Hiring an interior designer can be a surprisingly emotional experience. It can be exciting to think about how beautiful and functional your home will be, but to do the best work, a designer needs a lot of information about you, your lifestyle, your budget, and your willingness to trust - which can feel overwhelming. I'll admit, I was surprised by the amount of psychology that goes into my work. It stands to reason: we work in people's most precious and private spaces: their homes. One way to know if you're really ready to hire a professional decorator, is being willing to provide all the info to determine who is the best fit for you. The top three items we consider when a potential client inquires about working with AGI are: budget relative to goal, expectations of the process, and your ideal design 'vibe.'
The first part of our intake process with a potential client is a phone interview where we get to know a bit about you, what your goals are for the space, including the timeline and budget. If you have never worked with a decorator, you might not have a sense of what it actually costs to complete the project, so it's our job to set realistic expectations. Most people have an idea of what they are comfortable investing. Having a good idea of a budget, and being up front with that information saves time because it helps us prioritize the project wish list, and get a good sense of where to rely for product sourcing.
It's also important to consider the emotional aspects of design before having that first interview. What are your expectations of the process? Do you like to be in control of all situations? What is your comfort level with letting someone else make decisions about your home? What do you envision the process to look like? These are just a few things to think about before you visit with a designer.
And finally, we ask what inspires you... How do you want to feel in your home? What mood do you want it to convey? Having a place to share inspirational images is fantastic - either online with sites like Pinterest or Houzz, or simply dog-eared magazine pages. Even if you feel your design style is "all over the place," there's often a common thread we can pick up on that helps determine the direction of the design.
Being prepared to work with a designer is about so much more than just being able to afford one. A great client-designer "fit" is a wonderfully rewarding experience that flourishes in an environment of mutual respect, and results in a highly-personalized, carefully, and beautifully designed home.
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