What makes a good home designer? If you have been planning to remodel your home, do a kitchen remodel or a bathroom remodel, you've probably thought about hiring an interior designer or what some call a home designer. You've thought about how a designer can bring you function along with aesthetics, and have considered the value of having an educated and experienced person to help you navigate the design phase and the construction phase. We know where you're at now. You are wondering if there is anyone out there who has actually used a home designer and you want to know what their experience has been. It's a great place to be. We want to help shed some light on that experience for you. Here is a list of some commonalities our clients have had in their journey of remodeling a home. Consider these as you think about your decision to hire an interior designer.
As you might expect, the number one criteria our clients have enjoyed and would expect in hiring any home designer is that they be compatible. Most of our clients enjoy a down to earth designer that is putting their needs and interests ahead of what we may think should happen.
In a business of giving advice, every client wants their visions to be heard and ultimately translated in the end result of the project. Having a home designer that gets this is integral to the success of the remodel. As an example, we've worked with some clients that have a dream of building out their current space with a very minimalist approach while other clients want the exact opposite. As a designer, you have to be able to put your personal interests aside and give solid design advice while switching between each of these clients. That is the mark of an excellent interior designer.
This may seem obvious but is hard for a new client to assess on the front end of a project. A client can't really know this until they start working with their designer. They will have a series of meetings and find out pretty quickly if their designer is all over the place or has a keen sense of where they are headed.
The main ingredient in a designer being or staying organized with your project is having a solid process they follow with each of their clients. This process should be well vetted by the time they start working for you, putting years of experience under their belt they can share with you. The best way to tell if a home designer has a plan or a process is to ask them. If the designer is organized, this will make them very excited to know you care about where you both are headed. If they don't have a process their response will be something like "well, I want to get to know you and then we can feel our way through it." Yes, getting to know you is a big deal, as we stated in the first item above, but from that point on they should have a solid schedule that you are following to achieve success with your project.
Something that should be talked about at the beginning is a calendar. An excellent home designer can give you dates for future meetings and time frames for when each phase should start and end. Especially in the design phase, there should be a set expectation of what needs to be decided by what date in order to keep everything moving forward in the right direction.
Something our clients have marked as a high value when working with a home designer is expertise. This can come through many forms. A foundational example of expertise is someone who has a solid process like explained above. This shows a baseline of understanding that they know what works and what doesn't work. This is a theme that will carry itself through the entire remodeling project. A home designer needs to be confident in where they are taking you. They need to be able to give you direction and guidance or you will hit a lot of barriers in trying to get to the finish line.
Along the design and construction journey there are many difficult decisions to be made. A designer with expertise can not only give you good advice on how to move through those decisions, but can point back at work they've done that was similar and why they know it's the right way to go. Being experienced in what works and what doesn't is invaluable when you are working on a long term remodel project.
Think back to the last time you had someone helping you through a project in life and they were there to help you do the research while providing experienced advice at the same time. There is a difference between spending a few hours working through a difficult problem and several weeks on the same problem. An excellent designer's advice can be a good asset to collapse time frames and keep the train on the track.
Pulling it all together
As you can see, some of your initial questions may be the same experience our clients had, but at the same time there may be something you've uncovered here. Consider this research as part of your due diligence. You are getting closer to ironing out all your concerns. If you are still needing some clarification, download one of our ebooks that can hopefully fill in the gaps. If not, the next step is getting in front a home designer so you can get started working on your design.