While collaborating in late 2019 on a high-end, single-family home reconstruction in Southeastern Connecticut, architect Hope Proctor and interior designer Caryn Paradis had a revelation—
their collaboration was yielding a greater overall value for the client because the insight they received from each other helped both produce better work. They also concluded that adding other skilled and like-minded A/E/C professionals would create a formidable team that would benefit each participant, as well as the project.
REDESIGN IS BORN
The pair contacted a builder they both knew and liked, Peter Giordano, Jr, of Prominent Development, to weigh his interest. After a few meetings and some robust discussion, The REdesign Collective was born.
More than a networking group, but not a formal company, the REdesign Collective is focused on high-end residential renovation and construction projects on the coasts of Connecticut and Rhode Island. In addition to Proctor Architecture LLC, Caryn Paradis Interior Design and Prominent Development, the Collective includes Tim Bray of Seaport Real Estate Advisors. Giordano’s son, Peter III, of Adaptive Strategist, adds his marketing and operations skills to help the Collective move forward as a group.
“I’ve been in networking groups before, and the major difference with the Collective is that you don’t have to work with just anyone; these people are all at the top of their game,” says Bray. “When someone in the group is hired, they’re connected to people who can help in all areas of the process.”
Proctor says the Collective’s ideal client has the means to create a high-end residence, but not the time to search for the perfect property or to closely manage the details of design and construction. “The real estate piece makes us different from a design-build collaboration,” she says. “A potential client would ideally go to Tim, and then, without having to worry about anything else, work through the group to get their dream home completed.”
Although the Collective is still in its infancy as a defined group, team members have worked together in various configurations. One overriding principle is that every project does not need to involve every member.
“No one is threatened by competition,” says Kim Vickerman, design coordinator for Paradis Interior Design. “Peter may get a lead, but they may already have an architect or interior designer. Everyone understands that. But we all know we have people we can rely on when we need them.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, which coincided with the group’s official start, may actually increase demand for the Collective. As wealthy people move out of large cities— particularly New York City—and seek to build or renovate luxury homes in suburban areas of Connecticut or Rhode Island, opportunities grow.
“As people exit bigger cities, or work more remotely, the amenities to run a business out of the home become more important,” says Giordano, whose company has three components—Tier 1 for new construction, Harbour Towne for renovations, and Encore for property management. “
Sticking a home office in a spare bedroom isn’t enough. They need to feel comfortable working from home and be able to jump in and out of their work and home lives.”
The Collective is new enough that some aspects of its mission remain undetermined. While its prime target is high-end coastal residences, the group won’t refuse an ideal inland project. There is no stated goal to become a single corporate entity, but no one discounts the future possibility. “
We feel like this is a way we can streamline the process,” says Paradis. “We’re all seasoned professionals, and we’re aligned in many ways.
We all have the same work ethic and ethics. Projects are like a relay race, where you’re constantly passing the baton back and forth. Getting Peter’s input on what it will take for Hope’s design or our interior design to be constructed is invaluable in the planning process, and that works both ways. Knowing that we’re working with people with a common mindset makes the process so much less stressful.”