Your gorgeous new build or addition is nearing completion. The builders will be done in a few weeks, so it’s time to think about the interior design, right?
Absolutely not! Interior design is something that should be planned right from the beginning, long before foundation holes are dug, or footings are poured.
“We like to be involved right from the planning stage to work with the architect and builder,” says Rebecca LeClaire, lead designer for Ask4Design. “This allows us to come up with a collaborative design that can be seamlessly integrated into the actual building process.”
Rebecca uses lighting to demonstrate why this matters. Excellent lighting is layered, she notes, with a combination of task, ambient, and accent lighting. But to achieve that, the electricians need to know what the designer has in mind so they can run the wires and switches appropriately.
The same can be said for plumbing fixtures: What type of vanity do you want? Do you want a wet bar for parties? If so, where will be it situated?
The best results, Rebecca says, are achieved when the interior designer is part of the build team from the beginning.
Form and function
Great design is a matter of blending aesthetics and purpose.
“We don’t start from a stylistic point of view and then find function,” explains Rebecca. “We start by asking you what you need and what you want in terms of functional pieces. Then we learn more about each member of the family to bring out their personalities by finding styles to match. We build relationships and help make the whole process fun.”
Steve Kirkpatrick plays a key role in Ask4design’s approach. Steve brings over two decades of experience on premiere construction projects, and his eye for quality and craftsmanship are well known throughout Muskoka.
“We approach design from a building perspective, which has brought fantastic results for our clients,” says Steve. “This also makes the builder’s job easier – which greatly reduces cost overruns – because they have the entire concept ready before they break ground.”
Ask4Design’s team will then return to the site throughout the build, sending regular updates to keep clients in the loop. Rebecca will even be on site to label furniture and fixtures as they are delivered, to make sure they’re placed in the right rooms.
In the end, it’s about making sure their clients feel an emotional attachment to their home or cottage. “If your friend says ‘this place is so you,’ then we’ve done our job.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN