You’ve done your research, interviewed and hired a professional interior designer and now you’re ready to get started. Where do you go from here?
Begin by practicing good “Clienthood”. Take your responsibilities of being a client seriously. Be prepared to commit some time to meetings with your designer. Get organized for your designer with tear sheets from magazines with notes on them and prepare written thoughts about how you want to use your space, how you want the space to feel and your specific requirements for the project, including your total budget.
Your designer will lead you through the process. You will share your ideas with your designer and the designer will share ideas back with you based on his education, experience, talent and insights. Remember a great interior design project evolves and changes during the course of the project, so stay flexible as decisions are being made.
The key to your successful project will be communication. The more direct and specific you are with your designer, the easier it will be for the designer to meet your expectations.
Carefully consider all notes and organize your thoughts in writing before contacting your designer. Repeated calls and emails to your designer are inefficient, expensive and can slow down the design process. Avoid opened ended requests and let your designer know what you are willing to pay for a particular item or service in advance and in total.
As a client, you should keep good records during the course of the project. Any changes to your agreement with the designer should be in writing. Keep labeled folders with your agreements, blueprints, quotations, invoices, photos and the like so you can track your project.
To avoid disappointments and other surprises, be sure to minimize changes to your plans once underway. Each part of a great interior design plan affects the whole, and changes can lead to an “avalanche effect” effecting changes in other areas of the design plan as well. Be prepared to pay change order fees if you change the interior design plan once underway.
Lastly, trust your gut during the interior design process. After all, you are the client and this is your project. If something does not feel right to you, take time to ponder the issue, request more information or do some research. Your designer must be someone you can trust, so listen to their expert advice before making your final decisions.
If you follow these simple steps, you will find a designer who will strive to create a warm, inviting interior space that will function beautifully and serve you well for years to come.
Please feel free to contact us via telephone at (317) 357-0155 with any questions about this material or to request more information about our services. Visit the It’s YouTM section on our website at www.jeffsheatsdesigns.com to learn more about the Jeff Sheats Designs, Inc. interior design process. We are your partners in interior design.