Step One: The First Date

I begin every project, residential or commercial, the same way.

This step is called “Programming”, in which I analyze your house, property and life style needs and start gathering the information to formulate a “Master Plan”. We sit down and talk about the what, why, how and when of your project.  I will ask many questions trying to understand how you live and what makes your family tick. I then take some baseline field dimensions so I can start designing.

Step Two: Master Planning

Bass Walter's Floor Plan

I will then develop a “Master Plan” incorporating all those items, which includes drawings that describe the work, preliminary concept sketches and ballpark pricing. This is a collaborative process, and your input is vital.

Bass Walter Model

I will give multiple options, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each concept until we have created a roadmap to move forward. We’ll discuss phasing and scheduling and discuss budget and process. By knowing what the big-picture goals are, it allows for better decision-making and allows for the work to be scaled to fit current budgets and time frames.

Step Three: Finalizing the Design

If you decide you want to move forward with your project, the next step is that I start to finalize the design and we begin to plan for the construction phase. The relationship we’ve developed over the previous phases of the project are now a true asset and is key to enjoying the creative endeavor. The process of creating a space should be fun and exciting, and my opinion is that no one should hire a designer that they don’t like. In this part, we define the expected costs and start working with contractors, either yours or one of mine.

Often, my clients have bigger goals in mind than can be accomplished all at once. My own house is a constant work in process, and one of my strengths is being able to evaluate priorities and work within existing realities. I find it easier to know what to do next when we have the big picture outlined. Sometimes phasing constructing is the best answer.

Once the design and budget are complete, we will work together on the finishes and details, getting everything exactly as you want. This is an active part for the client, as you will be picking everything from plumbing fixtures to tile and paint. I will guide you through this process, which can be daunting to the non-professional, and it’s always the most fun part of the project for clients, as they really get involved in the decision process. I’m not one of those designers who makes three picks for each item and ask you to pick one (unless that’s what you want!). Instead, I prefer to go to the showrooms with you and make these decisions together, combining what I know about product selection and your design aesthetic.

Step Four: Construction Administration

My preference is to be actively engaged in the construction of my projects – I’m very hands-on – even though there are times where this is not feasible. I am fluent in “Contractor” language and building process, from choosing the right contractor to working within strict budget requirements and managing the construction process. My clients are always surprised that their projects are completed on time without cost overages, but rest assured, I will only accept the best in quality construction.