HOW DO I PREPARE FOR AN INTERIOR DESIGN CONSULTATION?
What questions to ask in an interior design consultation before embarking on a house project?
There are so many elements to think about when starting to renovate your home. It can be a small project like redesigning your living room or rejuvenating your master bedroom. It can also be a large project when building an extension or a loft. It can also be an even smaller project, by changing the rooms in the house to make space for an office now that we are all working from home. It can be closing up the open space living area to make a quiet space for reading and chilling space. There are endless different design projects, but one thing for sure, they all have one thing in common, which is hiring an interior designer to help find the best design and the best space planning possibilities for your needs.
Before the decorators start covering your furniture in plastic, before the builders’ start taking your walls down, it is best to choose the right interior designer to help you make the right choices on all aspects of your project. Finding the right interior designer to design and manage your home refurbishment project for your needs is crucial.
I have put a list of typical questions to explore when embarking on an interior design project. The most important thing to remember is, what are your needs? What are your dreams and how do you live in your home now that life has changed so dramatically. The interior designer that you will be hiring needs to get all your points and needs to understand you as an individual and as a family unit. The designer needs to be able to design for you and not for a trend or their needs.
An interior designer should work with you to create a space that is harmonious to what you want, but also they will not be afraid to take the initiative and add something new to the process. In my experience, a good interior designer is not only going to design floor plans, suggest paint colour, furniture pieces, lights and fabrics but will bring their unique inspiration and experience to the project.
1: WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGN PROJECT?
I listen to the brief of my client. I get my clients to take a colour questionnaire, a style questionnaire and a furniture questionnaire. Once the clients have gone through the questionnaire process, I have got to know them in detail, and the rest of my research goes much quicker, and it is more efficient and successful.
2: – WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE DESIGN PROCESS?
The first part of the design process is to get the flow of the room or the house done properly. That is key to a good functioning home. It is important to get the flow right, so you do not have any waste of space in your home. This is a very vital part of the design process.
The functionality of your space is the key!
3: – DO YOU ACCEPT YOUR CLIENTS’ OPINION AND IDEAS?
The process of designing a home is a process of stages. The first stage is space planning as we discussed above. The next step is presenting the clients with different options of colours, fabrics, furniture and lighting. This process is a conversation and presentation of ideas.
At the beginning of the process when the client has done the colour, style and furniture questionnaire, I already know what the client loves when it comes to colours etc… When presenting to the client options of colours, different fabrics, wallpapers and more, I always welcome their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Working in harmony with the client allows me to bring my vision and design concept to the table and it will enable a creative discussion to come to life.
4: – HOW WOULD YOU WORK ON A PROJECT LIKE MINE?
The goal of running a successful design project is to listen and communicate well with the client and the builders. It is crucial to be able to adjust the design when necessary and be able to think on your feet and come with immediate creative solutions.
5: – ARE YOU ABLE TO WORK WITH SMALL SPACES?
Designing small spaces is the best challenge of all. Knowing how to use different tones of colour and knowing where to source or even design the correct furniture pieces that are multi-functional. For example, creating a seating bench that also can be used as storage—or creating functional cupboards inside thick walls. Every small corner of the house needs to get the same attention as large space.
6: – HOW MANY LIGHTING POINTS DO I NEED IN A ROOM?
Lighting is also an essential part of getting the mood right in the room. Some say you need 8 different lighting points in the room. It depends on the client and the way they use the room.
Mixing overhead lighting and freestanding lights is definitely a YES. The budget will guide you too on how many lighting points you can afford to have in your room.
7: – ARE YOU ABLE TO WORK TO MY BUDGET?
It is imperative to approach a design project with a budget that is realistic and transparent as possible. Experienced designers can design spaces which meet budget requirements and will provide honest feedback from the beginning. If a budget does not align with the client’s aspirations, requests and dreams then the designer needs to bring up this issue from the start.
An interior designer will not be able to provide an exact figure for the project as a whole from the very beginning as it takes time to develop a design concept and plan.
Experienced interior designers will be able to give a ballpark figure to the larger items of the project, for example, sofa, rugs and armchairs.
They will, however, be able to explain what is billable such as design fees, admin and project management as well as how they invoice and the purchasing procedures.
8: – AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER, WHAT ARE SOME QUESTIONS DO YOU ASK THE CLIENT?
There are lots of questions an Interior Designer should be asking their client. Here are a few of my questions ..
- How do you use this room? How do you intend using this room?
- Are there any furniture or decor items you want to keep?
- What do you dislike about the current design?
- What art pieces are you keeping? In what room will you want to hang them?
- Do you have any inspirational images you can share?
- What is your budget?
9: HOW MUCH INVOLVEMENT IS REQUIRED FROM ME?
The purpose of paying for an Interior Designer is to outsource the time, knowledge and skills required to create a truly considered, beautiful and functional space. It is important to make the most of the experience and knowledge the designer has, which will save the client much time, money and stress. Your Interior Designer should be happy to do everything when it comes to your design project. During this process, encouraging any feedback and thoughts at key stages during the design process is imperative – to ensure that the client’s vision aligns with the project brief. As a client, it is important to make time for meetings with your designer if in person or via a virtual method. It is very imported to give honest and thoughtful feedback.
Honesty is the key!
10: – WHEN CAN WE START THE PROJECT?
Once you have gone through these questions and believe and trust that the interior designer understands your dreams and needs, then you can start the design process.
If you follow these interior design questions, you will have found the perfect Interior Designer and a space that reflects your aesthetic and design style.
Hiring an interior designer is a big commitment. Not only because of the cost that is involved, but it is also because it becomes a very intimate relationship. You want to know that this person gets you- he/she understand your style and personality. An interior designer can reduce the unbelievable stress that is involved in designing, decision making, choosing and outsourcing materials. You want to make sure the process will be enjoyable, on time and on budget. You want to make sure that at the end of the project, your home will be well space-planned, reflect your personality and your style.
Well, that’s it from me for today.