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Working With An Interior Designer. Questions You Really Want To Ask.

If you are reading this you are probably considering hiring an interior designer. I felt it that it was very necessary to publish this post. I have found it important to publish some of the common fears, questions and misconceptions that I have researched online and with my experience.  These thoughts have also been shared with me by clients while they were interviewing interior design professionals.  

“I would like to use a designer, but paying someone for an endless amount of design hours seems crazy.”

We understand the stresses that come with rehabs and interior decorating projects, they are unavoidable. We also understand the budget stresses for these projects as well. You and Your Decor aims to reduce that stress by using a transparent fee method of billing, while clearly outlining the anticipated process, installation, and timeline. We choose to bill all of our design projects this way and the design fee is known from inception. This way our firm, you as our client, and everyone involved can focus on being 100% creative and not watching an imaginary design clock. Our clients value knowing what they are paying our design firm before the work has been started.

“I fear that by using a designer, I will end up with a "look" someone wants to give me rather than something that is "me".
We hear this concern a lot. It is a horrible feeling to enter into a relationship feeling as if the designer will impose a strong esthetic or their favorite styling on your home. This is why we dedicate so much time on getting to know you, the way you live, your inspirations, your dreams, your family, and your expectations. By getting a feel for our clients ahead of time, we are able to gage if we are a good fit for your design project. Like any relationship - The chemistry must be right. The difference between a good designer and a great interior designer is the great one can help bring out MORE of your personality and inject that into your space.

“What if I don’t like the ideas that you come up with, or dislike the design all together?”
Tell us. There won’t be any hurt feelings! By the time we start your project, we would have hoped to establish trust and a relationship to where you feel comfortable enough to express any doubts about your project.  You and Your Decor also has many ways of presenting our design ideas to our clients including sketches, design boards, and 3D renderings of your new space.

“I am concerned about you (the designer) re-designing my space AND my budget.”
A good relationship with your designer means having open and honest conversations about budget and expectations. As your designer, it saves so much research time knowing what your spending goal is with your project. On the other hand, it is my responsibility to inform you of what the cost of furnishings and materials is. From years of experience, we are able to set these parameters early on in the relationship.

“I like things for my home that can be found at flea markets or re-purposed, designers do not source from places like this.” 
We are already off to a great start! I start at home - Not mine, but YOUR home. One of my favorite parts about the design process is shopping at the clients home. I, as the designer get such an insightful look as well as a perfect starting point from collections, antiques, and heirlooms. I then shop that “high and low” contrast for my clients. I feel that treasures I find at flea markets, at home, and antique stores inject the most personality. 

“How do I know if I am ready to hire a designer?” 
We get asked this question quite a bit. Here is our advice on recognizing the signs that you may need/are ready to hire an iterior designer:

  1. You have a pile of design magazines with pages torn out, or dog eared. It seems that you are yearning for custom – To the trade – furnishings and showroom exclusives. A designer does not only have that exclusive access, but can also save you up to 30% off retail.

  1. You look around and you are exhausted, aesthetically, of living in your space. How we feel in our space is important. Our home should welcome, inspire, and refresh us. If you feel depleted when you are at home and unsure of what to do about it, an interior designer’s opinion may be key.

  1.  You are open to suggestion – This one bears repeating – YOU ARE OPEN TO SUGGESTION. Hiring a professional interior designer does not necessarily mean relinquishing total control. It does, require having an open mind to their professional suggestions and solutions. If you find that you naturally micromanage all projects around you, no designer would ever be a good fit or satisfy your expectations.

  1. You can see the value in bringing in a professional. An interior designer needs to make a living and if you are ready to hire a designer, you must take into account the hidden bonuses that you will receive that you cannot put a price tag on. An experienced design firm has quite a lengthy and involved process in making your home tailored to you. This is because we research and offer many practical suggestions, have the ability to envision what you cannot, hold a trained eye that knows when something is quite not right, are able to listen with our ears AND eyes, save you money. I can go on forever here! I often joke with my clients and tell them that I will be in their lives for no less than a year – so the guest bedroom must be comfortable!

  2. You are too busy to do it all yourself. As I said above, decorating a home can take months, even years. Most of my clients are full time professionals, parents, and volunteers. They leave it to me to manage their project, as their full time decorator.

Like in any relationship – "Communication is Key."

Your interior stylist

Tiffany Brooks



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