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Top 6 Strategies for Collaborating with Your Interior Designer

Beautifully curated living room with white walls, custom furniture, and white oak built ins

When embarking on a new construction or home renovation project, there are many routes for making design choices. Builders offer packages of finishes, you might take a stab at choosing finishes yourself, lean on pinterest, or you can partner with an interior designer for the most curated experience.

Our homes are one of the largest investments most of us will ever make, and it can be invaluable to make wise choices on layout and finishes. Working with an interior designer can increase the value of your investment and save you from making questionable choices in so many ways, from avoiding fleeting trends to maximizing the use of the space. An interior designer will listen to your ideas, vision, and goals and provide a plan to make it all come to life in the most timeless, beautiful way possible. Ready to align with a design team? Below are some strategies for collaborating with your interior designer.


1. Find a designer whose aesthetic you love

Check out different designers websites or instagrams and see what kind of finishes, furniture, and vibes are at play. Your designer will tailor the style to your specific likes and dislikes to a degree but if your vibe is tuscan villa and you want to partner with a designer who leans midcentury modern, it's not going to be satisfying for either party. If you LOVE what you see from a designer, working together will be a fun, creative, and satisfying process for everyone involved.

2. Be clear about your budget, goals for the space, and non-negotiables

You might not know the exact dollar amount you want to spend on a project, but let your designer know which areas you want to save or splurge on and what level of quality you have in mind. Let the designer know the full scope of the project (even if it is being done in phases) so that they can build a wholistic plan. If you absolutely hate orange or wool carpet or brass finishes or are dead set on marble countertops, let your designer know these preferences from the start.

3. Have an open mind

Many of us want to re-create a look we've seen in another home or on social media. A designer might propose an idea that initially you're not sure how you feel about since it's unfamiliar but end up loving if you trust the process. Try and keep your mind as open as possible.

4. Let the designer design

The whole point of hiring (and paying!) an interior designer is so that they can do just that, design. It can be hard to relinquish this element if you have strong opinions and know what you like. The more pieces of the design that the designer is coordinating, the more cohesive the entire design will be. It can be tempting to try and introduce an idea for a finish or furniture piece you just really like and there are times this can work out just fine. But in general, let the designer take the lead, present their ideas, and be the creative leader on the design from start to finish. This will lead to the most cohesive, quality design.

5. Give specific feedback

Your main role during the design process after the initial direction is feedback. At the end of the day, it's your home and your designer wants you to love it. Instead of a simple response of, "I don't like it" when presented with an idea, try and explain why. Your designer can improve the design only as well as you can give feedback. Is it too modern, too traditional, a color you don't vibe with? Take the time to give specific, constructive feedback and the design can move along most efficiently.

6. Be patient

Once the design is underway, it's natural to be very excited and perhaps want to help with the design work to move things along. It's worth waiting for your designer to complete each stage of the project from initial ideation, finish selection, and then moving into furniture and soft goods. Many homeowners also don't want to wait for custom furniture or finishes that have a longer lead time. In the big picture, you are going to love the finished product so much more if you can patiently wait for the best choice of finishes and furnishings instead of the most readily available option.


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