How To Get Your Dream Home Designed Right – The Written Brief

How Brief Should Your Design Brief Be

A perfect cup of coffee. Mmm, the aroma. One teaspoon of coffee. Half a teaspoon of sugar. Hot milk. Stir. Serve. Enjoy.

So, despite these instructions, why is it that your coffee tastes like… filtered sawdust?

The problem is CLARITY

How big is the cup? One teaspoon. Level or heaped? How much milk? Seems pretty simple doesn’t it?
We trundle along life, passing basic instructions that often require more clarity: Make a perfect cuppa, detail my car, create a ball gown, make me a gorgeous birthday cake.

It’s like we expect others to walk inside our skull and shake hands with our brain? Now that really can’t happen. Or can it? Yes it can.

The solution, is a Design Brief. Let me explain.

What is a Design Brief

Basically a fancy term for instructions. That’s it. But forget the word ‘brief’. It should be anything but brief. For crystal clear instructions, you need isolation, I-S-O-L-A-T-I-O-N

Remember the sawdust coffee. Let’s improve that by isolating its elements. You will need

  1. One medium size cup – 250ml
  2. Sugar – One level teaspoon(approx 5ml)
  3. Coffee – NESCAFÉ GOLD powder. One and half teaspoon(approx 7.5ml)
  4. Milk – leave some room. Stop 15mm from lip of cup

Add the above in the order shown. Heat in microwave for 1min, 20sec. Stir. Then add more milk to fill the cup. Serve. Mmm.

Well the isolation may not get you the perfect cuppa. But it darned sure will get it pretty close.

Instant coffee can be made in an instant. Well, say 2 minutes. And if you don’t like it, you throw it away. Time wasted. Two minutes. Money wasted, say three dollars.(I drink cheap coffee)

So what about the design engagement that is likely to cost you thousands

Can you throw this away like bad coffee. Do you want to find this out when you’re sunk in the couch, with your feet up, and started to sip. I don’t think so. If it was me, I’d want to know this at the very start. And hurrah there is a very simple method to do this.

The Simple Method

Your instructions have to be WRITTEN and CLEAR. That’s it. Pretty simple eh?

Well do you know what to WRITE and how to be CLEAR? You probably don’t. That is why you have a Design Brief (yes I know, I cringe at the terminology, but lets play the game)

When Should I Do A Design Brief(cough…cough, splutter)

A design brief starts to brew when you meet with your designer and discuss your design.

You need to meet with your designer in person(if not possible, then phone, skype, chat, tom-tom, whatever, some means of a two way conversation) But in person is best.

Now here’s the trick

You don’t have to write anything. Yes, Nada. Zip. Talk, just talk through your dreams.

Warn your designer before commencing the meeting that you will expect a Written and Clear brief from him(or her) the day after the meeting.

If he/she can’t agree, then sayonara. Adios amigo. No meeting necessary. That simple.

If he can’t put on paper what you’ve mutually discussed. YOU have no way of knowing what he understood. And therefore is going to produce. Sawdust coffee anyone?

Now can I make this any clearer? Perhaps not.

But of course the coffee to go

  1. I-s-o-l-a-t-e the brief into its elements
  2. Written and Clear design guidelines
  3. Get your designer to demonstrate the above to YOU. If he can’t, then adios.

Have you recently engaged or are going to engage someone to design your dream house? Do you have written and clear set of instructions? If not, then it might be time to start making yourself another cuppa…


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