Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tips for Working with an Interior Designer

Tips for Working with an Interior Designer
It never ceases to amaze me how interior designers on TV can walk into a wreck of a room and see the potential for fabulousness that lies just a redo away. Except for rare moments of inspiration, my efforts at interior design have left me frustrated. Working with a professional decorator can be frustrating, too – it’s important to communicate openly about what you as the client want and what your budget can bear.

A recent article from Fabulous Floors Magazine titled, It’s All About You! Working With a Professional Designer gives some great advice about working with a professional interior designer.  It addresses questions such as: how do designers charge for their services – by the hour, the job, or cost-plus commission on the items and services you buy from them? The article suggests you interview several designers before deciding and that you do your homework. Be prepared for your first meeting with your designer knowing things such as:

o Who is going to use the space?

o For how long will the space be used?

o How will you finance the project?

o What do you want to change most?

Have samples of things you like that will help your designer know more about your vision and taste.
A great gift of working with a professional is that they can get us to open our eyes and maybe even dare to try something new, but it’s important not to lose sight of what you know you will be happy with in the long run. What the designer says or does may be trendy and hip but don’t get lost in the hubbub.

You can find some excellent free home decorating advice on several Carpet and Rug Institute   members’ websites and social media. Check out Shaw Floors, Mohawk Flooring's ColorCenter, Bliss Flooring and Mannington's At Home Blog for ideas. 

What are your favorite tips for working with an interior designer? Let me know in the comments.


Bethany Richmond said...

Here is a comment from my friend Mark Violand, a cleaning expert andf author.

I will agree that a designer is very helpful in making a project look great. My biggest grief with designers is that just because a floorcovering looks good in the space, does not it should be installed. Running the maintenance division for a large commercial flooring contractor we are faced with impractical flooring choices all the time. The same analogy can be used such as if your cell phone sounds off while we are having a face to face conversation, you have a choice to make, answer it or let it ring. Who becomes more important at the time? In many cases a designer will choose something that looks nice, but is totally impractical. Just because a product is available to be used, does not mean it should be. What will the long term effect of cost for care and maintenance be for the end user? Please allow the people who will be taking care of the product for 5 or 10 or 20 years, and ask their opinions. Please do not just pick pretty.
Regards, Mark

carpet cleaning said...

Dear Bethany,

Thanks for the good post. Re tips on choosing an interior designer, I think #1 is picking someone who has a style that matches your tastes.

Some designers are very mod, others more traditional, etc., so that's the real starting point - what kind of look do you like>

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