Tips for Working With an Interior Designer
Do you know that interior design and interior decorating are not interchangeable terms?
Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
Enlisting the services of an interior designer can change the look and functionality of your home from “OK” to “wow.” Here are a few tips from an article on Houzz about working with an interior designer:
- Be sure the designer is a good match for your style. No two clients are alike, and good interior designers are nimble enough to hop from urban pied-à-terre to rustic farmhouse to beachside getaway without missing a beat. However, almost all of them have a fundamental aesthetic that remains consistent. When interviewing designers, look for parallels between their previous work and the design you want.
- Collect samples. Even if you have trouble articulating your desired look, pictures of rooms you love can instantly give your designer a sense of what you crave. He/she will ask you about specific points of the design that resonate with you and use those as guidelines. Fabric swatches, paint chips, and furniture catalogs are other good sources for showing items you like, and you may also want to provide examples of colors, motifs, and furniture styles that turn you off.
- Decide in advance which pieces must stay. Not willing to get rid of your Biedermeier sideboard or your majolica collection? The process will go more smoothly if you share that information with your designer during the initial site visit and consultation. That way, he/she can plan around the items you don’t want to give up.
- Involve the designer as early as possible in the building process. If you’re remodeling or building from scratch, include the designer in the planning stages with your architect and contractor. This way, the pros involved will all be on the same page and can iron out any potential discrepancies — particularly those involving your home’s bones, such as doorways, ceiling beams or interior columns. It’s one thing to reorient a window on paper; it’s another to move it after installation.
- Keep an open mind. It’s a rare client who loves 100 percent of a designer’s suggestions right off the bat. Your designer might recommend a piece of furniture or a wallpaper pattern you’re iffy about, but don’t say no without giving the idea some time to sink in. Chances are when you ask your designer why he/she chose it, and you take a little time to live with it, you’ll appreciate the reason it works.
- Look toward refreshing down the road. Even the best design doesn’t stay current forever. Ask your designer if tune-up visits in the future are an option, whether they involve simply swapping out a few accessories, reupholstering furniture or choosing new paint colors.
At Authentic Design and Remodeling, we understand the wow factor an interior designer can provide to your construction project. Contact us if you’re interested in scheduling a consultation with an interior designer who has provided invaluable guidance to our clients.