Design Storm: Brewing up Good Ideas

Much like it sounds, a Design Storm is an exercise to explore design ideas for a project. The concept is simple yet effective, and has yielded great success for those who have used this service. Rather than hiring one designer to create a design concept, Design Storm allows each designer in the office to independently consider and develop project ideas and sketches of their own. After everyone has finalized their concept for the project, a lunch session is arranged and the client, and whomever else they wish are invited to come to the office, where each design will be presented and critiqued. In the end the client walks away with 8-10 design options, and a critique of each option.

Following the session the client is free to take the designs and decide on aspects they would like to incorporate into their project. This is a great way to create direction for a project when the client is unsure how to proceed. The lead designer will then create a final design with all of the different aspects incorporated, giving the client the benefit of a whole office of architects working on their project, rather than just one.

This approach can be applied to any project of any scale.

Recent Design Storms here in the office have included the space planning and floor plan reconfiguration of an upscale condominium here in Kitchener, for a client wanting to re-model and add re-sale value to his property. Working within the existing floor plan, each designer re-worked the layout. Some chose to remove walls and create an open floor plan, created extra storage, enlarged and updated the en-suite bathroom, added much needed working/office space, and changed the placement of the kitchen. Other designers chose to keep more of the existing layout while flipping the master bedroom to the opposite side of the condo to incorporate the balcony, reworked the layout of the kitchen and created a space for laundry and storage in the unit. For this specific project, the owner chose to submit their own design concept for the exercise, and then worked with the designers to incorporate parts of each design into the final product.

Another example of the success of this service was a design storm for the total gut and re-design of a house. In this scenario the designers had a blank slate to decide whether to add an addition, add dormers, create an open concept living space, add amenity such as a main floor powder room in addition to the upstairs bathroom, or make whatever changes they deemed necessary. At this specific session, local realtors, home staging experts and potential buyers were invited to the session, with the client’s permission, to provide comments and input into the final design. With this extra input, we were able to present a well rounded critique of each design from various points of view, so the client was able to make informed decisions to get the best value for the sale of their project following the re-design and renovations. Following the lunch session the client then considered the various options and worked with a designer to create a final design and drawings, which are now in the process of being implemented in their total house renovation- we cant wait to see the results in the fall!

The Design Storm service can also add value to the sale of your home, as it presents a number of possibilities for potential buyers looking to change the space, or add extra features. One specific example was a design storm for a client wishing to present possibilities for a property he was having a hard time marketing. Designers worked with the client to understand the property, its challenges, and the feedback he had received from potential buyers, to outline designs that solved spatial issues, created a layout with a main floor bathroom, more generous master bedroom and en-suite.

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Whether a private client, a realtor, commercial client, contractor or business, this is a great way to gather a variety of ideas for your project at a reasonable rate, with no commitment to act. We create the designs, alter the designs to suit your needs, and you take them away to do with them as you please- whether you decide to proceed with the project or not.

If you have a property, home, condo or townhouse you want to re-design, update or sell- Design Storm is a great place to start!

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