So, you decided, you would like an Interior Designer to help you make a kitchen or a bathroom of your dreams. I personally believe in dreams becoming true, but in order for that to happen, they need to be very clear. If you want a designer to help you make those dreams come true, you, as a client, need to communicate what you’d like very clearly to them, otherwise, it might be very difficult, or even impossible to achieve what you desire. I have relatively recently completed an open plan kitchen project, and the clients thanked me for helping them get the kitchen of their dreams, where they love to cook, eat and spend time- a dream for a designer!
Why was the design and the project so successful?
Of course, there are many reasons as many people were involved in a project, but to me a successful design can be pinned down to a few things:
1. The clients communicated very clearly their likes and dislikes to me, and not only once. The latter is surprisingly very important; you may think “Well, how many times should I tell a designer what I like and dislike?” The answer is every time you do and don’t; every time you have a meeting with a designer, every time you don’t like the fabric or like it, etc. If you don’t tell a designer, or if you say “I like it” without meaning it, the designer will take it as ‘approved‘, “I’m on the right track“. Of course, you need to take into account there might be revisions, and while designers go to great lengths to get you comfortable with your design and to provide you with options if needed, time spent on continuous revisions and reselections has to be billed.
To sum up: clear communication results in better designs, allowing for revisions is essential in the design process.
2. The clients trusted me. You might think this sounds a bit odd. Well, trust is absolutely essential in building a good relationship with your designer, and making your dream space come true. Why?
The chances are, you don’t know your designer- you’ve found her/his details on the web or someone recommended them. Even in the latter case, you still don’t know them. All of the sudden, you’re about to let this person into your life and decide how your dream bathroom, for example, is going to look and feel like. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, you’re probably not ready to work with an interior designer. You’re about to spend quite a lot of time with your designer as they become part of project life, and hence part of their clients’ lives.
Another important factor is that since we are just getting to know each other at this point, you have to realize that decision making, trust, the need to see many options, etc., all affect the length of the design portion of a job, thereby affecting the fee.
3. The clients liked ‘my style‘- an important thing to consider when hiring a designer is to evaluate their portfolio to see if their aesthetic is similar to yours. Don’t contact a designer whose style is clearly contemporary, and yours isn’t. As an example, compare these two, very different styles:
Last but not least, hiring a designer will give you the advantage to omit mistakes in your project, provided you communicate your ideas, likes and dislikes very clearly and trust them.
A short story to finish off: Emily has a medical problem, so she consults a doctor, describes her symptoms and gives as much information as possible for the doctor to better understand what they’re dealing with, in order to help Emily as quickly and efficiently as possible. Emily trusts her doctor, so she takes prescribed medications, follows their advice and gets better. I would think Emily’s story is true for most of us. Now imagine, if Emily hand’t described all the symptoms to her doctor- they wouldn’t have had a full picture of her health, which would probably affect their diagnosis, and finally them being able to help her. Now, think about an interior designer as a house doctor– they are there to help you improve your home and in effect they way you live in and enjoy your space.