Once you’ve taken the plunge and hired and interior designer (yay for you!) it can seem intimidating. What do you need to know to get ready for your first session together? Prepping in advance is important and makes the most of your limited time together. Here are 5 tips for your first meeting with an interior designer:
Tip #1: Complete any requested pre-meeting activities.
At Lesley Myrick Art + Design we send our clients a personalized Kickoff Kit that contains links to their invoice, our Design Dossier questionnaire, and other helpful resources to help us kickstart projects in the best way possible. The more preparation our clients can do before our first working session, the better prepared we are to deliver design awesomeness. If you’ve taken the time to think through your needs, wants, style, and budget, we don’t have to spend time going over those items when we meet – we can jump right into the good stuff (design!).
Tip #2: Gather inspiration images.
A picture really is worth a thousand words, and something described as “modern” may mean different things to different people. Photos of spaces, objects, or furnishings you’re drawn to will bring clarity to your interior designer that words just can’t. Designers are visual people and getting on the same page from the start will ensure a successful partnership. Have magazine tear sheets, links to Pinterest boards or Houzz ideabooks, and any other design reference you’ve collected ready.
Tip #3: Prepare your questions in advance.
Usually during your first working session with an interior designer (sometimes referred to as a consultation; we call ours a Design Jumpstart) the designer will answer a lot of questions before you even ask them. We make sure our clients know about our design packages, our design process, and what it looks like to work with us beyond that first meeting. But do be sure to make a list of all the questions you have, whether they’re about the design process, pricing, or specific design dilemmas in your home.
Tip #4: Remember, interior designers are not judging you.
Designers understand it’s a privilege to be hired and to be allowed in your home. We don’t take it lightly that you trust us in your space, and we aren’t judging you on how your home looks! Please don’t apologize for anything. If your home looked exactly the way you wanted it to already, you wouldn’t need us. But do point out problem areas that need to be addressed so we know what’s not working and can design a solution for you.
Tip #5: Trust your designer.
You’ve hired a designer for their style, expertise, and ideas. We have years of education and experience that allow us to design and visualize some amazing transformations for your home! Even if you can’t clearly see the design picture at the first meeting, trust that you’ve hired the right designer and she’ll create something incredible for you. You may feel a little uneasy at some of the design changes suggested, and that’s totally normal. When you’ve lived in a space for a while, it’s weird to imagine things changing, even if you don’t like the space how it is. A designer will take your needs, style, budget, and timeline into account to customize a design that will rock your socks off. And they’re happy to guide you gently through the process, as it can be a stressful one. Remodeling and decorating takes months and there are always bumps along the way. But your designer totally has your back. (Also, while it’s important to trust your designer, if you’re getting major red flags from them and it’s really not a fit, it’s totally okay not to move forward with them.)
These 5 tips for your first meeting with an interior designer should put you at ease. Designers love what we do and are happy to help make the process a smooth, efficient, and happy one. If you have other helpful tips or questions, chime in on Facebook – I’d love to hear what you’ve learned or what you wish you’d known. Cheers to starting your design project! 🍸
Want more awesome design tips and inspiration to break out of a “blah” home and let your rad self shine? Get my FREE guide, “Bring Personality to a Boring Space” right here. 🤘