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Prepare for a Successful Design Project

During a project consultation, I as a designer listen to what frustrates you in your room and ask a multitude of questions so that we can come up with a successful solution together. Aside from basic questions about your likes and dislikes, I may take photos, measure the existing color within your space, draw sketches and also take measurements of the room, furniture, windows, and note any obstructions. This is the perfect time to share precisely what pains you about your space. 

After a consultation is scheduled, I typically give my clients a little homework. Often, I will ask you turn to online sources such as Pinterest, Houzz, or even shelf magazines for inspiration, if needed. This visual method works much better than asking someone, “What is your design style?” since the definition of each style has been distorted by various influences over the past few decades. This method helps keep us both visually connected, and keeps the design team on point with your project and helps us exceed your expectations, creating a successful design project. Discover Your Design Aesthetic.

1. Goals for Your Space

Perhaps the most important thing to start with is clear goals. The first step in achieving this is to brainstorm all of the things you need in your space. You will then need to group them and rate them in the list of importance in the overall project (I will expand a bit more on the “why” of this below).

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2. Know Your Budget

It is essential to have an overall idea of how much you would like to invest in your project before the design consultation. While you may be an avid HGTV fan, it may shock you to know that the incredibly low budgets and short timeframes on those shows are unrealistic and made for (yep, you guessed it) entertainment purposes only. There are a wide variety of products available with a wide range of price tags to go along with them. For example, floor-length operable draperies with integrated motorization cost four times as much as a basic custom made honeycomb blind on a window. And if you are planning on, the price of a quartz countertop is about four times the cost of a laminate countertop. It is essential to know that you might need a little wiggle room in your budget as we begin pricing out those items on your wishlist. It is not unusual to have to make some project compromises for budget purposes or modify your original budget.

3. Declutter the Area

Another helpful thing you can do before a design consultation is to declutter if possible. This will assist you and your designer in viewing your space correctly and distraction fee, thus create a more productive overall meeting and end up with a successful design project.

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4. Have Other Furnishings Present

I will also need all pieces of the design puzzle to be present at the time we meet to achieve a successful design project, which includes paint swatches, carpet samples, furniture, etc. If you need help, I would be happy to assist you in your selections. Unfortunately, many times clients get excited and schedule consultations prematurely. If you are having some major renovations done or want me to measure for window treatments, and the window trim isn’t in yet, we will need to schedule after those are completed. I will not be able to see the space correctly if it is under construction, and I cannot get accurate measurements for window treatments if the trim is not installed. If you are unsure about the current state your home is in, please schedule a call. 

5. Explore Your Aesthetic Preferences

It is essential to know your design aesthetic preferences before our meeting. As I mentioned previously, you may use social media sources such as Pinterest or Houzz to help you discover if you are unsure. I recommend creating a separate board on Pinterest to pin all of your likes and dislikes and sharing that board with your designer. You can use the description to make notes about the “pin” to jog your memory. You can also read more about this process by reading our previous blog post here, Discover Your Design Aesthetic.

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6. Know Your Process for Decisions

Decisive decision making is crucial in having an efficient consultation. Prepare in advance, and make sure all decision-makers can be present at the time of your consultation. This extra, but essential step prevents miscommunication and is more time conducive for all parties involved.

7. Get Ready for a Positive Experience

Lastly, some commonly overlooked items that can lead to better consultation include eliminating those pesky distractions while we are meeting. If you have sweet little ones that may occupy your time, you may want to think about having a sitter stopover for an hour or so. Are you a social butterfly? Placing your phone on airplane mode can help with digital disturbances. And the most important one of all, keep yourself open to new ideas and suggestions. Designers are the experts and have a broad knowledge of the products available to complete your project. We have pretty amazing ideas up our sleeve 🙂

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You are now well on your way to the most productive design consultation of your life. Congratulations! In all seriousness, though, it does help to prepare ahead of time to ensure a smooth and desirable outcome. You have many choices when it comes to home design. I would be thrilled to help you achieve the home and lifestyle of your dreams.

Have any questions about our process? Reach out to us or leave a comment below, and we’d be happy to share more.


Disclosure: This article contains some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. These commissions help support the complimentary instructional video and written content available to you each month. 

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