Being a Good Design Client

Hiring a designer/decorator for your space can be a tough decision.  Depending on the size of your project, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, whether that’s in person or virtually.  You want to make sure your designer is the right fit for you & your project, but also know that when you are interviewing designers they are trying to figure out if you are going to be a good client for them.  The street goes both ways in this relationship.  As with any relationship, you want them to be the right fit for you & you want to be the right fit for them.  If you are looking to hire a designer, check out my post about HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT INTERIOR DECORATOR.  It should help you narrow down the prospects.  But today I want to talk about how you can be a good design client for whichever designer/decorator you choose to work with. 

#1. Pinterest & Houzz Boards

Start curating your Pinterest and/or Houzz boards with things you want for your space.  I suggest making a board specifically for each room you are looking for help in.  With each pin you add, write specifics in the description of what you like about the picture.  Almost all designers I know want to see images that you are looking at for inspiration to make sure they can create the style you are wanting.  

#2 Know Your Budget

Talking money is always an awkward discussion.  Have your budget clearly laid out for your designer.  Let them know what you are willing to splurge a little on, so if they need to cut back in other areas they know where you are willing to cut back at.  Along with knowing your budget, you’ve got to be realistic too.  You can’t add marble, brass & high end finishes on a Wal-Mart budget.  Be flexible though because as designers/decorators we can get pretty creative on how to get the look you are looking for at a fraction of the cost.  And whatever you do, please don’t say, “Well on HGTV they bought a house, gutted it & remodeled it all for $80,000.”  They may have, but you also probably don’t live in Waco, TX.  The market is different no matter where you live.  

#3 Give Them The Full List

No matter how big or small your project is, be upfront about your wishlist at the begining of the project.  We can let you know if it’s possible within your budget or we can look for ways to save you in other areas so we can make your wishlist happen.  

#4 Give Honest Feedback

Whether we are meeting you face to face or virtually give us your honest feedback.  You may think a chair is cute that we’ve suggested but if you don’t want to commit to a printed upholstered chair then tell us that.  You won’t hurt our feelings if you don’t like things we suggest. It’s our job. We don’t take it personally.  But if you love something…be sure to voice that too.  We want to know that we are going in the right direction.  

#5 Trust

This may seem really harsh, but you hired us for a reason.  Trust us.  We know what we are doing.  We have your best interest at heart. And we can see the end result, which most clients have a hard time seeing. 

#6 Respect 

Please respect us & our time.  You may have your designers/decorators cell phone number, but it doesn’t give you free reign to call or text us at all hours.  I’ve had a former client text me at 1am.  Yes, we will become friends throughout the process, but we all need boundaries.  We have work hours set for a reason & when we aren’t working our time is very preciously spent with our family & friends. 

The Client Experience | The Frizzelle Family

I say it all the time, but I have been blessed with some of the best clients.  The Frizzelle family was no exception.  I was so honored when I got a call from Taylor, who wanted to surprise his sweet wife, Danielle, with a fresh design for their home. 

If you follow me on social media, you get to see my side of the design process, but I want you to hear from our clients, as they tell us about the design process, so we will be sharing our client's experience here on the blog over the next few weeks.  We hope you enjoy hearing what they have to say about working with us! 

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Please describe your home before working with Southern Farmhouse Designs. What was your main problem with your home that caused you to hire a designer/decorator? What did you want or need for the space? 

Our home was not a home. It was plain, cold, and uninviting. We were looking for an inviting home that when we had people over we felt comfortable sitting in the living room and kitchen.

Had you worked with a designer prior working with SFD? And what was that experience like?

SFD was our first designer. The experience was like no other. Ashley and her team decorated the house while I was at work and she even walked my dog for me. I was so anxious at work all day to see the progress. The wait was worth it and the result was phenomenal. Our now home looked like a house from a magazine.

How did you find Southern Farmhouse Designs? And why did you choose to work with us on your project? 

My husband was searching around on Instagram because he knew that decorating was a not my cup of tea. He secretly contacted SFD and before I knew it she was headed over to help us with our space.

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What was your favorite part of the design process? 

ALL OF IT!

Do you feel your home reflects your style? 

Absolutely, Ashley is great at listening and coming up with the perfect style.

What do you see as the major difference in doing the project yourself & hiring a professional? 

Everything. I have tried many times and end up with a Pinterest fail.

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What value does a designer bring to the process? 

The designer brings all the value to the process. They analyze the space, configure the dimensions, shop, and create a masterpiece.

Many people say that interior design is a luxury service & it’s too expensive. What do you say to your friends & family who believe that they might not be able to afford it? 

I would say there are many packages and design options to fit any budget. That is one thing I love about Southern Farmhouse Designs. They truly open the doors for anyone to afford their services.

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Would you hire a designer again?

Without a doubt.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers about working with Southern Farmhouse Designs?

Working with SFD has been a blessing. My husband and I work hard and at the end of the day, we sit on the couch, look around and feel like our house is a home. Not to mention, the baby nursery SFD created is unimaginably gorgeous. It will also be easy to transform into a toddler room soon!


Thank you Taylor & Danielle for allowing me to be apart of your home.  If you are interested in any of our services, we'd love to chat with you about your project.  Just use the button below to see how we can help you in your space. 

Must Have: Accent & Console Tables

We love accent tables--give your current tired side table a makeover with a fresh coat of paint or snag one of our favorites below. 

And let's talk real quick about console tables, whether you have them in your entry or behind your couch, they are the perfect way to add a WOW factor to any room by styling them with an oversized mirror, lamps or greenery!  

*Some affiliate links were used on this blog post, which means that we make a small commission from your purchase (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting Southern Farmhouse Designs in this way!*

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What is E-Design and Is It Right for You?

Have you heard about e-design, online interior design, virtual interiors? Hopefully if you are at our blog you know that it's a service that we offer, but what exactly is it & is it right for you and your home?  Today we are chatting about how e-design is a great way of getting a professional design service for those who don't have the time or money to hire a traditional designer. 

I don't know about you, but I didn't grow up with a lot of money.  Hiring an interior designer was something that never crossed my parent's mind.  They were too busy raising my brother & I, running us around to our different activities & running their own business.  However, our home was beautiful.  My mom was always moving furniture & shopping our house before that was even a thing.  She took their limited budget and created a safe haven for everyone who entered.  I love my childhood home.  

When I started this business I took classes & joined groups with others in the industry to learn as much as I could.  However, any time any of the other designers mentioned trade only furniture & mark ups would make my skin crawl.  I want my designs to not be limited to those with unlimited budgets, but I want to be accessible to everyone no matter the budget.  Asking someone to pay $200 for one pillow isn't my thing, because, to be honest, I think of my own home. My kids would destroy a $200 pillow, not on purpose of course, but because we live here & I allow them to drink in our living room & yea, life happens.  Being comfortable in your home to me means not having to worry about overly expensive things being messed up when we have friends over. 

Edesign is a way to get a professional and polished design to anyone, anywhere and at any budget and having this as one of our services was a no brainer to me, because it allows me to help others create the home of their dreams no matter how much money they have to spend. 

So what is edesign/online design/virtual design and how does it work?  Don't fret, I'm breaking everything down for you so you can decide if this service is something that can take advantage of. 

E-DESIGN CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME!

E-design is done all virtually, so if you aren't local to the Houston area, no biggie, we can still provide services to you through emails and video calls. You'll receive your design boards online, as well as your shopping list.  You literally don't have to leave your home to have a beautiful functional space for you and your family. 

Communication throughout the e-design process is super flexible too.  We may send you your designs while you are sitting in a morning meeting or during a playdate. No problem if you can't get back to us until your little one is down for a nap or once you get home from work. This is part of the beauty of e-design. 

Traditional designers typically work 9-5, but you might too.  And with kids & their crazy schedules, friends & family time, gym time, or running your own business doesn't allow for you time to meet with a designer. I get it.  I totally do. 

Edesign is perfect for the mom who has one million things on her mind or the person with the already full schedule & coming up with a plan for her home design isn't at the top of that list. It's a way to get a professional polished look in your home without ever leaving home, you can stay in your pjs if you'd like.

YOU GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DECORATE YOUR SPACE THROUGH E-DESIGN!

There really isn’t much you can’t buy online these days, and that’s the beauty of virtual design. When considering an online interior designer/decorator, look at what they deliver in their packages- not all design services are equal!

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For us, we always provide:

1. A Welcome Packet with a questionnaire and Photo & Measurement Guide.

2. A video meeting to talk through your questionnaire and start brainstorming about your new space. 

3. Two design boards for each space that are

sent to you in your Client Portal.

4. Shopping list with everything you need to buy your furniture & accessories. 

5. A floor plan so you know exactly where to place your new items. 

6. Detailed instructions so you know where to place accessories and hang any artwork.

7. A Design Box shipped directly to your front door with the full design plan plus any material or paint samples that you need for your space. 

7. A final video call to answer any of your questions.  

YOU GET TO BE INVOLVED IN THE E-DESIGN PROCESS! 

Traditional interior designers offer a ton of full-service features, including measuring your space, taking pictures, interviewing you regarding your taste and needs, purchasing all items for you, and overseeing the final install.

E-Design designers can’t do all of this for you because we don’t go to your home. This means you will be more involved in the process--don't worry.  We walk you through everything! 

You will typically need to measure your space, take photographs, and answer a questionnaire to get the job started. After all of your items have been selected, you will then need to order your pieces and install them yourself or hire a handyman.

After you purchase your e-design package, you will receive a welcome packet with all of the questions you need to answer and a guide to measuring and photographing your space. My clients have never had a hard time getting me the info because we walk them through ever step!

When you receive your final design package, you will get a detailed shopping list with link, making the ordering process easy- and you can order whatever you like, whenever you like. You can wait for a sale, order in stages, or order all at once. 

We also include a video call after the delivery of your design package so we can talk about anything you want- questions regarding styling with your new accessories, questions about placement of furniture, tips for hanging that gallery wall. I told you, we had you covered!  

E-DESIGN IS COST EFFECTIVE!

Interior designers have a bad rep for being a luxury service & high priced. Traditional interior design does take more hours to complete on the designer’s part because they offer a wider range of services.

There are also designers out there that will simply not work with lower budgets because there won’t be enough money for them to get a big enough cut.

So what e-design design lacks in the full-service department, it makes up for in price.

IS E-DESIGN RIGHT FOR YOU?  IF SO, I'D LOVE TO CHAT WITH YOU ABOUT YOUR PROJECT! 

Still not sure this is the way to get some design help? Let me give you a bit more help!

E-DESIGN IS PERFECT FOR YOU IF....

You are too busy to blink- you just want someone you trust to put a room together based on your needs and personality.

One of my clients was working to get her amazing food product on the shelves at H-E-B, running her business, and adjusting to being a new mom. And when she found me, her & her husband, who also owned his own business, just bought a new house that needed to be updated. They had no time for scheduled meetings, so our e-design worked perfectly for their crazy schedules. They purchased a selections package from us & we picked everything out for their remodel--from flooring to counters, hardware, plumbing fixtures, paint colors & wallpaper. We even offered up a layout remodel from the original kitchen for them. 

You are comfortable ordering furniture online.

I know the best of the best manufacturers and recommend them to my clients all the time! That said, sometimes we need to get more budget friendly pieces, and I know where to go for those, too. Helping my clients determine where to spend the bulk of their budget for maximum impact and quality versus where to save is one of my favorite parts of this job!

You work a traditional schedule and can’t meet for meetings easily during weekdays.

Local designers have a set schedule which is typically Monday-Friday 9-5,  and this doesn’t work with everyone’s schedule. But with online interior design services, there are no official meetings unless necessary, which is super super rare. My clients email me and check on the project in their client portal whenever their schedules allow.

You are okay with hanging art and drapes yourself or are willing to find a handyman to do it for you.

Now no interior designer should be hanging your drapes anyway, unless they’re a licensed contractor. However, normally a local interior designer has a slew of subcontractors and handymen that they can recommend for you. I, however, don’t live in everyone’s area, so my clients either do it themselves or find someone to hire.

The same goes with wallpaper and upholstery. While I can order wallpaper and fabric for you, you’ll need to find someone to hang the paper or reupholster any pieces. Unless you’re in the Houston area- then I always share the my favorite upholsters, drapery lady & handymen that I use in my home! And since so many of my clients are in this area, they love it!

You want to have the one-on-one help from a designer and know it doesn’t matter if you ever meet face-to-face.

Sometimes DIY isn’t in the cards, especially if you’re busy or you want a particular style. And sometimes you just need to help of a designer to tell you what accessories to purchase and where to put them, what length drapes to order and how high and wide they should be hung, and what size, material, and style area rug will work best for the space. Because if you didn’t need this help you would have done it by now!

You want to order pieces in stages so it makes sense for your budget.

Some of my clients buy everything at once. Sometimes they buy in stages. It all depends on what their budget & schedules will allow.

As soon as you approve your design boards, you can start shopping. Or you can buy the most important pieces first and hold off on the accessories to get the room functional as soon as possible. You go at your pace! 

So, what do you think-is edesign right for you or do you think you need a traditional designer for your project?  If you think you are up for edesign project---we'd love to be considered for your project. 

Must Haves: Mirrors

Mirror, mirror on the wall--today we are sharing some of our favorite mirrors for your home.  Whether you need one for an empty wall or mantel or if you want to replace your builder grade bathroom mirror, we've got them all for you! 

*Some affiliate links were used on this blog post, which means that we make a small commission from your purchase (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting Southern Farmhouse Designs in this way!*

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