Dvorine  Associates

Interior "Dia-Blog"

Lunch is essential

December 23rd, 2010

You’ve found your interior designer, now what?  A common misconception about this new relationship is that it will only be between you and the interior designer. They don’t think the spouse fits in the picture. In reality, it is just the opposite. It is absolutely paramount to have your partner be just as on board as you are to ensure the project’s success.

Once your partner is on board, they become as much or more invested as you. Together then – there are some important preliminary exercises as follows.

  • Look through a half dozen design magazines. Examples are Home & Design, Traditional Home, Veranda, Better Homes and Gardens, Windows & Walls, and Decorating. As you skim through, pull about 20 or so pages that appeal to you. Your designer will be able to read into your style and see things that you either didn’t realize or didn’t know how to articulate.
  • Reflect on yourself. Make a list of your general likes and dislikes. The list does not have to be limited strictly to design. Some questions you could ask include: Do I like things cluttered or sparse? Do I prefer light or dark colors? What is my favorite color? Do I host parties often? Do I need my house to be animal proof? Do I want my rooms to be multifunctional? What is the size of your family? This list will give the designer further insight to your style.
  • Decide your time frame.
  • Think of your budget. A good designer can work with most reasonable budgets.  An important thing to remember throughout the project is to not focus on individual prices of items.  Some items will be more expensive than the others but it is the designer’s responsibility to find that balance and come out with the estimated final cost. There are places to spend and there are places to cut. I will delve deeper into budgets in my next blog.

You’ve taken care of your assignment, now what should your interior designer be doing? Here are some of the expectations you should have of your interior designer. This should either set your mind at ease OR set off an alarm that you may need to move on to another designer.

  • They should offer to take you to some of their past jobs so you can see the scope of their work in person.  These jobs may not reflect your exact style but you will see their professionalism. You may also see if speaking with those clients is possible.
  • They should prepare a preliminary open presentation encompassing all that they gathered about your style.
  • All exchanges and comments should be used to develop a work proposal.
  • The budget and timetable should be explicitly laid out.

The relationship between you and your interior designer is an extremely personal one. It is important to communicate and keep each other in the loop.  Never be uncomfortable about telling your designer you’re unhappy or unsure about what is being presented. You are forming a relationship based on understanding, trust, and mainly the goals of the client. The endeavor is a significant investment and you deserve to know what to expect. You should have a comfort level and understanding of the final appearance of your project.

Now I turn the floor plan to you. Questions? Comments?

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