As professional interior design becomes more accessible, it helps all of us to know what to expect for our dollar.
The first thing to understand is that interior design service is more like a partnership than a one-way transaction. As a client, you should expect a certain amount of give and take in the interior design process. But, how does it really work? Here are some things to consider:
(Most) interior designers aren’t mind readers.
In an ideal situation, your designer will be able to produce your interior design vision on the spot, with very little effort or money expended on your part. Of course, this is almost never how it works. You and your tastes are unique, and capturing that uniqueness usually takes time and skill.
TIP: Be open to the process, and allow your interior designer to get to know you.
Time is money – for both of you.
It’s nothing personal, but your designer probably makes more money by having more clients, which means not dillydallying in her work. And, that benefits you, too, because most people want the things they buy sooner rather than later.
TIP: Keep in mind that what may seem like a rush job to you may just be the normal pace of work for your designer. But, at the same time, don’t be afraid to slow things down if you’re feeling rushed.
Communicate specifically, thoughtfully and with intent.
Even the best interior designer only knows what you tell her, whether in words or pictures. The more information you provide, and the more thoughtful it is, the better the result.
TIP: Write things down and use photographs, the internet and images from magazines to describe what you like and what you want.
Accept that interior designers are only minor miracle workers.
The chances are good that you’ll be working within a budget, and your interior designer will be obliged to work within that same budget. In fact, this is one reason why people hire interior designers – to get the most design bang for their buck.
TIP: Trust your designer to find the best look for the best price, but don’t be shy about double-checking if you think she (or you) is being overcharged.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a much richer, more rewarding professional interior design experience.