Working with a Designer

by Jane VanOsdol on June 23, 2011

Countertops, flooring, paint and cabinets. When it comes to a new remodel, the number of decisions you have to make can be overwhelming. If you’d like some help choosing the style, materials and colors to use for your new home improvement project, you may want to consider hiring an interior designer. Getting some professional advice could give you the confidence you need to go ahead, especially if it’s a large, expensive project that you’ll be living with for years.

Tips to Hiring and Working with a Designer

  1. Make sure your designer comes highly recommended. Ask family and friends who have used a designer to recommend one for you. You’ll be placing a lot of trust in this person, so you want to be comfortable with your choice.
  2. Look at the work. Ask to see the designer’s portfolio, and if possible, actually look at some of the work. Some designers are known for a certain style of work, so be sure you like that style and can picture it in your own home.
  3. Make a file. Gather pictures and samples of materials, colors, fixtures and styles that you like. Create a file to bring with you to your first meeting. The more visual things you have to show the designer of your likes, the quicker the designer will be able to ascertain your design style.
  4. Meet with them. Schedule an introductory meeting with the designer. Discuss the project and your ideas and dreams for it. See how the designer responds to you. Does he or she listen to your ideas and want to work with your plans, or does the designer seem to just want to push other ideas? You have to have a good rapport with the designer and be comfortable. Try out a few designers to see which one you feel will best capture your vision for the project.
  5. Be involved. Once you’ve chosen the designer to work with, stay active and available in all the decisions to be made. The more you participate, the happier you’ll be with the finished product. Speak up if you’re dissatisfied with the direction your kitchen remodeling project is taking.
  6. Stick to your budget. Be sure you make your budget clear. No matter how great the designer’s ideas are, if you blow your budget, your home improvement project could turn into a home improvement disaster. Make sure your designer knows if you need to work on your project in stages in order to make it more budget friendly.

Hiring a designer could be the best decision you make. Choose your designer wisely and you’ll have a project you’re happy with for years to come.

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