How to work with an interior designer
Remodeling can be an incredibly daunting task if you don’t have much (or any) decorating experience. What color scheme should you choose? Which furniture pieces will work best with the decor you already have? Where do you possibly begin? Interior design poses a challenge to even the most creative of folks.
Fortunately, interior designers are here to help! With years of experience behind them, they’re well-suited to advise and work alongside you to create the room or home of your dreams! But, teaming up with a personal decorator may be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. This brief guide will take you through the ins and outs of partnering with design experts to give you the basic information and peace of mind you need. Ready? Let’s get started!
What to expect when working with an interior designer
First and foremost, understand that an interior designer’s job is to help you make your vision a reality — they’re not there to create the space they would want for their own home. As such, they’ll set up an initial consultation with you (either at your residence or over the phone) to discuss your plans and any ideas you have. Then, a designer will go on a tour of the room(s) you want to redesign and take the necessary measurements and photographs.
During the initial consultation, you’ll discuss your goals for the project.
Once that’s done, they’ll arrange a secondary meeting to present their plans. Part of this stage typically involves showing you paint color wheels, sketches, fabric swatches, floor plans and decor and furniture catalogs so that the two of you can decide together which hues, pieces and styles you want. When you’ve agreed upon all the details, you’ll schedule a work start date. Importantly, your designer should furnish you with an estimated timeline and completion date so you can manage expectations.
The benefits of collaborating with a design expert
Here are just a few of the advantages of partnering with a personal decorator to create your ideal space:
- Reduced expenses: While hiring a designer does come at a cost, their expertise means you can avoid making pricey mistakes that you might run into if redesigning your home by yourself.
- Reliable handiwork: Painting walls, fitting light fixtures, hanging artwork — all of these activities seem like relatively simple tasks, but the truth is that it’s really easy to botch any of these jobs if you attempt to DIY. A designer’s team will produce quality work that won’t present problems years down the road.
- Expert artistry: While much of interior design has a practical element (think of lighting, for example), it often comes down to aesthetics. After all, you want a beautiful abode that makes you feel good. Designers have the skills necessary to introduce or combine a mixture of styles that embody your personality and look good doing it!
Interior decorators are experts at pairing colors and textures.
How to prepare for your first meeting
It’s true that interior designers can perform miracles. We’ve all seen the “before and after” photos to prove it! That said, there are some things you need to do on your end to help your decorator work their magic. Even if you don’t have all your design ducks in a row (yet), you must give your design partner some starting information they can use as a springboard. This includes a:
- Mood board that contains photos of styles, pieces and colors you like. This doesn’t need to be a cohesive portfolio, but you should try to get a rough idea of your design likes and dislikes, at the very least.
- Establish a comfortable budget range to allow the designer to source materials and carry out work that won’t break your bank. It’s not necessary to have a super detailed financial breakdown, but a rough starting figure will be needed.
- List of practical requirements that need to be fulfilled. Explain to your designer what the room(s) will be used for and what items or capabilities it or they must have. This will provide critical guidance to ensure your decorator can pay attention to function and form.
Try to have a rough idea of what textiles, palettes and patterns you want.