What to Expect in Your First Meeting With an Interior Designer

So, you are considering consulting with an interior designer or decorator to assist with an upcoming project. How do you select one designer over another? And what should you expect at the first meeting? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Decide on the scope of the project – What is it that you are really looking to get done? Are you remodeling the entire kitchen or just need help select colors for the kitchen walls? Are you in love with a chair or piece of furniture but not sure how to make it fit in the room? Ensure you KNOW THE ANSWERS to these questions definitively before you start your search. The very first question an interior designer or decorator will ask is -What is the project? The scope of the project will determine the type of help you will need – from a design build firm to an interior re-designer or somewhere in-between.
  2. Talk to local friends about experience with a similar project -Now that you are confident about the scope of project, ask friends and family about their experience in the same arena. If your friend started out with a simple color consultation that blew up into a major home remodel, you can talk to he/she to learn how it happened. And how to avoid the same situation from happening to you.
  3. Gather pictures and ideas of rooms that appeal to you -When you say ‘modern’, it can mean totally different things to an architect, designer and/or decorator. Show pictures instead! Collect pictures of rooms and ideas from magazines, web pages, pictures of friends homes, books and prepare them to show the designers in your first meeting. Additionally, if you like the décor of a local store, take pictures for yourself and ask the salespeople which designers shop there frequently. You may learn of additional designers to consider as well.

Now – you are prepared to meet with an interior decorator or designer and have narrowed down the list of possible companies. What should you expect next? As you contact and meet designers, keep the following things in mind.

  1. Expect a nominal initial consultation fee – As the old adage goes – time is money! Expect an experienced and preferred designer to charge for the initial visit. An hourly fee or set fee for the first meeting is common and some designers may apply it to the first order. Hint: Savvy interior designers use this as a gauge for new clients. If a prospect grumbles or complains about the initial consultation fee, the designer may assume the prospect will have trouble paying subsequent fees and not interested in taking the prospect on as a client.
  2. Expect to answer lots of questions about your taste and style – Since this is the first time that the designer is meeting you, he/she will do what they can to learn about your style. He/She will take notice of the current state of your home, your furniture choices (if those are evident) and how you and your family currently live in your space. If you have any big dislikes or likes, now is the time to express those – i.e. – no roosters in the kitchen décor or a desire for a water element in your bedroom. And don’t forget to show the pictures that you collected, as discussed earlier!
  3. Ensure important decision makers are available – Even if your spouse/significant other will not be involved with the process, if he/she will live in the space, then include her/him in the initial meeting. Especially if the room is shared, like the kitchen or master bathroom. Don’t set up this meeting during the day when the spouse/significant other is not available. This can easily become a cause for contention once the project gets underway.
  4. Expect to discuss budget – This can be a touchy subject but not talking about it won’t make it go away! Be sure to be clear about what your budget limitations are and ask the designer/decorator if your budget expectations match the reality of the project. And if the designers don’t mention budget, be sure to bring it up – you deserve to get a sense of things before any plans get started.
  5. Know what you like but be open to explore new things – The saavy designer won’t design an entire room at the first meeting, but he/she may suggest a few things to gauge your reactions to different ideas. If you find yourself reacting negatively to the suggestions, keep looking! Soon you find a designer/decorator who speaks your language…but keep yourself open to learn a few new words in that language! (I hope that analogy makes sense). That is what you are paying a designer to do – bring new and fresh ideas to your space!

We hope the above advice is useful as you consider hiring a design professional for your next project. The list was developed from our own experiences and interactions with clients before, during and after home projects.

Get Help on Deciding Your Interior Design Concept For Your Home Or Business

You will find that there are many people that have their own opinion about interior design. These people are able to take an area and design it with grace. Then there are others who can look at a room and just have no clue what they should do with it. These are the people that will benefit from the resources and information that the Internet can give them. Within the realms of the World Wide Web, you will be able to get ideas, suggestions, and tips on how you should decorate a specific area of your home or business.

You will find that there are also many interior design companies that you can contact in order to hire one of their design consultants. These consultants have their own style and their own opinions about decorating so it may take you some research to find the right one for you. With most of the design companies, you are able to interview several different consultants. This allows you to listen to their ideas about how they would decorate your living area or your business. You don’t have to worry about hurting their feelings if you do not choose them.

This is because they understand that each individual has their own style and thoughts about what their surroundings should look like. They understand that their style just may not be the right one. A lot of the consultants that you find through design companies will have open minds when it comes to your decorating style. They will be able to step outside of their comfort zone in order to give you just the look that you are wanting. When you are starting a new design project, whether be it redecorating your living room or trying to find a good fit for the customer service area in your business, it is a good idea to look at unconventional ideas instead of just conventional ones.

The interior design consultants that you interview will be able to discuss any kind of plan that you may have as well as give you ideas to expand your thought process. If you don’t want to go this route, you can access many websites that will give you pictures for ideas, tell you exactly how to do something, or let you know where you can find more information. There are a lot of do-it-yourself homeowners who would choose no other way but to accomplish their own design project.

How To Solve Any Interior Design Problems That May Arise

The beauty of interior design for many people is solving any problems that a job may throw up, some of which can be planned for and others which throw themselves up during the job itself. Interior designers have to always expect the unexpected when involved in a job; these are things that interior designers plan and train for. But what about those of us that are not trained in interior design but want to try their hand at an interior design job within their home? How can we approach problems that may arise and what are the best solutions for these problems?

For those of us that are not trained in interior design a job may need doing at home that we would love to have a go at but do not really know where to start, but all is not lost. There are that many reference books, magazines and television programs available today that ideas and problems can be addressed in one form or another. The inter web has many forums and web sites that can be fantastically helpful, these are places where you can post a problem in the form of a question and in turn you will hopefully have some helpful soul post a reply and answer to your problem. The real beauty of these forums is that they are places where like minded people go to socialize and help other people with their interior design problems.

Magazines are also a helpful resource, not only to help with any problems that you may encounter but also to give ideas that may help you avoid a problem. Sometimes a problem can be easily avoided by simply side stepping it completely and replacing the idea with another more manageable solution. Interior design magazines are also helpful as they offer you the chance to actually see many ideas in picture form, ideas that you may have in your head might look completely different in the flesh so it is always an idea to try to seek out any pictorial help available.

Most people are good at some part of the interior design process but interior design covers many different aspects, design, color identification, architectural design as well as placement. But a true interior designer is fully trained in all aspects of this of their profession, the trick to master if you intend carrying out a task yourself is to identify what part of the job you feel most comfortable with and what you feel you may be best at, this way you can narrow down the fields where you may need help and again, where possible, side step any problems that may arise.

If you can for see a problem that may arise and you do not feel comfortable in solving it yourself or the answers that you have been give do not feel right then why not go to speak to an expert. In many cases a local builder’s merchant or plumber’s merchant will be able to offer help and advice or even a product that will solve a problem. For instance, if you are dealing with a bathroom remodeling task and you have hit upon a problem with baths then by consulting the plumber’s merchant or a plumber they may be able to advise you on the best baths design to go for helping you to overcome the problem.

There are many avenues of help available to enable you to complete your interior design tasks it is just a case of approaching each task slowly as they lay ahead of you and take each one step by step. Do not be afraid to ask for help when needed and do not be too proud to accept help when offered. This way you should be able to complete any task with the minimum amount of heart ache.