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.
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.
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.