Hiring a professional for an interior design project is a big decision, especially if it’s your first time utilizing these services to decorate your home. A lot of people are unsure what to expect throughout the process, and sometimes about what they want to get from it. For that reason, there is always an initial design consultation. In order to get the most out of your consultation, there are a couple of things that you can think about ahead of time to prepare.
Defining Your Goals
Think of the initial consultation as a sort of interview on both ends. You might be hiring an expert because you want a change, but you’re not entirely sure where to start—and that’s okay. There are still ways to narrow down the scope of the project and ensure that you get a result you’ll be happy with.
If you have a clear idea of what you want the finished project to look like, have a few pictures ready for your consultant. Write down what you like about the designs and why i.e., colors, style, prints, ambiance. Be as specific and clear as you possibly can about what aspects are most important to you.
If you’re really unsure what you want for your space, ask yourself why you’re looking to change it. What is the room used for? Is it a communal family space, an area where you spend time working, relaxing or hosting guests? What feeling or energy do you want the room to convey? Do you want the room to be warm and comfortable or bright and stimulating? All of these things give the consultant an idea of what your ultimate goal is, which will help them create a plan that makes the most sense for your home.
The Money Conversation
Be prepared to discuss budget and have a clear idea of how much you are willing to invest. If it’s your first time taking on a project like this, it can be difficult to predict how much money it will take to bring a vision to life.
Most of the time we redecorate a space over time—a throw pillow here, a new lamp shade there. For an interior design project, the end result is more cohesive, but the price tag is a larger one instead of a lot of small ones spread out over a few years.
Be realistic about what you’re willing to spend, and understand that changes may have to be made to keep the project within your budget. This is why defining your goals is so important. The consultant needs to know what is most important to you so that they can make adjustments when needed and come up with a plan that takes all your needs into account.
Open Mind, Open Home
Consultations can happen in your home or over the phone, but ultimately the goal is always the same. The designer’s goal is to give you a result that you will fall in love with. Trust the process, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be clear about what you want, but stay open to suggestions.