A dream home? Your dream home.
There are many ways to build a home. Tran + Thomas has used their years in residential and commercial construction to redesign and refine the process…
The “selections” or design process builders have their clients use, is created for the builder, not the client. T+T saw this issue long ago and has since, dramatically improved that process for not only the clients, but for their builder as well. This T+T process saves construction delays and costs while eliminating doubt, frustration and decision fatigue. In addition, T+T simultaneously addresses the interior furnishings and soft goods, so within days or even hours of the home’s completion, the new owners can begin to live in it. That fast, that perfectly. Tran + Thomas!
As of late, the importance of a hard working home has never been more evident or it’s calling more essential. Jill Tran, and Carmen Thomas of Tran + Thomas have a combined 40+ years of experience in both residential and commercial construction, so you can be absolutely sure you are in excellent hands. You’ll save sleepless nights, time, money… with T+T, building really can be a wonderful and joyful journey!
HOW T+T DESIGNS DREAM HOMES:
(Note: Many of these steps occur simultaneously)
STEP 1: SELECTION OF YOUR ARCHITECT AND/OR BUILDER
The people you ultimately choose to guide you through the designing and building process will completely change your experience and the final outcome. Completely. The people are what make all the difference and your home is too important to have anyone “learn” on your dime, so experience matters tremendously. Your entire team will naturally persuade and expose you to different ideas and solutions based on their knowledge and backgrounds, so the most important decisions you can make on this journey is selecting WHO is by your side. How do you know who to trust?
T+T has worked with top talents in the residential design and construction industry for years; home after home. Our top designers’ 40+ years of construction experience can help best match you with compatible architects and builders and even guide you with the right questions to ask, so you can compare apples to apples and be 100% confident about your dream team.
STEP 2: TRAN + THOMAS’ CLIENT INTERVIEW PROCESS
It is one thing to hear what a client’s needs, wants and desires are, but it is quite another to understand, forecast and deliver them. That is a one of the big differences between T+T and others. The most important part of the process for our designers, is getting to know you. After 40+ years of delighting our clients, our interview process has become a finely crafted series of questions and a study of you. Your health, happiness, stressors, habits, legacy, joys, triumphs and plans are just some of the topics to be covered. It is a wonderful process that our clients enjoy very much, and often they learn about themselves and each other. There have been many times T+T has helped to separate what our clients think they want, and discover what their hearts are really singing about. Given the right amount of time and care, this step is vitally important to a wonderful finished product and a truly happy client. This process is what will steer all of the design decisions.
STEP 3: ARCHITECT MEETINGS AND/OR INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE CONSULTING
Because of the T+T process, our designers will have an even deeper understanding of how you will use your spaces than your architect and builder. Your designer is the glue that holds all aspects of the process together. It is important, if you are still in the architectural stage that your T+T designer attend architectural meetings or be able to study the blueprints before construction begins. She will have a very different perspective and will likely have questions, suggestions, proposed changes and ideas. With the ultimate goal of your new home to serve it’s greater purpose, we want to begin to elevate it with foresight using a sophisticated and streamlined approach. Changes and/or improvements made at this stage save money and time.
STEP 4: ANALYZING/BUDGETING/NEGOTIATING CONSTRUCTION COSTS AND ALLOWANCES
Just like cars, the budgets for custom homes can range drastically. They can look great at first glance on paper, but those numbers may actually only get you bare bones. One person’s upgrade is another person’s basic selection and each builder is different. How do people know what features they want and if they are being given the budget for those levels? How do they know if the builder’s budgets are even reasonable? Enter your experienced designer.
With our top designers having selected construction finishes and furnishings in both commercial and residential for 40+ years, our designers can quickly tell you if your allowances are sensible and reflect your true expectations. They can help with setting budgets, analyzing existing budgets and negotiating realistic numbers. Our designers are experts at eliminating disappointment, unnecessary add-ons and futile change orders.
STEP 5: SPACE PLANNING
People. We all want to live in a space that cradles us as individuals, makes our lives easier, and welcomes those we love. There are formulas, theories and studies that try and create the perfect space plan, but there is really only one place your perfect plan can come from: your people. Ever walk into a home and you can’t put your finger on why you feel uncomfortable or don’t like it? T+T are masters at conveying and translating the needs of your lifestyle to paper and 3-D, to eliminate those odd feelings. Flow, privacy and thinking to the future are just the beginning of truly creating your masterful space plan. Another advantage to a well done space plan? Addressing any architectural or construction changes early on to save you time and money. Before any colors are chosen, tile is selected or lighting is chosen, we start here. Function and solutions before beauty.
STEP 6: CREATION OF LIGHTING LAYOUTS AND/OR ELECTRICAL PLANS
Lighting is it’s own layer of design and construction. Tremendous consideration must be used to create not only a highly functional lighting plan, but a pleasing one. Task lighting, decorative lighting and accent lighting all need to be decided upon very early in the process. Not only that, but that plan must include all of the exact light fixtures to be used, even before the builder asks for them (another issue with the builder process). T+T clients have that information on time and on budget, so there are no delays and the home’s finished lighting is spectacular.
STEP 7: SELECTION OF FINISHES
What will the material, texture and color of every surface be? The number of products on the market seems endless, but what is right for you is quite finite and it is very easy to go down the wrong rabbit holes. With products ranging in quality, style, durability and price… How do you know which is right for your home?
The T+T designers are immersed in this constantly changing wonderland of construction materials. Their formal training in new products, industry improvements, sources and technology in not only residential, but commercial products, are a unique resource you just can’t find anywhere else. T+T clients get the advantage of this knowledge to broaden your home’s solutions, durability and even cost effectiveness. This selection process can happen in either local showrooms and/or T+T will provide samples/photos of each item from additional sources.
After selecting each finish, each must then be reported in the language your builder and subcontractors expect and understand, along with all of the additional needed instructions, specifications and/or special requests. Details left out, shortcuts removed and any mistakes lost in translation cost money, delays and frustration. However, with 40+ years doing just that, our top designers will not only create those documents for you, but address any foretold questions, using their past experiences.
Most selections needed for each space typically include:
- Doors and trim
- Fireplace design
- Handles and pulls
- Arches and doorways
- Any other special features
STEP 8: CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTATION, DRAWINGS AND DETAILS
Construction documents are for the more focused details of the home and are the next step in the design continuum. These document drawings present distinct design challenges, as well as the potential for creative, wonderful solutions. T+T will provide these sketches and/or digital drawings of each area, such as:
- Wall trim details
- Ceiling details
- Cabinetry design
- Wet and dry bar design
- Fireplace facades
- Staircase elements and details
- Shower and bathtub construction and design
- Any additional unique details
STEP 9: CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION & COMMUNICATIONS WITH YOUR BUILDER
For many clients, this may be the first time they have built a custom home and we understand starting something so new and large can be daunting and overwhelming. That’s why, during the construction administration phase, we act almost like a client advocate through the entire process. We work with the builder to ensure everything is able to run as smooth as possible and our client’s needs are met.
Issues or design questions will arise during construction and T+T will be there to address those and resolve issues quickly. Whim changes while walking the job site may sound good at the time, but can actually cause delays, additional costs and can alter original and well thought out intentions. Those changes can be eliminated with forethought, planning and a completed design. Your designer has all of that information and is there to be sure quick mistakes aren’t made and if there is a desire to make changes or additions during the process, the correct products are still appropriate and the full design will support those new changes.
STEP 10: SELECTION OF FURNISHINGS, LIGHTING, SOFT GOODS, ETC.
Half of a home is the structure, with the other half being the items gracing the interior. The pieces you touch every day; furnishings, window treatments, lighting, rugs, artwork, accessories… So often, choosing, ordering and coordinating these are an afterthought to the home’s construction selections, usually due to decision fatigue. However, not addressing those items until after the selection process is complete means more months of decisions and then moving in to an new, empty house, which to most is quite disappointing. With T+T, once your home is ready for occupancy, within only another day or two, our staff will move all of your new items in and you can start living in your new home immediately! Imagine walking in and everything is in the perfect spot, the art and drapes are hung and the lamps are on. Done!
The process starts with an inventory of any existing precious antiques or family heirloom furnishings that must make their way to the new home. T+T will then give each a carefully appointed new home location in the new home’s design. Any other pieces needed can be provided by T+T. With interior design having been the family business since 1982, T+T offers our clients trust and peace of mind on each and every new item for their new home. Our clients benefit from our 20+ years at the world’s largest furniture and accessory markets curating our 300+ tried and true vendors. We know what is out there and available and can bring the perfect pieces to you. Ever see a piece of furniture that looks beautiful in a photo, but awful in person? The opposite is just as true. There is no telling how many treasures you have missed because it photographed poorly! We represent our clients by having seen, touched and studied their items in person which allows us to ensure the quality, finish and sit…and bring them some truly special pieces. Our relationships with our vendors also allow us to get better pricing for our clients while shielding them from the poor quality pieces that saturate the market and will soon cost them in replacements. T+T will select every item you need in the right size, color, fabric, finish, quality, etc. Never experience buyers remorse again! T+T offers:
- Upholstered furnishings
- Casegoods (non-upholstered furnishings)
- Window treatments
- Art and accessories
- Much more!
STEP 11: DESIGN PRESENTATIONS
One of the most enjoyable parts of the T+T experience are your personal design presentations. These are wonderful meeting where you are shown completely custom ideas, solutions and sketches created just for you. T+ T will provide samples of finishes, fabric swatches and images to represent each element of your custom design. From finishes to furniture, everything you asked for, hoped for and more are presented to you in easy to understand way. These are the most creative, imaginative and expressive moments of your custom home building experience.
STEP 12: PROCUREMENT / OBTAINING OF FURNISHINGS, LIGHTING, SOFT GOODS, ETC.
Retail is limiting and exhausting. Online is risky and time consuming…the shipping process alone will make one crazy with 1/3 of all todays shipments (including “white glove”) arriving damaged! T+T’s direct relationships with our 300+ curated vendors allows our clients to get more unique and pieces for better pricing…yes, but what is almost better than that? We confirm, track and handle ALL of the shipping issues.
STEP 13: RECEIVING, INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT OF PRODUCT
It is hard to believe that 36% of items shipped today (including “white glove delivery”) arrive broken, torn, chipped, scratched or incorrect in some way. Thirty-six percent! Our staff removes that tremendous burden off our client’s shoulders by receiving, inspecting, repackaging, returning and again receiving all of those items. In addition, T+T handles all of the paperwork and shipping claims for our clients and packing materials are disposed of while being recycled whenever possible. You will never be troubled with the hours of that stress and every piece will be perfect!
Some of our vendors have worked with our family started interior design business since the 1980’s! Like an old friend, those long-term relationships have built a great deal of trust that we share with our clients. Wowing and delighting our clients is a top priority and it is our long line of trusted resources and people that help us do just that.
Once each item arrives in excellent condition, it is stored in a clean, temperature controlled environment until it’s debut. Should your project be delayed, we are prepared to safely hold all of your items until your new home is ready.
STEP 14: FURNITURE INSTALLATION AND “THE BIG REVEAL”
T+T is the white glove of white glove delivery. Our installers care. All furnishings are blanketed and tied before leaving our warehouse and are again, inspected as they are carried into your new home.
The T+T staff takes great pride in our final installation processes. We handle all of the tiniest details for you. The process starts as rugs and their pads are perfectly laid. The drapes will begin to go up while the furniture is carried in and placed just so. Lamps will be bulbed with cords meticulously hidden, while artwork and family photos are given thoughtful, new homes and hung with care. Beds are made, flowers are arranged and accessories are scrupulously displayed. These are the last few moments you have dreamed of, from the first day you decided to build. This is the day when your new house moves from a beautiful, empty structure and T+T transforms it into your gorgeous and comfortable new home. Everything is perfect. Everything is done. T+T handled it all for you. You walk in. Welcome home!
We would just be delighted to meet and talk with you about building your new home!
Please reach out and let’s get the conversation started. Simply call or email: our office 913-268-9595 or firstname.lastname@example.org , carmen@tranthomasdesign or through our website. We are excited to hear from you!
ADDITIONAL DESIGN SERVICES AVAILABLE:
Often, our clients are so pleased with their design and design process, they ask that we also help with their exterior selections and design. We are always happy to help! Some of the exterior selections we typically help with:
- Finish locations
- Roofing materials
- Garage doors
- Exterior hardware
- Lighting and light fixtures
- Decks and patios
- Pool design
- Fire elements
- Outdoor water features
- Hard and soft landscape and gardens
FURNITURE DISPOSAL / RE-PURPOSE
As your furniture partner, let us take these any unwanted pieces off your hands and arrange for their reuse by community organizations or sold and the money goes right into your pocket. If the product is too old or worn to be re-purposed, we can even ensure they are recycled into new, usable products or properly disposed of. All this helps keep unnecessary pieces out of the landfill.
About Tran + Thomas
Built on the foundation of a 30-year, family-owned Interior Design business, Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas opened Tran + Thomas Design Studio in 2011 bringing a combined 36 years of experience to their projects. They work on both residential and commercial projects across several styles. Interested in their services? Call (913) 268-9595 or schedule a consultation below.