Architects are often the unsung heroes of home improvement projects, working behind the scenes to quite literally create the scene itself. Even so, the quiet diligence with which they design spaces big and small is more influential than many realize. While there are many architects that work on large-scale, commercial projects, others work on projects of varying scope and size, from those with seemingly endless budgets and building size to the residential project whose homeowner has saved up for years to do a kitchen remodel. If you’re an architect, you are a valuable member of the project team, working with engineers, interior designers, and builders to deliver just what your clients want, bringing their dreams of the ideal space to a reality. Whether working in Back Bay or on the South Shore, you have a tremendous amount of value to offer, even on home improvement projects. Below are just a few of the ways you matter.
Architects offer a perspective to projects that is vastly important to keep a client’s best interests front and center. The voice you lend to a project offers:
Life -- As you keep local building codes in mind, you ensure the safety and protection of homeowners and all their inhabitants. Ensuring that designs are created with the most current regulations in mind is an essential part of the process.
Liberty -- While you can often “be your own boss”, this isn’t the liberty in question. Your designs give homeowners the ability to be comfortable at home, as your work helps them maximize space, utility, and design.
Architecture is, by nature, life-giving. You are in the business of creating space, often from scratch. With that comes a great responsibility to enthrall clients, whether it be an individual homeowner or entire neighborhoods, with responsible blueprints. Regardless of project location or size, you are charged with creating space for continued enjoyment, not just space for space’s sake. You have the ability to make once sterile and uncomfortable rooms feel like home for those that you work with, giving them to opportunity to in turn share that gift with everyone who enters their threshold. The places you create, especially where residential projects are concerned, are powerful because everyone wants a place to be and enjoy.
A recent survey found that “the most frequent Myers-Briggs personality type among the architects was ENTJ — extraversion, intuition, thinking, and judging.” Your tribe tends to do its own thing, but a love for people and relationships is present beneath that entrepreneurial spirit. Architects aren’t just free to do whatever they want, however. Your job is even better -- you have the freedom within your trade to do the right thing. In the
world of home improvement, you have the opportunity to make sure a residential space adds that same element of freedom for the homeowner, allowing them to maximize their cabinet space, seat multiple people at an island, or open up a room by removing archaic walls from their existing floorplan. Your insight and skill should come through in not just the plans you draw up, but the end result others can experience.
3. The Pursuit of Homey-ness
Working with your client, not only are you responsible for ensuring the safety of a building and its people, you’re often the one who controls the weather by directing contractors and builders as to how to construct something. Your carefully detailed plans set trends that affect residential, commercial, and recreational spaces for decades to come – and the enjoyment of people within. There is lasting value in your work, appreciated by your clients and their community from the outside and in. Sometimes a project may cause you to rewrite the book rather than preserve it, but a willingness to do both is essential for moving home design beyond being just functional.
While an architect is many things -- artist, colleague, collaborator, visionary -- most importantly you are a person, and that should be clear with every stroke of the pencil or click of the mouse. Plans start, after all, in the mind long before your thoughts and knowledge are applied to paper. For your next project, be thoughtful, be bold, be helpful, and remember that you lend a powerful voice to the project team that has a lasting impact on the homeowners you work with.
Finding the Right Products to Make It Happen
In the architect’s role as a 'specifier', you rely on the products you select to make a home special and functional for your client. Your local building supply retailer can be an invaluable resource to keep you up to date on what’s new and trending in the shelter industry. Many have beautiful showrooms that can be a tremendous asset for showing your clients windows, doors, hardware and cabinetry, educating them to make the best decisions on what materials will accentuate the designs you are helping them create.