Think about the qualities you want in an ideal partner. Chances are they’re successful, a good communicator, trustworthy, financially stable, and willing to have fun and take risks… ringing any bells?
Now think about the qualities you want in an interior designer—the similarities are uncanny, right? Creating your dream home is an intimate, time-intensive process that’s not for the faint of heart, which is exactly why finding an interior designer you can trust takes a lot more effort than swiping right or left. It takes thorough research, heavy vetting, and some serious courtship.
In this guide, we outline the top five things you should do while hunting for your happily ever after.
1. Create a realistic budget.
Budget is one of the first things to establish when planning your future home or remodel.
But, as is with any relationship, it’s important to be honest with yourself and your potential design match.
If you can’t afford a $10,000 kitchen table at the moment, that’s totally fine, but needs to be communicated in order to avoid having to have an awkward conversation down the line. Establishing a number before meeting with designers will give both sides of the discussion a sense of clarity and more confidence on whether or not to commit to date number two. While most designers will be happy to adapt to your budget, others may come with a more strict baseline.
2. Identify your style match.
In today’s HGTV-obsessed world, sometimes figuring out what style you’re going for can be overwhelming. The options and possibilities seem endless. We suggest spending some time with Pinterest, design blogs, and good old-fashioned shelter magazines before you start looking for a designer.
Any time you flip or scroll past an image that gives you butterflies, rip it out, save it in a folder, or pin it. This record will soon turn into your style profile, and will come in handy when meeting with designers later on. (On the flip side, you can even file away images that make you cringe in a separate folder, so your designer can also get a better feel for what styles to avoid.)
After developing your own style wishlist, search for designers in your area who have similar taste. Many designers are willing to be flexible in style from project to project, but pay attention to the mood and feeling that their designs create. Do you like their use of color? Do they offer quality, custom finishes, and furnishings? Does each space feel inviting and comfortable? Spend some time on the designer’s website and get to know their style and approach in order to avoid going into the first date blind.
3. Be resourceful.
A Google search is always a good starting point for navigating the designer matchmaking process, but don’t forget to use your web of friends, family, and colleagues as well. If you walk into a friend’s home and love the way it looks, ask them who the key players were in the design and what the pros and cons were of working with them. Finding a designer who has already been vetted by someone you love and trust may cut out a good chunk of time spent searching for the right fit.
4. Consider your communication strategy.
Are you someone who likes to know the status of every single detail, or would you rather take a more hands-off approach? Figure out how involved you would like to be in the process, and then communicate your expectations with your potential designer.
Make sure you ask about their expectations as well—are they open to texts when an idea hits late at night, video chats, in-person walk-throughs? Communication can make or break any relationship, so it’s important to find someone who makes it effortless and fun.
5. Weigh your options, but go with your gut.
So you finally made it to the first meeting and the mood is just right, the conversation is seamless, and you’re feeling giddy about the future. That’s great! But don’t dive in just yet. It’s important to weigh your options and meet with a few designers before you commit to a lifetime—err, a project—together. This will give you a clear conscience and help you choose an option with confidence. If after you’ve met with two or three designers and you still can’t get the first person out of your head, trust that gut instinct and take the next step. Mazel!
Your lifestyle, your family, your personality, and your style are unique and personal, so your home should be too. Finding a designer is about so much more than talent, it’s about choosing someone who takes the time to understand those intricacies that will make your future house feel like home.
At Design Studio, we pride ourselves in building lasting relationships with our clients and making the design process exciting and easy from the first meetups to the big reveal. If that sounds like a match for you, stop by our Boulder showroom, call us at 303-652-1727, or send us a love letter at firstname.lastname@example.org.