A skilled interior designer will do more than just make your home “look good”. By hiring a professional designer, your home will not only improve in looks but function better, sell easier and greatly enhance your overall living experience. The most common question facing homeowners when gearing up to take on that home renovation or new home purchase and furnish project is “How do I find an interior designer that will work well with me?” While this is an immensely important question, the second key question homeowners should also ask themselves is “How can I be the best client to work with my interior designer?”
Start by researching a designer carefully.
The internet contains a wealth of information and works fantastically to view portfolio’s of past client work. Check out the designer’s own website in addition to one of the popular home design focused websites such as Houzz. Search for customer reviews and a designer who displays a wide array of design aesthetics. A diverse portfolio is a strong sign that the designer is able to tailor designs to each specific client rather than only creating spaces that are within their particular design style or taste. Talk with your friends and colleagues to ask about their designer. Interview at least two designers before making a decision. Become familiar with designer education, certifications, and check minimum competency standards for your area. Finally, choose a designer who you believe you have great communication and a solid rapport as well as the creative talent and knowledge to get the job done.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
To receive the greatest value and the best end result from your designer, homeowners need to provide quality information. The more thought you have given to how you live, collecting images that inspire you or reflect your personal taste, the more the final design will truly reflect who you are and stand the test of time. Focus on communicating to your designer how you want your home to feel rather than to look. Make sure you have good reasons for your requests and preferences. Explaining to your designer that “the green tones bring you feelings of happiness stemming from childhood memories of your grandmother cooking in her kitchen” provides stronger insight into who you are than “I like green”. Also, if you have specific design elements such as a particular kitchen appliance or feature you want to have in a sofa, be sure to articulate these. Adding specific details in later to the design creates more difficulties (and adds change order costs!) than making them integral to the design plan from the beginning.
Be upfront and realistic with your budget.
Know your monetary limits for the project (designer fees included) and communicate this from the beginning. Budget is a key component in creating an overall design plan. An experienced interior designer should be able to provide early feedback on whether or not all of the wonderful items on your wish list can be accomplished with the amount you have planned in your desired timeframe. Discussing budgets early can help establish how to phase in certain parts of the project over a period of time, allowing you to still achieve the home of your dreams.
Be clear then steer clear.
Be clear, honest and direct with your wishes, but remember that an interior design professional is trained to take your needs and desires into account to create a final solution. An experienced designer has methods of coaxing this deeper information from you. Steer clear of micromanagement, while instead communicate your desires and preferences, allowing creative freedom for the designer to do their job. After all, you are investing good money for their expertise…get the most from your interior design experience!
Please feel free to contact us via telephone at (317) 357-0155 with any questions about this material or to request more information about our services. Visit the It’s YouTM section on our website at www.jeffsheatsdesigns.com to learn more about the Jeff Sheats Designs, Inc. interior design process. We are your partners in interior design!