How to work with an Interior Designer

As a prospective client you should:

  • Be found. Finding the right designer begins with your willingness to be found. Designers are almost always looking for good clients, so being found is just as important as finding. Widen your circle of friends and family to let other trusted professionals or style-mavens know that you are looking for interior design services. Referrals are often shared among realtors, architects and even editors of local home or style magazines. Someone you know is in the know.
  • Be clear. If you have a vision for how you want to live, it’s time to show and tell. Keep a scrapbook, rip pages from magazines, go to show houses and go beyond good looks to imagine how your interiors need to function and feel. But don’t be overwhelmed with all the options. Designers are skilled at refining the choices, and can help avoid costly mistakes.
  • Be business-like. Interior design is like any other professional service business involving practical and technical consideration, as well as style and imagination. The design process can involve many phases, so expect a thorough description of what’s to be done, when and by whom, and a reasonable estimate of time and cost to complete the project. Design fees are becoming standard means of compensation for the true value of design. And remember time is money and the value of a designer’s time is just as worthwhile as the client’s. Therefore, be clear and minimize making changes.
  • Be open. The key to interior design is good communication, especially between designer and client. And with all the communication technology available, it should be easy. It need not be 24/7, just clear, accurate and timely. Hey, we all have lives.
  • Be confident. Golden rules apply here. Throughout the design experience, you can be confident that if you are a good client, your designer will more than surprise and delight you. The best clients respect their designer’s judgment when it comes to well-edited choices. And the best designers are always respectful of a client’s time and money. So when the initial vision is realized, you will simply love to come home.
Why Hire An Interior Designer

Let’s face it, we all have particular areas we are gifted, and other areas, not so much.  It makes good sense to seek trusted advisors to help us achieve the excellent results we are really after.  Gifted interior designers help solve tricky problems and creatively make your home uniquely you.  That can be a happy, satisfying and rewarding relationship between your designer and you, the client.  That relationship is what yields what we all want in the first place:  intimate and shared spaces that we can present proudly to family and friends; design that reflects our personal style and values; a simpler and strategic method to overcome the complexities of decorating; and reassurance and guidance from a trusted advisor so expensive mistakes can be avoided.  That’s why you hire an interior designer…the unique relationship between the client and designer result in a home that is uniquely you without expensive mis-steps.

What Does An Interior Designer Do?

Good results come with a good plan and excellent processes; think delicious meals and great recipes.  Anyone can buy ingredients, but only masters create works of art.  The same is true with interior designers.  With deep respect for their clients’ time and finances, they pull together disparate pieces in such a wonderful and logical way that its common for clients to comment “I never would have thought of doing that” “It’s so us!”  As is often true with new experiences, there can be misconceptions about what it will be like.  Some people worry that hiring a designer will be too expensive, or that they will lose control and end up with a home that does not reflect their style.  In actuality, clients are thrilled that “We stayed within our budget” “We worked as a team” “We are in love with the results.”  Your interior designer can help you accomplish even more than you might imagine.  She can help you define your vision by asking good questions first, then listen and observe, and only when you both have a clear idea of where you are going do you take the next steps.  That’s what a good interior designer does, she listens first, designs next and then executes only after you both agree, so you get more for your money in less time.

What Can I Expect From My Designer?

As your interior designer I will work closely with you to achieve what is right for you.  As your advisor and advocate, I discover certain things about how you want to live, so I can then design a solution that is functional, sequential, reliable, and uniquely you.  The process is multi-faceted, coordinating creative, technical, and financial solutions to achieve your desired result.  These solutions often result in an enhancement of the life and culture of you and your loved ones and are aesthetically pleasing.  It begins with exploring to uncover what is and what could be right for you.  Interior design is a business, so the process works best when both you and I are rewarded.  Mutual benefits ensure mutual success which is described in a thorough agreement between you and me, including what is to be done, schedules, the responsibilities of each party and financial terms and conditions that satisfy both of us.  Once your goals are defined and agreed to, design concepts and drawings document the functional, aesthetic, material and finish selections that will, with your approval, determine how your design will come to fruition.  These guide the selection and specification of furniture, fixtures, and finishes that conform to mutually agreed budgets, schedules, and technical compliance.  It may be necessary for me as your designer, while always acting on your behalf, to coordinate and collaborate with others like architects and various contractors to execute the design all the way to conclusion of your beautiful home.  So, what you can expect from your designer is that the process will be stable and reliable in the confident and gifted hands of a professional.