Never Worked with an Interior Designer before?
If this is your first time working with an interior designer before,
here is what you can expect!
here is what you can expect!
Interior design is a profession requiring years of schooling and ongoing study of new materials, technologies, and fabrication methods. It is an expertise like architecture, dentistry, or any other skilled occupation. Real interior design bears little resemblance to what you see on TV. Things cost more, and take much more expertise and contemplation than shown on TV, and nothing is ever done in an hour.
Designers have many different ways of working, and have different areas of expertise. You are considering hiring a residential interior designer who is a generalist focusing on all areas of the home including kitchen and bath, bedrooms and living rooms, etc. All areas of the home require different knowledge requirements such as plumbing, electrical and mechanical, general construction, lighting, environmental concerns, and much more. We have gained this knowledge through schooling and experience.
Your project will begin with a contract; please review it thoroughly and feel free to ask questions.
Then we move on to:
Design concept: Your designer will work with you and other stakeholders to assess your:
Functional needs: How will you use your space? It is better to design a space around how you actually live, vs. designing your life around a pretty space.
Style: We’ll help you narrow down what you like, and what you don’t like. Any pictures that you bring to table are helpful, but not necessary.
Budget: You must have a budget in mind when beginning a project. We can help you with very rough estimates, but asking how much a new bathroom is, is like asking how much a car is; it varies widely. We know how to work within your budget, where to splurge and where to save. Our goal is not to use all your money, our goal is to provide you with a space you will love.
Timeline. There is an old adage about these projects: You can have it fast, cheap, or well done: choose two. Quality takes time, materials take time to be shipped, custom design takes time, and construction takes time. It will not be done in an hour like on TV.
Your designer will then take detailed measurements of your space, and begin collecting ideas, creating floor plans, lighting plans, and sourcing materials which can include furniture, plumbing fixtures, fabrics, tiles, etc. You are hiring a designer so that you do not have to shop, get estimates, collect images, etc. Get your money’s worth and let us do all that.
Your designer will then present to you a complete vision of your space. We will discuss all aspects, answer questions, and make necessary changes. When you are satisfied with the full plan, we will ask you to approve it in writing, and we’ll begin implementation.
Dos and Don’ts
DO make sure all stakeholders in your home are on the same page regarding budget, style, etc. We will want each decision maker in the household to view our presentations, and sign off on the design and subsequent purchases. We’re not marriage counselors, but we will help you come to agreement and compromise.
DO tell us if we are headed in the wrong direction or if you don’t like something we’ve chosen for you. This is very valuable information for us. We want you to be happy, and you will not hurt our feelings.
DO open your mind. We know some of the things we suggest may stretch your comfort zone. We’re not going to force anything on you, but we find there is more regret when risks aren’t taken then when you forge ahead. Our goal is your happiness.
DO pay your bills on time. We often work on thin margins and use our own credit to order things for you. If we’re not paid on time, it costs us and it’s not fair to us. We’re business people, not hobbyists.
DO contact us immediately if something on the jobsite is not to your satisfaction. We have lots of experience dealing with trades people so you don’t have to. Also, sometimes things look wrong when they’re on their way to being right. Keeping us in the loop can ease your mind, and save you time and headaches.
DONT ask all your friends and extended family for their opinion. Everyone has different tastes and priorities; this is your home, it should reflect who you are, not who your best friend is.
DONT buy something for your home without consulting your designer. Even if you fall in love with something online, it may throw the design off, or not work for the mechanical plan that you have already signed off on. Give us an opportunity to either work it into the design, or talk you out of it. Changing design direction mid project can be costly. (and sometimes we can find a similar thing that will work, is priced better, and might even be better quality.)
DONT make changes with your contractor without speaking to your designer first. Changes can cause a domino effect that can throw the project off track, and often require a redesign which will cost you money. Ask the contractor or service provider to speak with your designer first before they suggest changes. As valuable as our trades people are to us, many think they’re designers: they’re not. If you are the one suggesting changes, please speak with us first. We need you to trust the process as much as you can inside your own home.
DONT be in a hurry. We want to finish your project and see the final product just as much as you do, but please be patient. Mistakes get made, things get delayed, tariffs go up, holidays occur, people get sick, longshoremen go on strike, materials are unexpectedly discontinued, pandemics happen! We’ve seen all of these things happen and more. We are here to mitigate these issues as much as we can, but s**t happens.