Preparing to Work With an Interior Designer

By Holly Dixon, Timeless Interiors

Working with an interior designer is not just for the top 1 percent. You can find interior designers next door, in solo practice, working in design studios, furniture stores and many other places. And they want to help you make your house a home!

If you do decide to hire an interior designer, you may wonder what you should do to prepare for your first meeting. Here are a few simple suggestions:

1. Decide on the Project

working with an interior designer

What is the scope of your project? Whether it’s a single room being remodeled, a downsizing project, working with an architect on your blueprints,  filling whole rooms or gaps in furniture, remember that you are in control. The clearer you are with your goals, the happier you will be with the outcome.

2. Have Inspiration Material

Whether magazine, website, television, Houzz or Pinterest, gather a few inspiration visuals. Designers are visual people, and pictures are worth 1,000 words. Your inspiration materials can range from a reflection of your style, a specific frame or fabric you want to find or things that make you smile.

3. Express your Limitations

interior design

Are you a green enthusiast? Do you have a budget in mind? Do you only want American-made? Do you have small children, teenagers, pets? Will you be repurposing, reusing or moving furnishings, fabrics or other materials you want used? A good designer will incorporate your values and stay within your budget!

4. Be Open

Trust your designer as a professional. You should put the same care into hiring this person as you would an accountant or lawyer. Interview them. Get to know them. After you provide the foundation, allow them to steer you toward new and interesting patterns, coordination, materials or ways to save.

5. Say No

If you do not love something, just say no. Remember that you will be living with your surroundings for years. Show a little faith in your designer to show you something fun or different, but if you don’t like it, don’t let it in your home.

What to Expect

Now that you have done all this preparation, what should you expect from an interior designer? They should respect you and your time. They should be thoughtful and ask questions, and not dominate the conversation. If you are willing to divulge your budget and expectations, they should reciprocate with information about their pricing structure. You may even be pleasantly surprised to hear that many don’t even charge an hourly rate unless they are doing exclusively design service work. Most importantly, remember that you should have fun!

About Holly Dixon and Timeless Interiors

Holly has been working as an interior designer in the Savannah, Georgia, area out of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, S.C., for over 15 years. She began Timeless Interiors in 2001 and her designs have been up and down the East Coast, on HGTV and overseas. Timeless Interiors has a staff of dedicated designers, stocks over 100 lines of furniture and home decor items, is the Lowcountry’s leader in real estate staging, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Houzz.

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

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