At GHID our Custom Home Design Department thinks from the inside, out. Our business has its roots in interior design and after years of creating beautiful custom interiors and building great relationships with our clients and throughout our industry, Garrison realized we needed to jump into designing custom homes. Right from the start of the design process we employ ideas about how you will live in your new home. We are careful to design the rooms based on actual sizes of furniture and how the room will really be used by our clients. We are proud to create “Designs with Purpose”.
At the first meeting, we interview the clients about how they are currently living. We ask all sorts of lifestyle questions. We ask about what they do when they wake up, when and what they eat, if they watch T.V., where? We want to know what works and more importantly what doesn’t and why. From this initial meeting, the design begins to take shape. This early interview also gives a look into how our clients think and communicate. The more we learn about our clients, the more tailored our presentations can be so that our clients get the most out of each meeting.
Our design phase goes through a series of steps in order to get from conception to final design. Along the way we keep our clients engaged. At the end of every meeting, we summarize what we have learned. We tell them what the next steps in the design process are and what they can expect to see at the next meeting.
Plans Take Shape
With the information we get from the “interview” of our clients’ lifestyle we translate their words into schematic drawings which help us to delineate spaces hierarchically in size and adjacency. At this stage, we can come up with custom spaces that will suit our clients.
Making Changes for the Better
In this recent project, the Master Suite on the east side of the home focused towards the interior courtyard of the residence. Initial ideas were to create a wine room below and guest rooms above the kitchen, in the west portion of the project. Budget and livability quickly curtailed those plans, as our clients wanted a design where they could “age in place.”
The success of any design process is contingent on the client’s ability to stay engaged. We achieve this by providing consistent, clear, and constant communication. At the end of each meeting with the client, we assign them some type of homework to bring to the next meeting. In order to maintain even flow, we have meetings about every three weeks. This spacing also allows the team to keep up the momentum and progress.
Fine Tuning the Plans
Several iterations later, it was clear to these clients and our designers that a U-shaped plan, focusing the public areas of the home inwards, was ideal for the couple and their friends to hang out in after a day of biking and wine-tasting. The master suite now focuses towards the vineyard offering solitude and privacy from the busier public side of the home.
Approximately one week before the next meeting we send plans and other support documents to the client for their review. This allows the client ample time to review the documents, pose questions, and gives us a chance to make additional revisions prior to the meeting. This step keeps the process moving forward and towards a final result sooner. After we have developed spaces that function we begin to “scale in” and make slight adjustments to door and window placement. The Custom Home department will hand off the plans to our Interior Architecture department who will make suggestions for the placement of cabinetry, fixtures, and equipment in kitchens and bathrooms.
Closing in on the Finish Line!
The challenge presented by this project was maximizing natural light in the home, which is in a valley. We decided to work with the sun, creating a traditional u-shaped home with the rooms arranged to follow the sun throughout the day. We placed the master suite and guest room in the East, bathing it in sunlight in the morning, and the kitchen, dining, and hearth room in the West to light living spaces in the afternoon and evening.
What differentiates our Custom Home Design department from other service providers is that we have a qualified team of designers who specialize in all areas of home design. Our company works as a team to ensure that the final product exceeds our clients’ expectations.
Plans are Complete
The final version is a perfect blend of private and public areas. Stepping through the front door your eyes are instantly drawn to the internal courtyard and a majestic view of the vineyards in the distance. On the east side of the plan, one walks down a day-lit gallery offering glimpses to the interior courtyard. After entering the master suite the views open up again to the exterior with beautiful views of the vineyards and rolling hills. In the west wing of the home sits the kitchen and hearth room where couples can sit in a covered outdoor room with a lit fire while enjoying a meal or a glass of wine. In between the hearth room and the kitchen is a spiral staircase with open wine storage. The stairs go down to a lower level where a wine tasting room and wine storage are located.
In a typical single-family home project we may produce dozens of floor plans. We start by making large changes, radically shifting spaces back and forth, along with stairways and other major design elements. Furniture templates, developed by our Furnishing and Fixtures Department, are dropped into our plans to help us determine if the spaces we have laid out are sized just right. Our Custom Home Designers want to make sure that furniture isn’t swimming in over-sized spaces that are expensive to light and heat and to know that we have allowed room to move purposefully around the rooms and hallways and not bump into corners and edges.
As our drawings evolve into more complex and information-rich documents the client becomes more attuned to seeing what we see. The clients ask more specific questions, become engaged in our process, and eventually understand what we, together, have designed by the time we are ready to proceed to construction documents.