Working with a home designer is not easy but it definitely beats doing the work yourself. However, just because there’s someone else to do it for you doesn’t mean all you have to do is wait for the project to be finished. So what are your responsibilities as a client and what are the important steps you need to follow when working with an interior designer?
First of all, you should establish a budget. You’re the only one who knows how much money you can spend on a project and you need to accurately communicate that number to the designer so he or she can make the right choices and suggestions. Given how many different options a designer can explore, it’s important to have at least a few guidelines.
Once you’ve decided on a budget, you need to work with the designer and to establish how the renovation will develop. For example, some things need to be dealt with first. You should first replace the damaged flooring because you get new furniture and you first need to take care of the electrical work before you get the appliances. Some elements can allow you to save some money while other require quality and durability and usually cost more. The designer will tell where you need to invest more.
To keep track of your budget and to have a better understanding of how a complete renovation evolves, you need to know all the steps. First, the electrical installation gets replaced. Then it’s the plumbing and the heating systems that need to be updated. After that it;s time for the finishes (tiles, flooring, wall painting, etc.). Next come the windows and doors and then the furniture. After that, the lighting fixtures are added and then it’s time to install the appliances and the sinks and toilets. Once all of this is done, you can focus on decorating the space and add rugs, curtains, mirrors, pillows and everything else.
Now that you know all these steps, you can calculate the total budget you’ll need for the project. Basically you need money for the permits and the approvals in case you want to make any big changes in layout for example. You also need to pay the electrician and the other professionals. The furniture and the lighting fixtures need to be bought and installed. The decorations are a bit unpredictable and it’s hard to estimate how much these element cost. You also need to add the appliances and all the hardware to the list.
If you’re renovating an old home you need to decide in advance what you want to preserve and what you want to change. Tell the designer what your favorite pieces of features are and work together to find a way to integrate them in the new design.
When you hire an interior designer, you need to have a first conversation and to briefly describe your lifestyle with the activities you usually do at home. This way the designer can decide whether or not you need a separate kitchen, a large living room, a large table or a reading corner in the bedroom.
You should also tell the designer what your favorite colors and places are. For example, if you enjoy vising museums then your home can have a lot of artwork or even a gallery wall. If you enjoyed a particular country during your travels, you can include some influence from that area of the world, etc. All of these elements and details are important in order to accurately establish a budget.
Usually, a designer will want to visit your home. Although it’s useful to send the designer a few photos and a plan of the apartment in advance, the ideas will come more easily when he or she sees the space in person. Then, the designer will make a few measurements, offer a few solutions and ideas and once he knows what you’re looking for he’ll also make a sketch.
It’s important to realize that an interior designer doesn’t actually execute the renovation. It’s possible to establish a collaboration with a team or to get some recommendations from the designer but not a lot more beyond that.
The designer is the one that create the actual project. In the project he specifies all the important details such as the way the space is compartmentalized, how the windows and doors open, where the light switches are positioned, how the plumbing is installed, the dimensions of the furniture and the way it’s to be positioned in the room. Then you get to look over the project and make changes if necessary.
Then comes the fun part: the execution and implementation of the project. The products have to be selected either together with the designer when you both visits showrooms and shops or by the designer alone using the client’s budget. Then the team handling the remodel gets to work. The designer will visit a few times, during the crucial moments. During these visits he gets to make changes or adjustments if necessary.