How to Work With a Designer

You want to decorate, re-decorate, maybe a new bathroom, kitchen, or??? And you've been thinking about working with a designer? Here are my three things to consider before you pick up the phone.

1. What do you want to do?

Dearest, don't you agree it's time to spiff up the cave?

If there's a lot on your list and you don't know where to start, the best thing is an hour or so of consulting. Ask plenty of questions, you'll get great advice and good ideas. It's value for money.

If you know what you'd like to do, great. Proceed to number 2.

2. How much are you thinking of investing?

Hmmm....I wonder if they take cash? pic from The Guardian

Personally, I don't like the word "budget." A budget is for expendables, something used up on a regular basis, like lattes or entertainment. On the other hand, a decorating investment is here to stay and we enjoy it for many, many years. Say we re-do a bath. We'll enjoy it every day for many years and presumably it will add to the value of our home.

I'm sure I'm in the minority on this investment vs budget line of thought. So I'll use the standard term, budget.

Since you know what you'd like to do, make a wish list and give each item an amount. The total is your first budget range. When you start calling around, a good designer will ask if you have a budget in mind and be able to tell you if it is realistic. Don't be discouraged if it isn't. I've worked with clients on helping them refine their budget and doing the project in stages.

Proceed to number 3.

3. Who will make the decisions?

Darth disagrees with Leia's choice of fabric for the new curtains.

If you're a couple, it rarely works well when Partner A makes the design decisions and Partner B only writes checks. Sooner or later, Partner B wants input on the design. "Honey! I have the invoice for the sofa and I don't like it (the sofa, not the invoice)!" Partner A does not want Partner B to be unhappy so we re-do the sofa. A and B think of this as saving their relationship. The design world calls it "a delay".

Maybe the design decisions should be shared. Only you can make that decision. A good designer is going to ask the question.

After you've waded through these three, there are other things to consider. We'll cover them in another post.

Have you worked with a designer before? I'd love to hear your comments.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

already done 1, 2, and 3? Great! email me and we'll talk!


  1. Anonymous15.6.12

    love this one....great advice!

  2. Great tips, I'd love to hear more!


Please do. I love to know what you think!