I have often heard the comment "you can tell an architect was involved with this" when friends are talking about a renovation or a remodel. This is not to bestow some type of all knowing talent to the architect, rather it implies that someone thinks that the renovation possesses characteristics of style, proportion and balance that they tend to associate with a piece of architecture.
WRITE IT DOWN
When planning a renovation you should spend time developing your scope. Write it down. It can be a simple paragraph, but by writing it down you start to commit yourself to the project.
GATHER SOME IMAGES
It is also very helpful both for you and your architect if you can compile a good number of images of things you like. (window seats, counter tops, lights, windows, etc) You can rip these out of magazines or post them on the internet in a place such as an Idea book on the website Houzz. A picture really does paint a thousand words.
TALK TO AN ARCHITECT
You will constantly hear us beat the dead horse of stating that Renovation is an "exercise in prioritization", but if you can simply state what it is you want to do and accompany that with some photos of components that you find appealing you will be well on your way to developing the scope.
An Architect can be a great resource in helping you filter through this content, discover patterns, and navigate through potential problem areas to help get your renovation planning process off to a clear and productive start. You can retain an architect for a very reasonable hourly fee at the beginning of the project to help you prioritize what you need to do so that your renovation ends up looking like a beautiful piece of architecture.