Learning Styles Drive Design

Schematic Rendering of a New Bathroom Layout

Schematic Rendering of a New Bathroom Layout

It's common for homeowners to have trouble visualizing the impact a remodel will have on their daily life. It can be difficult to see past the ugly, outdated and broken cabinets, dirty grout, dull lighting and cramped spaces they've lived with for years. It's even more difficult for a new homeowner to fully understand how they will function in their kitchen or bathroom because they haven't moved in to fully experience the space.

One way to alleviate anxiety of the unknown and unexperienced is to work closely with a trusted design professional and remodeling team. They listen to current problems, even if experienced in another home, to address them from the start with a Schematic Design phase. As a result, homeowners gain a greater level of comfort and trust before tearing up their home and spending money on their remodel. 

We recently came across the concept of how "learning styles" impact the way we communicate design changes when we realized one of our clients would benefit from us mapping out changes in blue tape on her bathroom floor. She learns by experiencing, versus the way most of us learn, which is visually. 

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of us are visual learners. Designers are particularly high in this learning style. This means we can picture the remodeling outcome in our head and imaginations before we can describe it to our clients. Usually we use tools like 3D, photo-realistic perspectives to help homeowners understand the transformation on a computer screen before their existing kitchen or bathroom has been taken apart. In this way, most homeowners get excited as the designs take hold in their imaginations. They can feel comfortable with approving designs. 

Painters Tape Showing New Bathroom Layout

Painters Tape Showing New Bathroom Layout

Others, may need a different approach; a Verbal/Auditory learner (about 30% of the population) responds to clearly explained details. And an Experiential learner (a mere 5% of the population), like the client mentioned above, needed a more physical approach. That's why it was important that we took the extra time to use blue painter's tape to mark the new layout in the existing bathroom. Only after moving around the space and experiencing the new configuration, could she be confident enough to move forward. At the end of the exercise, this client asked, “Does this make me a visual learner?” This was an interesting question causing us to wonder and ask ourselves the same thing. We did a bit of research and found a useful tool. By taking this quiz ourselves, we confirmed that she is a kinesthetic learner and we’ve changed our communication style accordingly to help her feel more comfortable.  

All of us have a combination of the three learning styles, to varying degrees, usually with one or two stronger than the other(s).  

Our team took this quiz to discover our own learning styles, so we could relate to each other and our clients more effectively. While the quiz is geared toward students, it still provided interesting insight. Our results:

  • Alisa, Principal Designer, is 55% Visual, 30% Tactile and 15% Auditory
  • Irma, Senior Designer, is 70% Visual, 0% Tactile and 30% Auditory
  • Peggy, Project Coordinator, is 50% Visual, 25% Tactile and 25% Auditory

At Design Set Match we desire every remodeling process to be as smooth as possible for our clients and we're always looking for ways to communicate effectively. Being transparent with each other increases our opportunities for success. 

How might knowing your style help your Design and Remodeling Team assist you in fully understanding and planning your kitchen or bath remodel?