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How to prepare for meeting with Interior Designer

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how to prepare for meeting with interior designer

It is an exciting feeling when you know you’re about to change something for the better in your lives. The impact that interior design can have on the inside of your home or business, is immense. This is one reason to prime yourself for the road ahead. The experience you will have is largely dictated by how well you prepare ahead of time. Knowing what to expect as your home or business space progresses into something rewarding in your life or livelihood, is certainly well-worth it. Furthermore, knowing how to prepare for meeting with interior designer, takes a little work on your part. Aside from nice pictures and liking their portfolios, you must feel a good connection with the one you ultimately choose. 

All great changes are preceded by chaos. – Deepak Chopra

Sites, like Pinterest, Google image search, and decorating blogs offer a great place to start. You can easily learn about different styles and interior design terms during your research. This will build confidence when conveying your thoughts to a professional.  Besides, it is fun to imagine how certain furnishings may look in your home or company office. 

Let’s begin by reviewing the list I provided below and seeing how much of it you can bring together without too much fuss. Proper planning will make sure you’re ready to face the adventure that lays ahead. So, on to the list of items you’ll need. I will break them down further, afterwards. 

interior design

What you will need to get ready.

  • Original floor plans (if you have) in either pdf or DWG file format. 
  • Current pictures of the area or areas ready for redesign.
  • A written summary of which elements in the design process are most important to you. It should reflect those things you would like to change or keep, and why. 
  • Prepare a folder of Images of decors that resonate well with you. I suggest using Google and Pinterest to search for them.
  •  Provide a rough date of when you would you like to begin the design process. 
  • Let them know if you can temporarily move out of your home once renovation begins
  • If you live in a condominium or gated community, you need to provide work hours,  deposits required and copies of any paperwork your community or building requires the fit-out crew and designers to read, prior to work beginning.
  • Have a budget and remain in control of your spending for materials and furnishings, and building costs. You can also commit to an exact budget within the contract after viewing the material and furnishings you’ll use.

Life without Passion is void. – Interior Passion’s Director

Why should I prepare a List prior to looking for an Interior Design Company?

Proficiency is key and it will save you both time and money in the end. It will also help to keep your emotions running on the good side of things.  In short, less stress and hopefully more enjoyment on your new adventure.

You may think you can handle finding an interior architect or firm without preparing a list and you’d be correct in part. However, it will be much more work for you without the right planning. Especially, when you’re interviewing multiple firms to find the right fit for your personality.

   It’s best to start a working folder immediately. It should be easy to reproduce for each interview you undertake. This will save you from wasting valuable time, daily frustration and spending more money than needed in the end. Besides, every firm should ask you for these basic items during your free consultation period. So why put off the inevitable ?

Why should you have original floor plans?

Having original floor plans can save you money for starters. If you live in a condominium or gated community that is less than 10 years old, they’re likely to have a copy of original floor plan in your purchase documents. If not, find the building’s engineering office or see if the corporate office can locate copies of the original plans. If you do not have the original drawings, hire an Architect or Interior Design company to prepare them. You will need this first. This will help you with any future renovations, especially if you sell your home or business. In fact, the company you hire can do this for you. Note: Every company may have alternative ways in charging for original floor plans, so ask first.

Note: Do not mistake original floor plans with the Layout plan or builder’s fitout plan. The original set of drawings should cover the elevation of ceilings and walls, electrical wiring, measurements of all rooms, plumbing and ventilation.

 

Floor Plan of Corporate Office by Bangkok’s Interior Passion.

Why should you provide current pictures of your home?

It is essential to know what your home’s inner architecture and styling looks like. It helps us to visualize the steps needed to produce a theme or concept within your budget. After you hire a company, they must do a full and precise measurement of your decor space in case anything has changed or was notated incorrectly . They will also take photos from angles that are important for the design team.

How do I prepare a project summary?

The summary should be backed up on a folder within your computer’s hard-drive or in a file drawer. It should contain images or videos, swatches of colors, magazine clippings of designs that attract your eyes, and materials, wall and ceiling treatments, fabrics that you like, curtains, shades or anything else that can help create a picture for the final design rendering. You cannot have too much, since you can review and refine this folder at any time.

You will need to summarize those areas that are the most important to you, if you want to avoid any future regrets. Keep in mind that all clients are different, so it’s essential that decorators get a good mental picture of who you are as an individual ( including other family members) and what elements of the design are most important to you. 

  Remember! By preparing a summary in advance, you will save yourself time during meetings.

Why should a provide an approximate date I expect a finished design?

This depends on your situation. Some customers have busy schedules. They may need to move out during some or all of the renovation period, because of dust, noise, and chemicals used to strip or clean surfaces. Others may need to rent during such lengthy periods of time and that can be costly, adding to the final expenses. The designer you hired may have other projects scheduled for up to a year or more in advance. So it is better to have a rough idea of the time needed for complete the project.

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What type of paperwork do I need to supply a designer with?

If you live in an apartment, gated community, condominium or have a company office in a business building, you’ll probably be given a list of rules, and deposit amounts required by the building or community organization. There are requirements for builders to follow and scheduled times for construction noise. They’ll be given designated elevators or lifts to use. The deposits ensure that builders to not damage the building in any way when transporting tools and materials. Note: Most clients will provide the deposit for the builders to avoid delay, at least in Bangkok. However, use your intuition! If you do not feel comfortable enough to do that, then let the builder deal with the building contracts directly.

Why should I set a Budget before I begin Interior Design?

Designer’s by nature, love freedom to create and that could be costly if you do not set borders. It is better to have guides in place, so the designer does not stray too far from it. It’s also a constraint for those who have caviar taste on tight budgets. We’re all guilty of that occasionally.  If you are not knowledgeable about renovation costs, material and furnishings – Education comes quickly enough once the design process starts.  The logical budget should be about 18% (give or take a few percents) of the total price of the home or business property cost. You do not want to spend more money than you will be able to get back in a sale of the property. If you are sure it will be your last home and your comfort is far more important than the resale value, then let the design company know this up front.

Finale Thoughts. 

Often, teaching the client what to expect and what they need, falls to the interior architecture. It is difficult for most individuals to know where to start, or how to prepare for a meeting with an Interior Designer or freelancer. The vast majority of people who use professionals to do their decors – do not do it that often.  So, it is understanding how little most people comprehend about the process. This is why I wrote this article to begin with. I am simply trying to take the guesswork out of the equation for you so your experience is a better one.

   You’ll be happier you took the time to research and prepare for the interviewing period. It is stressful enough spending money and contemplating an outcome that matches with your hopes. Taking the time to put everything together in a cohesive package in important. It provides a good mental image of your needs, while creating a starting point for all those involved. It helps to foster better experiences along the way. It reduces the stress factor. You’ll have more time to listen, learn, and become part of the process whilst forming friendly bonds with all those involved. 

Share your personal experience with us in the comment section below. I welcome  questions you’d like help with, regarding preparation for Interior Design. Please leave a comment and share with others if you’ve found this article useful. I appreciate your time and visit to our Decorating Blog. Come back often! Happy holidays to all and may your 2020 New Year have joy, health and prosperity.