As part of the design assessment, remodeler Tricia Sinn of Sinn Design Build in St. Louis asks clients to describe how they will use their newly remodeled rooms and home. That discussion then expands into further questions about the placement of favorite pieces of furniture, antiques, paintings, and sculptures, as well as the client's needs with regard to new furniture and window coverings.
“Most upscale remodeling clients have antiques and expensive furniture they want to incorporate into the new space,” Sinn says. As an interior designer, Sinn considers these things part of the remodel, and clients benefit from her experience. By giving consideration to aspects of the project beyond just the walls, at the conclusion of each project, Sinn has happier clients, she says.
“We have a lot of older homes in our area. They are large — usually around 7,000 square feet, but with many small rooms. We're usually asked to create an open floor plan, but clients don't understand the true size of the large room,” Sinn says.
She measures the pieces of furniture clients want to keep and adds these pieces to the room in the design software. “I move the piece around until I find a place for it,” she says.
If clients want to purchase new furniture or window coverings, Sinn shops with them and then orders the pieces, which is a profit center for her company.
In a recent project, she helped the homeowners place the pieces of their art collection and use lighting to showcase each one.
Sinn says upscale clients are sophisticated and understand the need for an interior designer. “Usually they would hire a decorator. When you bring the service to them, they value that,” she explains, noting that this also prevents prospects from seeking other bids.
Also, as an interior designer, Sinn evaluates the function of the space as a whole, versus decorators who solely address color and furniture. She also works with the company's subcontracted architects to make sure the clients' needs are fulfilled. These services differentiate her company from other remodelers in the area.
“By taking design one step further, you create a really loyal client,” Sinn says.