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To ensure that your designer understands how you live now and how you want to live, share as many details with her as you can. Also share your personal tastes so she can incorporate them into designs. If you hate plaid, tell her now, before she gets too deep into first draft.
To help you better prepare yourself, answer these questions before you have your first meeting with designer:
* Are you a creative person? In what ways does your home limit your creativity or your hobbies?
* Do you like present color palette? Does it need updating?
* Are they any rooms that feel cramped or stuffy? Any rooms that feel empty, cold or unwelcoming?
* Is adequate, well-organized storage a problem? Can you find things when you need them?
* Are your bathrooms functional, pleasing spaces? Do you or family members have special needs (e.g. grab bars, easy-entrance shower stalls, etc.)?
* As you walk through your rooms, jot down your favorite qualities about each. Do you like proportions? Is there adequate ventilation and lighting throughout your house?
* Are there any rooms that you don’t use regularly? Could any of these rooms be used for more than one function? Could any of these rooms be used for a completely different function?
* Does your home balance open space and private areas?
* Does entryway do its job of setting stage for rest of your home by welcoming guests and making a statement about people who live there? If you normally come into your home through garage, does that area welcome you?
Focus on Your Challenges A designer works best when you share your “wish list,” express your ideas, and then keep an open mind. That means communicating how you want to live in space and then entrusting designer to make it happen. After all, you hired this person for her experience, talent and vision!
For example, one homeowner hired a designer to help her reorganize her tiny office so she could be more productive. Instead, designer suggested that she move her entire operation downstairs, into den she used once every two months to watch movies. She did, tripling her space and doubling her productivity in just three months.
Contrary to TV, where designers admonish clients for questioning their plans, real-life designers understand that you’re person who ultimately needs to love space. They want you to be happy and want you to give your input so you’re absolutely thrilled with results (and so you’ll recommend them to your friends)! That’s why they do so much probing upfront about your tastes and how you live, then incrementally present their ideas throughout process.
Hiring a designer is like giving a gift to yourself! You made smart decision to hire an Interior Designer, you’ve been smart about planning process, and now you can rest assured that time, money and energy you spend returns truly smart, stunning results!
The principals of LLK Interior Design have been creating beautiful, practical spaces for clients around the Puget Sound for a combined total of 16 years. Later this year they will appear in an episode of HGTV’s popular show “Designers’ Challenge.” The principals are members of the American Society of Interior Designers, the Master Builders Association and Built Green. Contact: 425.455.2099, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.llkinteriordesign.com