I hope you are all rested from a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends, and ready to embark on this crazy Christmas season. May it bring JOY and HAPPINESS thru all of the hustle and bustle. This time of year brings so much stress and anxiety that is seems only fitting to spend some time sharing a few helpful tips to get you thru the year feeling thankful and satisfied. The holiday season is by far the busiest season for Interior Designers. And it isn't all about trimming the trees and decorating the halls! Most of my time from September to January is spent helping clients prepare their homes with furnishings. Guests, friends and family fill our homes during the winter months and having a completed home interior takes a little of the stress out of holiday entertaining. That is where a designer comes in handy and utilizing their time and talent will work in both of your favor! So here are a few of my best tips for "How To" best utilize your Interior Designer....
HAVE A PLAN
Just like you sit down and write out a grocery shopping list - before meeting with a designer, take the time to write down a list of objectives, goals and needs. Your list doesn't have to be complete for the first consultation, but having a clear agenda for the project will help the designer to guide you and keep you on track for completion. I always suggest to clients that they start with listing priorities and then have a secondary list of future plans. Priorities tend to change during the coarse of a design project, but having a set list of needs will make the process more attainable and enjoyable.
DETERMINE A BUDGET AND TIMELINE
As priorities can change throughout a design project, so too can budget and timelines. Going into a renovation or new construction with a clear idea of your costs and leadtimes can keep you from unnecessary stress along the way. Your designer can assist you in setting priorities, based on budget constraints and can direct you and keep you aware of current industry leadtimes. Nothing is more frustrating for a client or designer than to spend time creating a design, only to find out the budget or timing doesn't allow. A good line of communication from the start, makes any project run smooth to the end.
COLLABORATE WITH THE PROFESSIONAL
An Interior Designer's main goal in helping a client, should be to create a space that reflects the homeowners tastes, needs and wants. With so many wonderful tools available to both design professionals and consumers, collaboration is key to a successful project. I primarily use HOUZZ to create a private collaboration Ideabook with each client. This allows us to freely communicate and share concepts, ideas and comments throughout the project. If you prefer to flip through design journals, magazines and coffee table books for ideas, start a binder as a reference point for all of your likes and dislikes. Remember--what you don't like is just as important as what you do like!
I hope these tips will give you confidence and ease when starting your next project with a design professional. I'd love to hear your comments and tips on successful strategies you've used with your Interior Designer.