Preparing to Hire an Interior Designer

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.'

 
June 7 blog tabletop
 

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.

 

Interested in learning more about our Services?  Contact us HERE.

Behind the Scenes of Working With an Interior Designer

Behind the Scenes of Working With an Interior Designer

It's safe to say that interior design has become much more approachable.  All the home design and decorating programs and sites have helped demystify interior design, and in many cases, made it something more attainable than ever before.

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Inside a Design Mag Photographer's Head

A few weeks ago, the stars aligned, and I was able to meet professional photographer

Emily Johnston Anderson

.  You may not realize it, but you've seen her work.  Her photographs have been featured in Rue, Bon Appetit, and Remodelista to name a few. 

all photos by

Emily Johnston Anderson

(duh)

I'm a big fan of her work, especially how she lets the natural light tell the mood and story of a space.  I have a geek-like interest in interior photo shoots; how they come together, how they're edited, and most importantly, how we all can make our homes "shoot-worthy."

Thankfully, Emily is as kind as she is talented, and let me throw together a little Q&A to help give me a little creative fly-on-the-wall perspective. 

Enjoy the morsels!

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Q:  Your interior photographs have a unique (um, amazing) aesthetic - they're not falsely lit, and convey a very true "mood" of a space.  How would you describe your interior photography style?

I think I would describe my style as authentic and atmospheric.

Q:  I think I speak for many when I say it is a goal to have my design projects published.  In your experience, how are most published homes "scouted?"  

Great question! I like to pitch homes I've photographed to publications where I feel they'd be a good fit. I know editors are always looking for great spaces to feature. 

Q:  I've always wanted to be a fly on the wall of interior design photo shoots.  Partly from a styling, partly a photographer wanna-be perspective.  (I'm nerdy like that)  What do you try to capture when you photograph interior spaces?

I always look to capture the way it feels to be in a space. I'm looking for the images that capture the way a room struck me when I walked in. The colors, the scale.

Q:  In your opinion, what is more appealing to photograph, a perfectly-decorated home, or a highly personal home?  Why?

Definitely a personal home! A skillfully assembled collection of furnishings can be beautiful, but for me there's nothing like a room that's full of objects that carry memories and secret histories. 

Q:  We all see what appears to be perfect spaces in design publications - online and paper glossies.  Are the interiors you photograph ever as "perfect" as they appear?

Rarely... often all signs of daily life are removed, and curated "lifestyle" scenarios are recreated in their stead. Can you tell I'm a fan of imperfections?

Q:  I think we can all agree that a space can be beautiful, but if it is poorly photographed, the loveliness is often diminished.  Do you have any tips to offer the blossoming designer on photographing their work (other than hiring a professional)?

The power of good composition is an often-overlooked factor in interior imagery. Think about what you want in the frame, and what you don't, and play with moving objects and furniture a little bit to one direction or another. Also, leaving a little bit of strategic negative space in the image makes for a pleasing balance -- try framing things off-center!

Thanks again, Emily!

Your Questions, Inspirations, etc..

tony duquette's dawnbridge
Just a real-quick post today, as we're still enjoying the five-day National Holiday that is Carnaval.

First: How Totally THERE is that malachite/cheetah pattern combo? Of course, it's via Tony Duquette's Master Mind, and I'll still draw inspiration from it. Lots.

Second: I want to answer your questions/comments - I really do, but it's rully frustrating when I can't reply to you via email because, well, you haven't put your email into Blogger, and all I get for a return address is: .
I've investigated other comment/reply platforms, but they seem to have as many cons as pros. So, unless you have a better suggestion, perhaps you could help a girl out! If you use Blogger, here's how to do it:
  • Log into your Blogger account
  • Go to your Dashboard, then Edit User Profile
  • Select "Show my Email address"
  • Under "Identity," fill in the email address you'd like to receive comment replies to.
Cool.

Now...to answer a few of your questions from the Dallas Client post:

The fabric for the curtains is Sarita. We bought it via Lewis & Sheron - as far as I know, we cleared out the last of their yardage, but it's possible you could find it from another vendor.

The new kitchen hardware pulls are the Lugarno knobs are the Gilmore line from RH in polished nickel.

The lantern pendants over the kitchen island are the Bolton lanterns via PB - they were on sale, and are no longer available, but the Gothic would give a similar feel.

Hope that helps, mi amigas. See you tomorrow for a special Fat Tuesday post!