Smart Luxury: Concept Development – Options
Now that the preliminaries are complete the next step in the Smart LuxuryTM process is to begin developing the overall design concept. Knowing what style the client is interested in and the colors and materials that speak to them (from the Getting to Know You Phase), the design team will begin creating concept options. IMI Design generally provides 2-3 options. These options consist of a variety of fabrics, stones, woods and other materials that will establish the concept of the project. But Concept Development doesn’t stop at the materials. The overall color palette, the prevailing finishes on the various materials and fun accent products that may already be available are also discussed.
In addition to establishing the color and materials palette the design team will review the layout of the space. Knowing the members of the family who will be living there as well as their entertaining and daily living requirements the designers will be able to evaluate the space and ensure an appropriate traffic flow for teens going one way, office space that needs peace and quiet as well as impromptu gathering spots during the next big event with friends. For a pre-construction project the space planning has the ability to be more extensive. After all, moving walls with a pencil and eraser and nowhere near as difficult as moving them after they are built. However, this same process will take place for each and every remodel project as well. Good design never provides only one option for any particular problem. If moving walls and changing the structure is not an option to achieve optimal space planning there are other methods at the disposal of the designer. Traffic flow can be managed through the clever placement and scaling of furniture piece; the privacy needed for an at-home office can be achieved using various doors and acoustic techniques. Custom furniture is also an alternative option allowing for multipurpose use during family time and entertaining time.
The initial round of Concept Development generally takes around 3 weeks from the completion of the Getting to Know You meetings. At the first Concept Development meeting the designers will have assembled a couple of color boards demonstrating the materials and colors proposed for the project. They will also have a couple options of floor plans and possibly a plan for the layout of the major pieces of furniture. The clients will be presented 2 or 3 varying options and will be walked through each concept by the design team. At that point in time the clients should give feedback on all of the options. Mix and match the materials of one option with the color palette of another, fill in the gaps of any information that may have been overlooked during the Getting to Know You requirements and comes to mind now, anything they like or don’t like about all the choices should be discussed. Clients must be honest. As designers, it is not uncommon to present ideas that just may not speak directly to a particular person. At IMI, we also encourage the whole family to be in attendance at these meetings. This is the time where the idiosyncrasies of individual spaces in the residence can still be created while maintaining an overall aesthetic. This meeting traditional is long: anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. It is a lot to cover and a lot to discuss but it’s the next step in creating the perfect project.
After this first Concept Review meeting the design team will go back to work. The concept will be refined based on the clients input and, in about 2 to 3 weeks another concept meeting will be held. We’ll discuss the second Concept Review next week.