Step 1 - what you want.
If you have not used an interior designer before, it can be somewhat daunting knowing what to expect. Whether you agreed to work with them on the basis of a straightforward consultancy or a full service design it's important for you to be clear on what you would like to achieve.
Design is a profession which requires excellent communication skills. It is essential that the designer is capable of translating ideas on to paper through drawings and specifications, and that he or she is competent enough to instruct and manage builders and craftsmen.
Years ago we asked our clients to flick through design magazines and tear pages out! we didn't have the internet then - gosh that makes me sound SO old - so they could get a clearer idea of their favourite design styles. Nowadays, I would encourage you to hop on over to Pinterest as this is one of the best ways to collate visuals on what you like and would like to create; there are thousands of images to choose from. If you don't already have an account, your designer can send you an invite to join, alternatively, you can create one yourself by connecting your Facebook account or entering your email address.
Then create a board or boards, call it the name of the room or area of home you are having designed, and start pinning. These boards can then be shared with your designer or whomever else you would like. The 'boards' you create can also be made private and only viewed between the chosen few.
This will help you and your your designer see the direction you would like to take your project. This is a starting point for discussion and will most probably evolve, as your designer will also have ideas, that you may or may not wish to take on board.
Please give thought and make a list of the following:
What problems would you like to solve or as I like to call it, create a 'wish list'. Are there any specific issues that are driving you crazy, perhaps how you use the space, or maybe you just want a colour change, new furniture or incorporate the latest energy saving lighting or heating system.
A budget. It is essential to know how much you would like to spend and to let your designer know, they can then source and specify correctly without wasting your time and theirs.
A timescale. This depends if you have selected, say, a 2 hour consultation or full service design, every designer is different in what they offer and what they price for. Personally speaking, as a design practise, we prefer to be fully transparent about our costs so there are no surprises for either side. If you are engaging in full service design, perhaps, for a bathroom, then an open discussion about how long it will take and who will be doing the work is important, but, your designer should advise you on this aspect depending on their level of involvement.
Your designer will then interpret your brief into a design scheme that answers your problems and creates a healthy, happy space you truly love, is a sanctuary for you, your family and friends to enjoy.
I hope this helps and answers any questions you might have with the interior design process. We'd love to hear from you with any further questions you might have, here. Feel free to get in touch. x