Helpful Tips for Choosing a Decorator
Choosing a decorator is a decision that should not be taken lightly! There are many things to consider- including budgets, styles, and references, and you also have to think about personalities and work ethic. You will be working closely with this person and just like a house, you need a solid foundation! Here are a few good tips as you select a designer for your next home project:
- If given a recommendation from a friend or you see a post on social media I suggest you take a minute to look through their portfolio. You can see their style through pictures or get a better understanding of how in depth this person works on a job. Not only is it important to like their ideas and work, but you should also like them as a person. When you hire someone to work closely with you on designing your project you will build a relationship. It is no fun working with someone if you really don’t care for them or their personality-eek!
- It is important to come to a meeting with a potential designer focused on what area you are wanting to tackle. Jot down a couple of ideas or pros/cons list and that will help to make a more productive meeting. This is true whether you are remodeling a bathroom, staging a home, or even a new construction build. It helps to have those thoughts on paper. The lists will grow, things will get checked off and some things will be completely removed. Budget is a huge factor in realistic expectations. The reality is that some things you never thought of will cut into your budget. That is where a decorator will help to keep things in perspective, remind you of your main goals, and help you stay within your budget. That is also where it gets tricky because tough decisions have to be made and sometimes that idea of what you had in mind doesn't fall within your budget. But your decorator can also help you brainstorm other creative ideas, stay within the budget, and create a space that you never want to leave.
- Good accessibility and communication are imperative in a decorator/client relationship- in seeing a project from beginning to end AND being pleased with the final result. With so many tools available there should be no reason why you cannot fully communicate with your decorator on your project simply with a text, email, facetime or so many other options. If there is ever a time I know my phone service will be spotty I let my clients know that up front before going on vacation or other locations where my service does not work. Depending on your project there will be times that you need an immediate answer when making decisions on materials, questions that arise during a project from a contractor, or if you’re purchasing on your own, but still want input from your decorator. So, it is important for the person hired doing the job to be up front when they know that they will not be available. Also, you can reschedule important meetings if you know beforehand that your decorator will not be available so that no one’s time or money is wasted.
- Depending on what you set up with decorator, it can be different on what to expect. Some clients want to set up a budget and give free reign. I’ve had clients do all their shopping with a yes or no nod from me while purchasing. It can look different and there can be a la carte options depending on what type of service you are wanting. Your budget can determine and decide what you can actually afford from decorating services. You must consider including the price of hiring a professional on top of what it will cost to redo your space. Also, be realistic when setting a budget for your space and hired professionals. Most likely you have already searched for decor or furniture. You know it is not cheap to buy new, good quality furniture. So, don’t set up unrealistic budget limits and expect grand results. Layering a space is what makes it feel like those Instagram worthy shots that you admire, and that's (hopefully) what your decorator specializes in.
- Time is also a big factor that some people may not realize when tackling a project. The install of a project may be done in a 3 day period, but what has gone on behind the scenes leading up to that project install? It has been weeks or months brainstorming, ordering, purchasing décor or furniture for that space. So, please be up front with your deadlines to confirm with the decorator that that is even possible to finish on your scheduled deadline. This goes back to communication and being transparent with your goals and deadlines for your new space. You don’t want to walk away with hard feelings because the project was way over budget and the deadline was not met. If you have that constant communication there should be no surprises when completing a project.
What are the most important things in your mind when hiring a decorator?