When most people hire an interior designer, they think mainly of aesthetics: wall colours, window treatments, pillow patterns. However, those are only the finishing touches; just one part of what an interior designer offers to the whole process.
As design pros, we go beyond cosmetic concerns to ensure that your space feels harmonious, from its floor plan and architectural envelope to the last nailhead, light fixture, and piece of art.
We help you to save money by allocating resources wisely, preventing potential design mistakes, and increasing creative thinking by bringing solutions to the table that you may not have otherwise considered.
Here are some tips from our design team on how best to work with them.
1. Put together some images to communicate the concept of what you want before your initial meeting
Gather images that speak to what you like. You can start an account on Pinterest or a Houzz account to organize your favourite images online. Also, pick out examples of images that you don’t like, as this can be equally helpful. You can also cut out images from magazines and compile them in a folder to go over with your designer.
2. Be open to discuss your budget range and total cost ceiling
By doing so, your designer can guide you on ways to economize and to splurge where it has the biggest impact.
3. Prepare for your initial consultation
It’s important to have all household members present at the initial meeting. Having everyone's input from the beginning helps to avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings later on. Make sure you review the conceptual images you have compiled so you can talk about the specifics of what you want. It is important to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect all design dilemmas to be resolved at the first meeting. You will need to give the design process time to evolve. Some designers come into a project and instantly know what they would do, while others like to ponder the options over a drawing. It is important to you to know and discuss what items are a ‘must stay’ or ‘cannot change' in your project.
4. Remember you must not keep your ideas to yourself.
Communication is key to getting what you want. Interior designers don’t know what you want until you tell them.
If you feel you should mention something, please do! The more information they have the better able the designer is to provide the end product you desire.
5. Don’t believe what you see on TV or believe that it is reality.
What happens in TV land stays there, it’s not reality. You cannot renovate a bathroom from top to bottom with only $5,000! Design-build teams aren’t trying to ‘swindle you’; we are trying to gather information from you on what finish level you expect. Then, the designer will give you a realistic budget to work with that relates to what you want as an end result for your newly renovated space or new home design.
6. Don’t dismiss a design idea without letting us tell you why we went in that direction
You have gone through the rigorous process of selecting a design-build team so try to trust them because they are your team. If you start dismissing design ideas and plans without an open discussion, frustration can build for both parties. Keep in mind that your designer has the ability to visualize the completed project, and veering from a design plan can lead to a less than desirable outcome.
Of course, if the decision doesn’t feel right after you have given it time and discussion, then it can be changed. But for the most part, let the designer do their magic. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
7. Don’t expect things to move at a hurried pace.
Designers don’t run at superhero speed, although they may try. Good design takes time. There are 1000’s of decisions to make and many ‘moving parts’ to consider when designing any home or space. And, when you decide to spend any amount of money to improve your space, take enough time, slow down and ensure you have covered all the bases and have reviewed all options that make sense.
The important thing is that the relationship with your interior design team must feel right.
Remember, we are YOUR team!
If you are thinking about a home renovation, addition, laneway house, we would love to talk to you. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to go over your project and give you a workable plan whether you use us or not.