There are as many design aesthetics as there are people in the world. So when a client asks us, “what is your favorite style?” the best answer is, “it does not matter in the slightest.”
This is probably the most common question that people ask us.
It is perfectly reasonable to assume that an architect that has certain aesthetic preferences is going to create a design for a client using his or her architectural bias. There are many architects who can be approached to produce the same look they have fashioned many times before.
At Joseph Spierer Architects, our philosophy is different. When a client asks us, “What is your favorite style?” we respond with, “Our favorite style is your favorite style.” Although vague, this line perfectly expresses our core belief. Our goal is to draw out of our clients the design style that defines who they are and enhance it.
You may be thinking, “But you are the architect. I don’t know the first thing about design!” The fact of the matter is that people have more design opinions than they think, and a clear, well thought out architectural pre-design process is what draws that vision out of them.
Our Home Pre-Design Process:
Step 1 - Questions: We begin by asking a great many questions. Beyond the typical, “How many bedrooms” type questions, we ask, “What is your morning routine like?” or “When you entertain, what does that look like?”
Step 2 - Observation: We try to have the first meeting at the client’s existing home. This allows us to observe how the clients live and move throughout their home. We can also find out what they like and do not like about their present conditions. More questions are asked: "Do you have enough storage?" "Do you like to cook? How does your current kitchen meet your needs?" There are many others that appear as we learn more about how you live and how you might like to live.
Step 3 - Imagery: This is another good way for our team to draw out a client’s sense of style. We ask the clients to create a portfolio of images that they like. They are asked to clip pictures out of magazines, take photographs of homes they like in their neighborhood, and create online portfolios. These can be images of home exteriors, interiors, landscape, small design elements, or even pieces of art. Combined with additional pictures we provide, we then discuss all of the images collectively and the particular elements they like about each one.
Step 4 - Synthesis: It is then our job to take all of this data and create.
There are as many design aesthetics as there are people in the world. So when a client asks us, “what is your favorite style?” the best answer is, “it does not matter in the slightest.” Your architect should deliver a product that satisfies all of your needs and design sensibilities, bringing your personal style to the surface. After all, you are the client.