before meeting a designer

Beth Whitlinger Interior Design

What to do before meeting with a designer

Preparing for your initial meeting with your designer will help get the project flowing in the right direction. Communication is the key to both a successful relationship with your designer, and a beautiful usable space.

Do some homework. Go through magazines and start an idea file. Pull out anything that catches your eye. It may be just a sofa leg or a drapery style that you like, but this visual media can communicate to your designer the style and feeling you're looking for.

Take some time to think about the colors you enjoy. Are there colors you absolutely can't live with? Do you have a style in mind? Will you need to incorporate existing furniture or accessories? Think about what you will be doing in the room(s). Do you need any of the spaces to be multi-purpose? Do you have pets, kids, entertain frequently?

Give some serious thought to you budget. Remember you need to include furniture, accesories, labor and materials, and your designer's fee. Communicate this total to your designer. Don't be afraid to discuss this amount. Trusting that your designer will not spend more than you specifiy is an important part of the relationship. A budget of all items should be given to you in writing before anything is ordered.

Above all, relax and enjoy the process. Having your home disrupted is stressful, but if your designer has communicated his or her vision for your space, that will carry you through the process. When the project is completed, clients always say that it was worth the disruption to get to the end result!