What It SHOULD Be Like Working With Interior Designers

I’ve heard that it can be intimidating to work with a designer. “I don’t know what to expect,” you say. “I’m not the type of person who uses a designer,” I’ve heard. But those are assumptions based on working with interior designers from the past. We’ve come a long way since "Designing Women" and I think you’ll really like working together. Here are a few tips for what it should be like to work with a designer.

Flash back to a couple of years ago. I’ve got two tiny kiddos and my family of four is bursting at the seams of our two-bedroom condo. It’s time to move. We find a fantastic agent who, among other things, offers a stager/interior decorator as part of his package. In walks Jeneka with a warm smile. She's soft spoken, quiet and observant. With a few tips and strategies, she leaves us confidently armed with a game plan to spruce up our home. Once on the market, our condo sells in four days. Done and done. An ideal partnership. How can you ensure the same?

Working with interior designers: an introduction

First things first, take a look at our websites. Take into account not only the work samples but the overall vibe of the website. You can get clues from the way we write all the way down to the fonts and color combinations we use. Does it feel like you? Does it make you comfortable? Do you find yourself nodding, “Yes! This is it!”

 photo by  Igor Miske

photo by Igor Miske

If you’re still going strong after the website stop, head over to our social media. Visit Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook accounts. Instagram and Pinterest are particularly visual, so you will get a good idea of the type of design that floats our boat.

Working with interior designers: contact

Initial inquiries should be answered promptly, even if to mention there is a waiting list. We can discuss the different services we provide and which might be a good fit for your family’s needs.

Working with interior designers: listening

Once the scope of the project is determined, the REAL communication begins. Our main job at this point is to LISTEN. Listen to what you’re saying (and sometimes what you’re not saying). The majority of the talking/communicating should come from you with us asking questions to clarify. This is your show. Not ours.

Topics often include budget, what’s currently working, what function you want the room to have, who will be using the room. There will be plenty of questions. We want inside your brain!!

 photo by  Nik MacMillan

photo by Nik MacMillan

Working with interior designers: observing

Next in the project is the observation phase. We’ll take a look at details like measurements, items you want to keep, the direction your house faces, and inspiration photos. Don’t worry if you can’t make sense of your inspiration photos, just send what sets you on fire. We can figure out the link that pulls them all together.

Working with interior designers: reflecting

Now that all the information is whirring around in our heads, it’s important for us to reflect back to you what we’ve heard, what we’ve seen and what your hopes are for the room. It’s a great opportunity to clarify.

 Photo by  Jeff Sheldon

Photo by Jeff Sheldon

Working with interior designers: partnering

First draft. Here’s where we give you our first visual representation of everything we’ve learned about your room.

Don’t freak out if you don’t immediately fall in love with the first draft. This is our hope, of course, but we don’t expect it every time. Give us honest feedback so that we can give you the best room we can.

Ultimately, this room is for your family. We can suggest and explain why we chose the components of your room that we did, but in the end, it comes down to what you like.

Through open dialog and discussion, the project narrows its scope to a final plan.

Working with interior designers: completion!

Handoff time! We return with your finished package. Drawings of furniture plans, explanations of what goes where, shopping list, tips on pulling it all together.

You are left with a space you love to look at, that works exactly as you need it to, and that you can enjoy in comfort

Now back to today. I’m here, and, equipped with my Jeneka experience and some experience of my own, I’m ready to create a similar relationship with your family! If you haven’t already, head on over to my website to give it a look or just drop me a line. I can’t wait to meet you.

Jen Pollard20 Comments