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Q. We are in a situation where we need railings, ramps and devices for a disabled family member. Do you have any advice as to how to merge these items into our home as unobtrusively as possible?

A. You are wise to ask for professional assistance; this is considered a specialty area for designers.

I would suggest calling the ASID (Professional Interior Designers) at 216-941-3714 to connect with someone who specializes in this area.

Other sources might be Architects, and Medical Design specialists.

Q. We are considering building a new house. At what point do we bring in an interior designer as opposed to the architect? Where exactly do their functions diverge? Do you work on new homes?

A. Great question! Congratulations on asking now and not after you are into the project.

I would suggest starting with an architect. Prior to interviewing architects determine your budget, the overall look that you want in style, materials and types of spaces. Also, prepare a wish list. This helps the architect know you.

This is the important part! When you receive the first set of preliminary floor plans from the architect contact the interior designer for space planning. This part of the process will tell you if you are going to get the function you are expecting from this new space.

The best way is to do a layout plan of furniture, old and new as needed, to make certain it fits and supports your needs and desires.

Architects usually do this in a very minimal way and very frequently miss the mark when it comes to getting the best use from the area. Designers focus on this part.

If you do this on early drawings you have a chance to make changes before it gets costly. You also have an idea of how much new furniture you may need for budgeting.

I like to meet with my clients several times prior to the completion of the plans. All the flooring, cabinets, etc. can be selected for pricing so you have allowances that are tailored to you. This pre-planning is a big money saver.

I also recommend talking to a landscape designer early on. That helps to integrate the home and the materials for better planning.

If you need services at some point get that person in early for their expertise. You will not be sorry.

Reflections Interior Design, LLC offers a series of design classes several times a year that are great, for many reasons, one of which is that the information you get gives you an understanding of the design process.

This class is extremely helpful when undertaking a project of this complexity, as well as, for someone who is working on an existing property. Call us at 216-229-1000 for more information.




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Reita Bayman

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