Client Preparation for the First Meeting
It is helpful if you understand the scope of your project and who will be involved. If it is new construction or a remodel, do you have a Contractor chosen and will the Architect be involved during the construction phase. What role do you want the Interior Designer to play? A Designer can do drawings such as cabinetry details and tile layouts, work with the Contractor or Architect on a daily basis, draw furniture plans and specify furnishings, or do all the purchasing. Think about the involvement that you would like the designer to have in your project.
Be aware of the type of design you like even if all the specifics are not worked out. The use of magazine pictures is a wonderful tool, and even one small feature from an entire room is helpful. This will enable the Designer to get a clearer view of what you would like, and to feel more comfortable about accomplishing this for you.
Keep a budget in mind. There is a wide range of products and costs to choose from, and the Designer needs to know from the beginning which category you will fit into. Even if you do not have a concept of how much things will cost, at least have some idea of what you can spend at the present. The Designer can help you with a budget and see if the amount you have in mind is feasible. Remember that jobs can always go in phases.
Be prepared to like and trust the person you will ultimately hire. You will not always like every choice they bring for you to see, so make sure that you feel comfortable talking to this person. The design process should be a FUN experience.
Before clients begin a project, they will undoubtedly talk to several interior designers. In many cases a Designer is referred by someone you know which gives a personal advantage. However, in today’s market more and more people are finding Designers through the internet, viewing work that has been published or seen in Showcase Houses, advertising, and the yellow pages.
It is important to keep several things in mind when selecting a Designer:
- Length of time working in the field.
- Formal education in the field of design.
- Affiliations with professional design organizations and state
certification or licensing.
- Designer should have a portfolio for viewing. Creative designers work in many realms of design; keep that in mind if you don’t see exactly what you want from their photographed work.
- Designer will listen to your wants and needs and respect them.
- Your personality and the Designer’s personality seem to work together. You will probably be spending a lot of time with this person and you want to like them.
- You feel comfortable with the fee arrangements the Designer offers and any Contracts or Agreements.