 60-inch round dining table and their response is a dazed and confused stare? Or, another client might imagine that, of course, you can fit up to 12 people in that space. When I’m in this situation, I just pull out the Dining Table Seating Guide that provides all the dimensions and information about how many people can COMFORTABLY sit around a table. Sometimes visuals are the quickest way to communicate.
Another struggle we have as interior designers is to help our clients who have likely never gone through a design project before or in a long time quickly get up to speed with our industry jargon and terminology. When I struggle to help my clients understand what an antique finish is on a quartzite slab, I pull out the Glossary of Stone and Tile Terms that’s part of my Quick Reference Guide arsenal, to help them make sense of my design speak.
When I want to make sure the contractor and fabricator are getting the right information, I will take one of the guides and note what I want. This is really effective when I’m designing a kitchen island and need to communicate the edge detail to all. All I do is reach into my Quick Reference Guides to get the one that illustrates edge details, circle the one I want and then give a copy to the contractor AND fabricator and sometimes even tape a copy directly to the slab! There’s no chance of misinterpretation!
Oh, here’s another favorite of mine: TV Sizes, Dimensions & Viewing Distance guide. I use it all the time not only for my contractors, but also to communicate to the electricians and clients. Once I put a floor plan together I will specify what type and size of TV will work best in the space. Oh yes, there are often opinions about this. But you can nip those opinions in the bud when you show the exact width and height required to accommodate a particular size of TV as well as the optimal viewing distance that is recommended to enjoy the fabulous TV of your clients’ dreams.
The Return on Interiors Quick Reference Guides help you give clarity to the contractor, serve as a visual check for your client, offers installation instructions for trades and even care and maintenance instructions for your client. Want to see one for yourself? Get your Quick Reference Guides here!
Have a fantastic week!