Featured at OwnHomeStyle.com
By Lisa M Smith
What you need to know for successful home decorating projects. These 14 tips will keep your expectations realistic, on track and on budget. Advice is given for working with professionals.
1. Whether you are working by yourself or working w/ an interior designer, keep an open mind and sometimes agree to disagree.
2. It is never too early in a project to bring in an interior designer, don’t wait until the architect is finished with the plans. Design and construction do go hand in hand. The architect or builder can’t place electrical and plumbing properly if you haven’t worked out the interior furniture floor plan. This avoids very costly changes down the road. Some designers will even consult on builder plans in home developments. An interior designer has a better idea of how a space will work for your family and no emotional attachment to getting a new home. They can say if an idea is good or bad and if the problem areas are fixable.
3. Know what textures, styles and colors appeal to you.
4. Don’t be too opinionated. You may miss out on great ideas or opportunities if you are too fixed in your thinking.
5. Be willing to look at styles that you think aren’t for you.
6. Don’t be intimidated into thinking an interior designer is going to create something for them rather than you. Their job is to take the best of what you like and bring it up a couple of levels and get you stretch a bit. Sure they are sales people (aren’t we all) but ultimately any good designer knows they make a lot more money by creating great spaces that people truly enjoy rather than selling you a bunch of expensive furnishings.
7. Budget: It helps everyone. A budget, even if it is loose, will help to make certain you get what you want and aren’t met with surprises you don’t want to pay for later on. It also keeps the builder, designer or architect from wasting time.
8. It is not fun for anyone to be part way thru a project and decide you’ve run out of $$$.
9. Remember you do not have to do it all at once. Maybe you can do the living room this year and the media room another year.
10. No matter how much $$$ you have there is always a budget. If you don’t know what it should be, ask. Please don’t be embarrassed. An easy way to create a budget is to give your wish list to your designer and builder if it is a remodeling project. Ask them to add a realistic figure to each item. Do not pull a number out of the air. A budget is an educated guess not an uneducated demand.
11. Allow for mistakes and set backs. Furniture doesn’t always arrive on time. You may get something in a room and despite everyone’s good intentions it just doesn’t seem right. If it is truly wrong, the designer will know and you can work together to figure out what to do.
12. Yes, in this day and age custom still means NOT RETURNABLE. If something is made wrong or damaged that is one thing, but if you decide you don’t like it or have buyer’s remorse – tough.
13. Refusing to pay is not the appropriate way to exercise control or show your dissatisfaction. If you have a complaint or issue say so and allow the sales person, manufacturer, designer or builder to work with you.
14. Be polite and respectful to all sales people, trades people and others in your employ and you will meet your home decorating and design goals.
About the Author
Lisa M. Smith is an interior designer and owner of Interior Design Factory, Ltd. She specializes in creating beautiful and inviting residential interiors that are timeless and look collected, not like a showroom. Real design for real people. She produces individualized results using creative solutions that are livable and tell a story.