Our interior designer, Stephanie Morris, makes sure not a single detail is overlooked—not even the extra outlet for a curling iron.Our senior interior designer, Stephanie Morris, can completely change the landscape of your remodel, whether it’s a kitchen, an entire floor, or your entire home. After decades in the biz, both commercial and residential, she can bring the best of both worlds to bear in your project. She follows her own philosophy: “I use function, form, and feeling. Function is storage, traffic flow, and how you use your home. Form is materials: Granite or quartz? Hardwood or not? And feeling? That’s when people put their hands to their chest, hug us, or cry because the finished space has met most or all of their needs and it was enjoyable—even if you didn’t have a kitchen for three months,” she says.
The Design ProcessThere is no cut-and-paste, predetermined palette for your home remodel. “I tailor my services to people, and not the style or the project,” Stephanie says. “I bounce from modern farmhouse remodel to a midcentury corporate office to a modern basement.” But there is a basic process each client can expect. Here’s how Stephanie shepherds your project from drywall to drapes:
Discovery MeetingStephanie wants to walk the house, as it is, to evaluate what works and doesn’t work. She wants to see how you’re currently using—or not using—your current space. “I go and listen to the client, but I also watch the house, if you will, not just watching what they’re saying.” Her goal? To make sure clients understand what might create more frustration, even if it seems like a solution, or to create solutions for what feels like a complete dead end. “If a client tells me they’re going to have a mudroom and doors on lockers, but they have five kids who throw stuff on the floor, will that solve the problem? It might create more frustration for the family.” In that case, she’ll suggest other solutions that might work more smoothly in a family’s routine. She also uses this meeting to gauge a budget, without judgment. She wants to balance what she calls the “teeter-totter of necessity and nicety.” Meaning—a kitchen needs a refrigerator, oven, countertops—but maybe not a coffee bar. Or maybe the coffee bar gets bought from an antique shop. With a basic budget range in mind, she can customize her recommendations to fit. “I also hand-sketch in front of clients so they understand what I’m saying. They’re not just words or Pinterest images—but rather, how do I solve their problems in their house? If they look at images with a nine-foot ceiling but they have an eight-foot ceiling, it’s just not the same feeling.”
Develop a Very Detailed Scope of Work“Our scope of work is written to the point where you could practically build it tomorrow if you wanted to,” she says. That includes all the materials selections, decorating options, and considering details as small as doorknobs, light switches, and more. She’ll then go out and pull product options and include photos of them as examples, so there’s an agreement on what both the client and she are thinking in terms of style and budget. Then, we come up with floor plan options, she says. “I like to show two or three options because it’s easier to critique than invent,” she explains. “I can help put clients in the space to help them understand the function, like, ‘this spice rack is too far from my range.’”
Sign for Price RangeContracts are then presented and signed so that both parties can move forward with as much detail, transparency, and knowledge as possible.
Inputs and PlansStephanie then puts the plans, selections, descriptions, photos, installation instructions, and every other detail she can think of into a program that helps organize and manage the project. “I’m always available for questions or walk-throughs, but because we do so much organizing and detail upfront, the project will run at ease,” she says.
The End ResultOverall, having the in-house designer means you get a more streamlined process and are more satisfied with the final product. “You get a thoughtful result,” she says. “It’s not Pottery Barn, page 76. There will be a purpose to every area. You have a structure that is built to grow. We’ve built a relationship with you to solve any issues and you feel like you’ve been heard. And we’ve created an enjoyable space to look at that’s also functional, easy to clean, and safe.” But the best part, for Stephanie? “I like the people. I like to jump from project to project, to really talk with them. You know how Beyoncé turns into Sasha Fierce when she performs? I turn into somebody else. I really put myself inside the client’s home.”
Meet Stephanie and Plan For Your Kitchen RemodelGet free face-to-face advice and insider info from Stephanie on how to plan for a kitchen remodel Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., at the Titus Contracting Showroom, 12154 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville. She’ll talk about how to prepare for budget, timeline, and disruption to your home, and products, materials, and finishes. Don’t miss it! Due to limited space, registration is required: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Written by Scott Rajavuori on March 10, 2020