Tips For Working With An Interior Designer (and Avoiding Disastrous Mistakes!)
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you are considering working with an interior designer for the first time, (or maybe you’ve already worked with us! – YAY!) everyone should take into account the following tips to ensure a good experience and working relationship for years to come.
1. IT IS YOUR HOME. Just because you are working with a professional, does not mean they can dictate what you want in your home. Any designer, who, for example, insists that a cherished item has to be thrown out because it does not work with their vision, does not have your best interest at heart.
2. SPEAK UP. Not only is it your home, it’s your money. You’ve taken the first step in a wise investment by hiring a professional to help create the home of your dreams. Good designers want you to be happy, and if the project is portfolio worthy then that is a plus! Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If you absolutely hate the color blue and modern design let your designer know so valuable time (and your money) is not wasted. The more detail you provide, as well as likes and dislikes, will aid in the design process. Most designers use questionnaires to learn more about your needs. Take it seriously and be detailed with your answers.
3. TELL THE DESIGNER HOW YOU LIVE. We would never recommend a silk sofa to a family with young children and pets. Does someone in the house work from home? Do you like to sleep in a totally dark room? Do you cook every meal, or do take out? Are you left or right handed? These are the types of questions to determine what products; space planning and lighting needs are best suited for your lifestyle.
4. BE REALISTIC ABOUT BUDGET. Interior Design is a luxury service. However, we can save you time and money using our expertise by selecting the right items for your home that are the right size, proportion and material. Additionally, we consider it our responsibility to also advise where to invest and where to save money.
5. READ THE CONTRACT CAREFULLY. But first, make sure there is a contract. Get everything in writing and READ IT! There are a lot of details in a project that you may not have thought about but need to know. For example, there are costs to take into consideration when working with a designer: Procurement fees, freight costs, storage, receiving and inspection may charges apply. These little expenses add up, and it is passed on to the client. It is important to ensure that a legal document confirms who is responsible for what, when the contract expires, and even how to terminate the contract. This is a business transaction that can entail thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars – make sure you (and the designer) are protected!
6. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Once again, it is your money and you want to get what you want. If you are interested in remodeling your kitchen, and found one you love in a magazine with high-end professional appliances, do some research to see what those appliances cost. For example, we had a client who loved Wolf Ranges with the red knobs. He had no idea that range it would take up a huuuuge chunk of the budget he wanted to spend on his kitchen and was angry with us because he could not afford what he wanted. Most designers can give you a ballpark idea on what you will be spending, but doing a little research ahead of time can prepare you for those numbers.
7. KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL. We are a business. Although we learn details about your lifestyle and we truly like you, personal boundaries need to be respected. As in any other business, make phone calls during business hours. Email communication is preferred during non-business hours. We do check our work emails, however, we will usually wait until the next business day to answer, unless it is an emergency or time sensitive.
8. BE PATIENT AND ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE! Like any other luxury service, relax and enjoy! Designers are here to serve YOU. We take the worry and stress out of your life and free up the time you’ve been spending on your decorating dilemma. We compare it to having a baby- you are super excited at the beginning, and then it takes time to complete, and the last few weeks are the most strenuous. Once you reach the end result, any anxieties through the process disappear when you see the beautiful creation!
Are you looking for an interior designer to guide your project? CONTACT US to get your questions answered and the process started.
Are you an interior designer or decorator looking for guidance with your business processes & procedures? I’m launching my online, digital course “The Business of Interior Design” Summer 2019. This course is chock full of processes, procedures and even pricing guides! SIGN UP HERE and receive some advance (free) business material and be the first to know when the course will be released!