27 Apr Dear Abbey: How Do I Choose the Right Designer?
We all have memories of amazing relationships—best friends, family, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, colleagues—those undeniable connections that feel right from the beginning. There is a sense of immediate “I get you and you get me”.
The result? Perfect harmony.
As a designer, I have the same memories of clients who were the perfect fit. It was easy, fun, exciting and effortless. The communication flowed, the ideas were plentiful, and the result was next-level creativity.
In light of that, I would love to pass on some sage advice to answer the question, “How Do I Choose the Right Designer”?
Keep scrolling to find out how to pick the perfect “one” who will help take your project to heights you never imagined, as well as a few challenges you might experience along the way.
First, Embrace Flexibility and Find Middle Ground
It’s hard to relinquish control in the beginning, but the process is so much more enjoyable if you remain open to change. The designer is going to push you outside your comfort zone and that’s totally fine. This is part of the reason why you hired them in the first place! You need someone who will force you to make better, bolder choices and take risks.
That said, your designer also needs to be flexible. If they have a rigid aesthetic, you might feel like you are afraid to add anything to the process. Meeting in the middle means you will get exactly what you are looking for…and usually something even better.
Be Prepared to Collaborate
The process of collaboration is the best part of any project. Together we are carrying out a shared vision, so it’s important that you see eye-to-eye and communicate. This includes being on the same page when it comes to design terminology.
Don’t assume your idea of “modern” is the same as your designer. Pair up with someone who is willing to explore all the different aspects of what “design” means to you.
More than anything you must feel like you have a creative voice. If you expect your designer to carry out your vision, you may not get much out of the process.
We are artists, problem solvers, ideas people, not interior design robots. Your working relationship is a collaboration, so choose someone that you respect and feel comfortable working with on that level.
Love Your Style
Yes, flexibility and collaboration are critical, but I don’t want you to let go of your own style either. Your home should be a reflection of YOUR taste. I am there to help you fulfill that vision.
The right designer should be able to help you take the things you love and elevate them. They will make your brilliant ideas even better. The best ones can also help you understand when to exercise restraint and how to edit.
Please be Nice
This seems obvious, but seriously, don’t be a dick. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, any worthwhile designer is not going to want to work with a client who is notoriously difficult.
I promise you can still clearly communicate your needs and expectations without stepping over the line. If you find yourself getting upset over the wrong paint chips or feeling edgy over flooring samples, take a deep breath, and remember that we are in this together. No one is perfect and part of the process is making mistakes, finding middle ground and then pushing past it to something really exceptional.
Put a Ring on It
Remember, choosing a designer is a major commitment on both sides. This person will be in your life and in your home for a long time, so it’s important for both of you that it’s a great fit.
If you’re having doubts, don’t waste the designer’s time on a project that’s going nowhere. Break up and move on. And don’t take it personally if someone decides not to work with you.
When you find the perfect “one” you’ll know. This person is approachable and easy to talk to. You feel comfortable having them in your home. You’re able to explain your vision and collaborate with them. They can turn your style into something unforgettable. Also, you should be having fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable, right?
If you’re feeling it and they are too, most likely you’ve found your match. Now go create something amazing and have an awesome time while you’re at it.
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