the meat in the middle of before & after
We have recently finished a project in Whistler and we have some before and after photos. My feeling is that before and after photos are often touted inappropriately as the beginning and end of the design story without revealing much about the bit in the middle. It’s precisely the process that happens between the before and after that a savvy client should want to evaluate - The meat in the middle of the sandwich so to speak. There’s a whole lot of project management and design decisions in the middle of a project – it’s the difference between on-brand, on-time and on-budget and a total nightmare of over-spending and frustration…
Inside’s ‘meat’ in the middle starts with choreographing people’s interaction with a brand’s products and services or in other words, detailing the Experience Strategy. I know, it sounds grandiose but immersive brand experiences (being inside a w hotel or your local Starbucks for example) are real and wielded by some of the world’s most profitable brands.
Let’s take a mountain resort, for example, if your brand is going for ‘classic log cabin’ your interior design approach might be plaid cushions and old snow shoes hung above the fireplace as an example. Brand Experience, in this case, would be incorporating the smell of cedar, to reinforce the log cabin experience. By perhaps burning the cedar in an open fire or adding fresh-cut logs to a faux fireplace or even adding essential oil to the air circulation system in the basement, are all ways (with differing levels of authenticity) to add to the brand experience.
Next, we then look to our Design Strategy on our approach to envision and integrate a distinctive colour palette, space planning and finishes that are both compelling and enjoyable for the target customer. This is where we tend to stay away from plaid cushions and old snow shoes hung above the fireplace just so we’re clear.
Here’s what we recently produced for a client in Whistler (Before & After). Our Experience Strategy here was ‘entertaining at home’ – designing amenities to allow for group entertaining in theses 3-bedroom central village suites. Our Design Strategy was casual, comfortable and highly textured materials.
Next time I thought it would be useful to look at the economics of a room renovation – when to determine to start a renovation, how to target that renovation and budget the renovation based on potential increased room rate. Take theses before and after – what do you think the rate was before and following the renovation? Is it months or years before your investment in design is realized?