With everything that goes into a renovation or custom home project, working with a designer can seem like a luxury. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Designers, Tamah Burke and Michelle Smith, from Color Sanctuary on Bainbridge Island, offer an unconventional approach to interior design. Having both come from a construction background, this experienced team offers a ‘design meets general contracting’ hybrid method.
“Michelle and I have 45 years of combined art, color and design experience between us. Our combined skills make us something of a unicorn in the industry.” Burke says. “We offer a holistic approach to projects, due to our mutual backgrounds in both design and construction. We assist our clients with the proper sequencing, helping them save time and money.”
Tamah and Michelle share their unique perspective on why having a designer on your team will benefit the final result and help keep the project on track and on budget.
Contractors are not designers
While contractors are skilled in building and construction, designers are trained in the art of creating functional, welcoming spaces.
“Most clients and contractors don’t have training in the art of color, space, design and scale. Designers are experts in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing environments.” Burke says.
Designers save you time and money
“Renovations are time consuming enough without the added layers of design. If you do have a clear vision for your project, you still have to communicate that to your contractor,” Burke says. “We act as translators to communicate your vision for you through drawings and construction documents, while overseeing the project from start to finish.”
“Hiring a designer is like an insurance policy for the desired outcome of your project,” Smith notes, “We will be your advocate with the contractor and architect to make sure the project goes as planned.”
See your vision come to life
“One of the things we specialize in is providing our clients with photo-realistic renderings of their designs at the beginning of each project.” Smith says. “This allows them to see the finished product and make changes before construction begins. It’s a visual aid that most contractors can’t provide”.
Trends are not your friends
Trends are temporary, coming and going with the seasons, and keeping up with them is not sustainable. Designers can offer beautiful, functional, long-term design solutions that stand the test of time.
“Unless you have a background in design, you’re at the mercy of this season’s most current ‘trends.’ This approach often results in purchasing cheaply made products that are not designed to last,” Burke explains. “We offer long-term design solutions that never go out of fashion and help you decide what products are worth the extra investment and where it’s safe to opt for a more affordable option.”