2. Narrow It Down
I’ve found that what works best is when clients let me know what is essential and what would just be nice to include.
Remember your reality dish? Budget and space certainly help whittle down that priority list, and absolutely your architect should be part of this process. Let's say your 1,200-square-foot backyard won't accommodate your dream of an Olympic-size swimming pool. If your architect knows that you want an Olympic-size pool because you'd like a couple of 25-meter lanes for your morning lap swim, then perhaps he or she can design an alternative that will allow swimming without an entire Olympic pool.
There's no easy way to decide what is a must-have and what isn't. Budget and space considerations will take care of part of this, but plenty of time for introspection and a stab at predicting the future are equally necessary.
Only you can decide what's essential for you. Each of us is unique, and our homes reflect that — or should reflect that. A good architect will explain the pros and cons of each item on your wish list to help you make an informed decision. But the decision making is up to you.