The Women of The Design Team
By: Annie Dittberner
Photo courtesy of: The Camera Shop
For 20 years, The Design Team has been one of Central Minnesota’s premier home design specialists. From young families and first time buyers to older couples looking to downsize, The Design Team works with homeowners, contractors, lumberyards and realtors to develop original residential designs.
“We design homes to fit our client’s lifestyle,” says designer Tricia Peters. “Everyone is different. Every home is different. It’s important for us to always focus on the client and to listen to what they’re saying.”
Within five years of its founding, The Design Team employed a staff of 11, including designers, drafters and an office manager. When the 2008 recession hit, however, they fell to four employees. Now, The Design Team is comprised of seven women — each of whom add a unique touch to creative home design.
“We all get along really well,” manager and designer Betsy Rakotz says. “It’s easy to communicate and we really work as a team. Every day, there’s questions flying around and everyone is open to offering an opinion.”
Since The Design Team completes nearly 1,000 projects each year, Betsy says it’s important for the team to work efficiently and communicate effectively.
“There are so many different markets that we have to understand,” Betsy says. “We know what needs to happen, so we take a lot of time to interview clients up front in order to provide their home needs.”
Guiding you to your dream home
In the beginning stages, designers from The Design Team sit down with their client for an information-gathering meeting.
“What’s more important than your home?” Tricia says. “It’s about how we can be a part of making it an enjoyable place to be.”
The Design Team discusses architectural style, square footage, lot requirements and budget with their client. After the initial consultation meeting, the designer will provide an estimate and go over the design strategy. Once the client approves the design, The Design Team prepares final construction documents.
“We’ve been doing this a long time so it’s become second nature to us,” Betsy says. “We like to think globally about the house. There are a lot of aspects to putting together a home and it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to do that.”
Since the building codes and complexity of homes have become more stringent, their team understands the importance of putting the customer first.
“As a homeowner coming to us, you are in control of the plan,” Tricia says. “Making our clients feel comfortable is part of our process of listening. We figure it all out in the planning stages. You learn a lot about people.”
Changing of the times
Depending on a client’s desired level of design, The Design Team uses new technologies like 3D drafting, visual walk- throughs and a virtual reality system as methods for clients to get a clearer picture of the home they envision.
“The Design Team is a good choice for your home design because we care about you. With 20 years of experience we are efficient, creative and affordable. Remember, good design doesn’t cost; it pays” Betsy says.
From start to finish, The Design Team provides clients with the tools to design their dream home.