When most people hire an interior designer, they think mainly of aesthetics: wall colors, window treatments, pillow patterns. However, those are only the finishing touches; just one part of what an interior designer offers to the whole process.
At Tongue & Groove, the interior designers go beyond cosmetic concerns to ensure that your space feels harmonious, from its floor plan and architectural envelope to the last nailhead, light fixture, and piece of art.
The designers help you to save money by allocating resources wisely, preventing potential design mistakes, and increasing creative thinking by bringing solutions to the table that you may not have otherwise considered.
Here are some tips from our design team on how best to work with them.
1. Put together inspiration images to communicate the concept of what you want before your initial meeting
Gather images that speak to what you like. You can start an account on Pinterest or a Houzz account to organize your favorite photos online. Also, pick out examples of images that you don’t like, as this can be equally helpful. You can also cut out pictures from magazines and compile them in a folder to go over with your designer.
2. Be open to discuss your budget range and total cost ceiling
By doing so, your designer can guide you on ways to economize and to splurge where it has the most significant impact.
3. Prepare for your initial consultation
It’s essential to have all household members present at the initial meeting. Having everyone’s input from the beginning helps to avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings later on. Make sure you review the conceptual images you have compiled so you can talk about the specifics of what you want. It is essential to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect all design dilemmas to be resolved at the first meeting. You will need to give the design process time to evolve. Some designers come into a project and instantly know what they would do, while others like to ponder the options over a drawing. It is important for you to know and discuss what items are a ‘must stay’ or ‘cannot change’ in your project.
4. Remember, you must not keep your ideas to yourself.
Communication is key to getting what you want. Interior designers don’t know what you want until you tell them.
If you feel you should mention something, please do! The more information they have, the better able the designer is to provide the end product you desire.
5. Don’t believe what you see on TV or believe that it is reality.
What happens in TV land stays there, it’s not reality. You cannot renovate a bathroom from top to bottom with only $5,000! Design + Build teams aren’t trying to ‘swindle you’; we are trying to gather information from you on what finish level you expect. Then, the designer will give you a realistic budget to work with that relates to what you want as an end result for your newly renovated space or new home design.
6. Don’t dismiss a design idea without letting us tell you why we went in that direction
You have gone through the rigorous process of selecting a design + build team, so try to trust them because they are your team. If you start dismissing design ideas and plans without an open discussion, frustration can build for both parties. Keep in mind that your designer can visualize the completed project, and veering from a design plan can lead to a less than desirable outcome.
Of course, if the decision doesn’t feel right after you have given it time and discussion, then it can be changed. But for the most part, let the designer do their magic. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
7. Don’t expect things to move at a hurried pace.
Designers don’t run at superhero speed, although they may try. Good design takes time. There are 1000’s of decisions to make and many ‘moving parts’ to consider when designing any home or space. And, when you decide to spend any amount of money on improving your area, take enough time, slow down, and ensure you have covered all the bases and have reviewed all options that make sense.
The important thing is that the relationship with your interior design team must feel right.
Remember, we are YOUR team!