If you have never hired an interior designer, you may feel unprepared or intimidated by the prospect of doing so. Anytime you enter unfamiliar territory, the prospects can be daunting. So, I thought I would offer you a couple of tips for getting the most out of your time with your designer…
First, do some research before your designer arrives. In fact, you may want to complete this step before you even call one! You need to have some idea of the style you are hoping to achieve in your space, and it’s also wise to have a ballpark idea of what things cost and your budget. Going in blind will not only make your meetings take longer as your designer tries to extract this information from you, but it will also cause frustration from both sides if needs and wants aren’t communicated effectively.
I always recommend to my clients that they take some time to collect photos of spaces they love. Whether they prefer to do this online at sites such as Ava Living or Houzz, or the old-fashioned way by flipping through books and magazines, this process can be very helpful. Not only does it give their designer a peek into the styles and features they love, but it also helps homeowners to hone in on what they really want – both in terms of style and function.
Another often-overlooked tip involves the time of day you meet with your designer. Knowing that my clients often work during the day, I am open to meeting with them in the evenings or on Saturdays. That isn’t the case for every designer, however, so be sure to find that out ahead of time.
In addition, consider the possibility that you may have to take a day off from work to work best with your designer. Why? It is infinitely easier – and safer – to make color choices during daylight hours than at night. In the winter (at least in Wisconsin), it gets dark by 4 pm. This fact makes evening meetings very difficult during the colder months. In the summer, meeting at night can be just fine – until after 9 pm in the Midwest! Colors are always rendered more accurately when viewed in daylight; meeting with your designer during the day is the best option if it is at all possible – especially in the winter.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of tips, I hope they will help you when you make the decision to call in a professional. Designers are here to help, and we can do that best when given the best tools to work with – effective communication and good light. 🙂