The Collaborative Design Process- Part One: Overview of the Design Process

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The Collaborative Design Process- Part One: Overview of the Design Process

The Collaborative Process of Design – Part One: Overview of the Design Process
Today’s trend in Outdoor Living Spaces is the fastest growing of all home improvement options. New products and features seem to appear daily. The seemingly endless options that are available are fresh, exciting and appropriate for any setting, style or budget. We see examples of these daily in many media sources. From paver product literature, to outdoor furnishing lines, to gardening programs and the popular HGTV shows, many of us are left wondering “where would I begin to create something like this?”

If this is you, you’re not alone. Many of us see impressive examples of spaces we would love to have at our own home but don’t move forward, possibly from being overwhelmed. In many cases, we have no idea where to start, where to get materials, what elements I actually want, or what plants are appropriate for the final compliment.

This is where designers come into play. We spend our days within the world of these products and specialize in sorting out what is ideal for any specific setting. In this and upcoming blogs, I’ll be addressing many aspects of the Collaborative Process of Design. I consider this process to be the most important step in creating the ideal setting for a customer.

By “Collaborative Process” I mean working closely together with the customer. I start with a discussion about what they hope to have upon completion. How they plan to use the space to entertain guests, within their daily lives, to enjoy in different seasons and how this space will connect/relate to their existing home. In general, the process involves taking your list of desired elements, placing them into a logical, functional and aesthetic arrangement, selecting the most appropriate materials and fine tuning all of the details. It is the part of the designer to work as a “funnel” that narrows down the wide range of today’s options. This process assists the customer by handling the overwhelming task of researching and selecting elements that may work in your space. Unfortunately, many of the elements and construction practices we see on national television programs are not compatible with our freeze/thaw conditions. An experienced designer will know what materials will successfully endure our seasonal changes here in the Miami Valley. In this case experience goes beyond basic design to include a thorough knowledge of necessary construction practices and what steps must be taken to insure a long-lasting, well built investment.

Aspects I’ll be addressing soon are listed below. Be sure to check back every few months for the next part of the ongoing blog.
Part Two: The Three Primary Goals of the Design Process. Appearance, Function and Cost.
Part Three: Water and Fire. Selecting the best of these elements for your space.
Part Four: Outdoor Kitchens. Some are surprisingly affordable.
Part Five: Structural Elements in the Outdoor Living Space.
Part Six: How Plants Can Become Architectural Components. Using plants to complete a design.

The last step is to set up an appointment to have one of Siebenthalers multi-talented pool of designers visit with you at your home to help you pull together all the elements you have chosen and create the Outdoor living space of your dreams!

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