You’ve probably heard some horror stories about people who hired an interior designer, paid them a lot of money, and were incredibly disappointed with the service. There’s usually a strong common theme with the disappointed buyers – they felt like their wishes weren’t listened to, and the design that they received was nothing like what they imagined in their heads.
This sort of thing should never happen, and part of the blame lies with the interior designer for not making sure that they understood what the consumer wanted. However, a part of the blame could also lie with the consumer. If you want to be sure that you are going to be happy with the results, then you should make a concerted effort to communicate effectively with your designer. The following tips will help you to build a good relationship with your interior designer:
Research the designer
Many designers have a “signature”. That signature could be eco-friendly design, a penchant for Victorian doors, feminine furnishings, or bold, two-tone color schemes. Hiring someone to design a “Little Princess” room for your five year old daughter won’t end well if their specialism is sparse industrial interiors.
Ask to see some previous designs, and ask to speak to past customers too. If you don’t like surprises, ask those customers not just whether they’re happy with what they got, but whether they got what they expected.
Sketch Some Ideas
Even if you’re horrible at art, try to lay out a little bit of a floor plan so that the designer understands what you’re after. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just clear enough that the designer knows what you won’t compromise on. So, if you absolutely, positively have to have your computers against the south facing wall of the study, or you want your TV in the left corner of the living room, put that on the plan, and explain to the designer that you don’t want those things moved. A good designer will listen to you.
Talk to Your Designer
If you don’t talk to the designer, they won’t know what you’re thinking. It’s not being pushy to call up the designer and ask what tone the oak doors will be, or whether the Victorian doors on the plan feature stained glass top panels. If you are unsure about something, don’t hesitate to voice your concerns.
Give Them Something to Work With
The more information the designer has about your tastes and preferences, the better. Show them clippings of rooms that you absolutely love. Make a list of colors that you like and ones that you can’t stand. Let them know that you don’t want a light colored carpet because you babysit frequently. Every bit of information you give them will make their life easier, and make it more likely that you’ll get a design that you really like.
If you’re designing a room around a theme, such as Victorian era, or Art Deco, then make sure the designer knows enough about that era to put together a good design, and be clear on things such as how authentic you want it – there’s a difference between “style” and “era”. Specifying which you want will be a big help.