In this style-obsessed world, we all want a home full of Pinterest-worthy rooms and nooks. However, bringing your design dreams to life can be trickier than it appears, especially if you’re decorating a home that needs to look stylish, but also be functional for your family or personal needs. Hiring a professional interior designer can mean the difference between a room that looks “nice” and one that fits your personality, taste and practical needs long term.
Once you decide to hire an interior designer, it’s important to find one that really understands your home and family. To make sure you get the room of your dreams, you’ll need to effectively communicate your wants and needs, and also have realistic expectations of what your interior designer can and cannot do. Here are some tips that will guide you through the process and help you get the results you want as quickly and easily as possible.
Why You Should Hire An Interior Designer
No matter the size of your project, an interior designer’s expertise and connections can help you take your renovation over the top — and professional design services can be more affordable than you think. If you have a wish board full of decorating ideas, a designer will be able to pare down the clutter and distill the essence of your personal style. Overall, an interior designer’s skills will make your home design project a more simple, successful and enjoyable undertaking.
Hiring an interior designer can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s absolutely possible to find a designer who can fulfill all of your expectations — including style, budget and personality. Just take some time to analyze your design needs, and don’t be overly hasty. Making the right match in this department will pay off when you’re walking into a room that you never want to leave.
What to Expect from Your Designer
It’s important to know what you should and should not expect from an interior designer. The key to success in this relationship will be understanding the roles you each will fill. For example, it’s your job to set the vision, budget and tone for the project. Your designer’s job is to understand your expectations and come up with a perfect marriage of style and function.
Designers are qualified to help you reconfigure your space and enhance your home’s overall aesthetic. Their training and licensing prepares them to tackle everything from choosing the perfect countertop to understanding established safety codes. While they generally don’t take care of any actual construction, they can manage and direct construction contractors. Most designers aren’t above doing a bit of heavy lifting when it comes to furniture rearrangement, either.
One thing a designer can’t do is read your mind. You shouldn’t expect them to automatically pick up on ideas that you haven’t expressed. Adequate preparation and clear communication are the cornerstones of a successful partnership with any interior designer. Remember, you don’t need to have identical personalities or tastes to give positive and polite feedback.
How to Make the Most of Your Relationship with Your Designer
Once you’ve established a baseline understanding of each party’s function, there are a few things you should do to help ensure that your design partnership will produce the results you’re looking for.
Speak Up: The middle of a home renovation is not the time to keep your opinion to yourself. You need to let your designer know how you really feel about their ideas — even when you disagree. To make communication productive and purposeful, lay some ground rules before you dig into the project.
Let your designer know your preferred means of communication (email, text, phone, etc.) and establish timeframes for responses. Decide on a protocol if opinions differ, and commit to respect and consider all suggestions.
Show & Tell: Nothing can bring your decorating vision to life better than pictures, swatches and paint samples. Before you even meet with a designer, compile a folder that showcases your vision for your project space. The more information you can provide about colors, textures, motifs and style preferences, the better your designer will be able to meet your expectations. Try to familiarize yourself with common interior design terms so that you can better communicate your needs and desires.
Present a United Front: Nothing can foil a great design faster than dissension in the ranks. You can’t neglect communication with the other people who live in your home, especially if those people also help foot the bill. Confirm that you and your housemates are clear about what points are non-negotiable. Also, ensure that you have a game plan for dealing with the inevitable conflicts that will arise.
Above all else, make sure to deal with disagreements in private. Follow up with your designer only once you’ve reached a resolution.
Be Friendly: Home renovation is exciting, but it’s also stressful. A hot cup of coffee, afternoon snacks and a well-timed compliment will go a long way to keeping everyone motivated. You could even consider giving them a small appreciation gift to say thank you or offering them a bonus for a job well done. Simple kindnesses will make the working relationship pleasant. They’ll also help keep the focus on the design project, rather than on interpersonal communication issues.
Plus, going the extra mile to make your designer feel appreciated can pay off in them going the extra mile for you when it comes to scoring that elusive marble you’ve had your eye on.
If you’re planning a redesign of your home, hiring an interior designer is a smart move. Keep these tips in mind as you start interviewing designers and moving forward with your renovation. Planning ahead and committing to clear communication will make your newly remodeled space the most pinned project of the year.