If I hear, “I didn’t know you did that or we would have used you!” one more time, I am going to lose it!
Maybe it’s my fault, yes, I said it – I take responsibility and am owning the fact that it is my company and perhaps I’m not doing a good job of educating everyone about the many facets of Lee Douglas. There are firms that just do the “fun stuff”- the stuff that everyone thinks designers do…. pick out carpet, paint colors and accessorize houses- but that’s not us. Well hold on, we do that too, we’re not fun haters- but we do so much more and I want to share that with you.
A large majority of our business is new builds. We don’t get handed a plan and step in after the foundation is poured and the framing is up. If you want the best result, we start at the planning stage.
What we can do with a plan is so SEXY! We spend so much time talking to the client to see how they live. I once had someone say to me, “Lorele, a home is just a box you go to after a 10-hour day, some boxes are by the water and some aren’t”- how gross is that?! When we plan a home, we find out how you live currently and more importantly how you want to live. For example:
- Do you want to drop your groceries, keys, mail and homework in the center of a kitchen island or have a designated spot outside of the kitchen?
- Do you want to seat 12 at a dining table? The existing space on the plan would allow for 8.
- Do you want to hang your coat in closet or on a locker? Do you want a closet for guests’ coats or are you the type that throws them on a bed, in which case – can I allocate that closet square footage elsewhere?
- Do you do your laundry in the laundry room or dump it on a bed and fold?
- Do you want to do your laundry close to the closets or do you want to have it removed from those areas?
- Do you want to store cleaning supplies in the kitchen? The laundry? A closet? Where is your vacuum going anyway?
- Do you want to always prep in the kitchen or do you want a place that is hidden when you are entertaining for food prep?
- Do you want a formal dining room or a large dinette that would function as both a formal dining area and less formal family landing spot?
- Do you want the family to eat at the bar or a table?
- Do you want a place in the basement for food and beverages or are you the type to just bring everything down from the kitchen?
- Do you want your kids to just sleep in their rooms or is that the place for homework, tv, hanging with friends, etc.
- Do you like the look of toys everywhere or do you want a designated space?
- Do you exercise at home and do you have equipment? What kind? How much?
See what I mean? I could go on for hours. Planning a new home is NOT just getting a picture of boxes and hoping it works. I am not saying you have to add space or square footage to the plan, I am saying plan the space you are committing to and make it work for you, not vice versa. It is our job and we own this – we are ballers at space planning.
OK ……………. we finally have a plan we can all agree on, now what part do we play? I am so happy you want to know!
- This alteration to the plan was done because this bath was attached to an in-home gym. We made the closet area which isn’t needed for a gym into a steam shower and separated the sink and toilet, adding a linen closet.
- This alteration is commonly made to give a powder room a dressier finish. By doing this, you can be creative with lighting and open the door to a pretty countertop, lighting and sink instead of a toilet.
Your home is likely one of your largest investments. So many people think it is just picking out what they like – it’s more than that. You don’t do your own dental cleaning every 6 months, put on those funny magnifying glasses and fire up the x-ray machine. You don’t put on a tool belt and turn up the tunes and build the trusses for your roof. You don’t get in a fender bender and break out the lift, order in a new bumper, install it and head to your paint booth for a clean finish (man I wish I could, I am constantly backing into shit on job sites). You do what you do and we do what we do. We do this every day – we actually save you from making mistakes that you would have to correct and pay to fix. So, let us help you! The following is our life in the material selection world:
It’s critical to evaluate where one material stops and another starts on the outside of the house. You can change the look of the home with simply moving the material from what is shown on the plan.
Selection of materials, i.e.:
- Garage doors
- Roofing material
- Exterior doors
- Door hardware
- Decking material
- Fabricated iron details
- Deck railing
- Sidewalk and driveway materials
- Pillar design
- Paint selection
- Exterior lighting
- Chimney caps
We do everything from door and window selections to plumbing walk throughs for shower design and everything in between. For example, do you really want to go all the way into the shower to turn it on and then stand there while it warms up? You know, you can mount the controls in a different wall than the shower head. Are you ok with bending over to get under the shower when you are 6’8” tall? You know, we can mount that higher just for you.
Some of the other stuff we oversee for you…
- Electrical Walkthrough
- Placement of outlets (outside of code)
- Determination of special needs
- Mantle outlets
- Holiday lighting outlets
- Floor outlet location
- Decorative lighting placement
- Charging stations
- Switches for bed lights
- Location walkthrough – so the vents don’t blow your draperies every time they go on and the thermostat isn’t in the middle of your best art wall. And………………yes, it can still be efficient.
- Cabinetry and kitchen design
- Wood stain and cabinetry paint and cabinetry hardware selection
- Design details such as…
- Fireplace design such as fireplace selection, surrounding surface, mantle design
- Wall details such as niches, partitions, free-standing and cutouts
- Ceiling details
- Exposed beams
- Closet and pantry design
- Trim and trim details (i.e. molding)
- Selection of materials
- Plumbing fixtures
- Lighting fixtures
- Flooring – carpet, tile, wood, tile and stone
- Stairway Railings
- Instructional guidance – tile layouts, trim layouts, cabinetry layouts, spec sheets so the sub-contractors know what they are doing- this makes their day so much better!
- Paint/wall treatments
Ok, you built the perfect house and got your tubes tied but now you’re pregnant with triplets, or…………..you built the perfect house and now it’s 15 years later and you haven’t touched it but for some reason having guests over just doesn’t feel as good as it used to, or……………..you bought the perfect old charming home that is 150 years old, but then realized you have more than 2 pairs of shoes, 3 shirts and one skirt- a closet may be nice!
We do the same process above all over again, only now we manhandle or in some of our cases womanhandle many of the remodels ourselves.
How would you like to have the same person to develop the plan, make the selections and be there as the General of the job to make sure it all is as planned – yep, that’s us! On many remodels, we can and do:
- Hire the subcontractors
- Manage the job
- Create and manage the schedule
- Order all materials
- Work with the city regarding permits
- Make it all come together
Ok, now the house is done, the remodel is done and the reveal is coming. Most think our job starts here, it starts waaaaaay before here but this is the fun part. This is the frosting on the cake for us, the dressing on the salad, the jewelry on the outfit, the cherry on top, the…………………..ok you get it.
We employ our own Faux Finisher for the best of any wall treatments around. We control the schedule and the outcome. We do bomb window coverings and treatments, we sell the best tile and know what to do with it, we have the jewelry of the home – lighting. And we know the right scale and amount of light you need. We have the coolest furniture, accessories and artwork and we deliver it with our own hands, hang it, place it and perfect it.
Wanna sell your home faster- call us – we do staging of homes too and we will make it memorable and get you noticed.
Wanna just pick our brain and then you do all this on your own? Okay, you can – we love to share our ideas and have lots of them. We break it down and only charge for our consulting time, how simple is that?!
I could spend so much time telling you more about all the areas above, but I would lose you. Just know we know- We know the questions to ask, the options that are out there, the requirements in using them, and how it all goes together. It’s not a knack, it’s a skill. You do what you do, I’ll come to you when I need your product or service and you come to us when you need ours- deal?