Achieving the Best Design Results

Design is certainly a collaborative process, so the best results are going to be obtained when you, the client, are involved at every step of the way. If you’ve never worked with a professional designer (and even if you have), you may be unsure of what to expect and what to do to ensure the result you desire. To eliminate some of the mystery, here are 5 things I recommend to achieve the best design results:

  1. Gather photos of designs that create excitement. Think of this like bringing photos of hairstyles you like to your stylist, who can use them to tell you what’s possible given your hair type, face shape, etc. Your expectations may be tempered—perhaps you can’t look like Jennifer Aniston, but you can have a similar hairstyle. In the realm of design, when you share photos of spaces you like with your designer, this offers a glimpse into your style and a possible roadmap to follow for your project. Your designer will tell you what is and isn’t possible given the size and layout of your room(s), the scope of the project, and your budget. Speaking of which…
  2. Establish a realistic budget. Do you have Kia resources but Mercedes tastes? Are you seeking to be as economical as possible or is the sky the limit? Your designer will be able to explain how far your money will take you, so you understand upfront how much you must invest to get what you want. When you set a budget that works for you, it’s your designer’s job to set your expectations accordingly. That way, you probably won’t even mind writing the final check.
  3. Listen to the designer’s experienced advice. As noted above, design is a collaborative process, but the designer needs to be “driving the bus.” This doesn’t mean you’ll end up with something you don’t want or isn’t you—but to really get your money’s worth from your designer, you need to listen to his/her advice. You don’t always have to take it, but think about why you hired a designer in the first place: you probably wanted someone with design experience and education to help make your space(s) great. Don’t pass up the opportunity to benefit from this expert’s opinion.
  4. Give away items no longer needed or used. You wouldn’t ask a painter to begin a portrait on anything other than a blank canvas, and that same thinking can be used at the start of a design project. It’s invaluable to take a critical look at the space(s) that will be getting a facelift and discard things you no longer need or aren’t using. Try to eliminate the emotions that may be associated with some items that have no place in your “new and improved” space(s), and look forward to the transformation.
  5. Understand and enjoy the process. This may be the most important tip of all. When you understand all the steps involved in your project and you have faith in your designer, you have no reason to be stressed out or anxious. You made a good choice to entrust the process to a professional, so you should relax and enjoy seeing how everything comes together, just as you envisioned.
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