We’re often asked, “What can I, as a client, do to ensure a successful project experience with an interior designer and, what do I look for when hiring a designer?” Based on our survey of top interior designers, here are some suggestions:
- Endeavor to be a great, valued client with a positive attitude about the project and process.
- Be sure to choose an interior designer you want to spend a lot of time with, as most projects require strong, long-term relationships.
- Recognize your interior designer as your partner. The process is most rewarding when it’s a collaboration.
- Establish how decisions are to be made, and who makes them. Do not vary from this. Communicate clearly and honestly (if you don’t like something, say so!).
- Make sure you’re available to answer questions and, when necessary, to meet with your designer, both in the designer’s studio and at your home.
- Be trusting and trustworthy. Once the budget is set, simply follow the budget updates to be sure the job is tracking properly. And don’t nickel and dime over every detail and item. It wastes time and, often, money. It can also delay your project.
- Be decisive. Delaying answers, and repeatedly changing or modifying your choices, can be costly, delay projects and frustrate everyone.
- Be flexible, too, because in Diana Vreeland’s words “You’re not supposed to give people what they want, your supposed to give them what they don’t know they want yet.” And that’s ultimately what you’re paying for when you hire a truly great interior designer.
- Be sure to pay your bills on time.
- Express your appreciation for what they’ve done to transform your home into something you love. Give permission for it to be published in Architectural Digest, Galerie, Veranda, House Beautiful or Elle Decor, without naming you, so they can get exposure and recognition for a job well done.
Alan Tanksley, one of America’s finest interior designers, tells DAG “This is a perfect template for client etiquette. Designers will more than gladly return the respect and richly reward clients with their absolute best efforts. There can be no finer client than this.”
Need help finding the right interior designer for you? The Design Advisory Group (DAG) can advise you and match you with the most talented designers for your project. To contact us, email DAG at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 917.498.1335.