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How To Work With An Interior Designer: Part I

A fresh set of eyes on your home can be essential when planning a new look and thinking about modern interior design. An interior designer who can instantly spot the potential and problems in any room and know how to channel that creative magic is like having a fairy godmother you never knew you needed!

An interior designer will juggle the budget, time frame and do all the research, which frees you up for up all the fun stuff. Choosing the right interior designer for your project is key – you want to not only like their creative style but also be able to communicate with them well to ensure you both understand what it is you want to achieve. Whether you are remodeling or starting from scratch with a new build, it's important to understand this process.

Due to the different processes in remodels and new builds, today we're only going to talk about remodeling but come back next week to learn more about the new build process.

How to choose an interior designer

Make sure you and your designer can communicate well together before hiring them for your project. Start with a consultation and look at projects that the designer has completed. Just because a designer does beautiful work, doesn't mean he or she is the right one for your project, style and vision. You don’t have to like everything they have done but the spirit of their design aesthetic should run through their work.

Where to start when working with an interior designer

Consider how much you want to spend and be clear to the designer what your budget is or if there is any flexibility. Let them know how involved you want to be in the project – do you want to oversee every decision or leave most of it to the designer? Remember to be open to new ideas and suggestions throughout the process because this is what you are paying the interior designer for.

Decisions, lots of decisions

If you want to oversee every decision, be ready for what seems like an ever ending list and how any decision delays are going to affect your timeline. In a remodel situation, for the most part, the work is cut in half because the structure is already in place. However, you still need to keep in mind the the decision you will need to make or approve around FFE and finishes. FFE is shorthand for furniture, fixtures and equipment.

FFE & Finishes

When I speak of finished, that means the actual finishes used for things like walls, countertops, flooring, which would be paint colors, backsplash, flooring, trim, etc.

Items like lighting, faucets, appliances, hardware, toilet, sink, etc. fall under the fixture and equipment portion of FFE. Furniture would be items such as sofas, chairs, tables, rugs.

pictures sourced from Pinterest

Our Process

At Lawless, most of our new clients, haven't worked with an interior designer before so we ensure to explain the process of each phase and offer additional resources so our clients experience a smooth experience.

Every new project starts with a consultation in which design, wants/needs and budget are discussed. A proposal is then created by our lead designer and founder, Hannah. Once the proposal is accepted by the clients, we move forward with floor plans and 3D renderings. A lot of the times we recommend contractors depending on the work needed for the remodel and we also take charge of the project managing for ordering, tracking and delivering any items. Throughout the entire process, we check in with our clients to acknowledge their preference for the next phase; some clients like to order materials and furniture themselves, while others leave it up to us.

Each project is unique because each clients and home is unique. However, in all of it's ambiguity, we ensure to offer a custom solution for each client and we think that's actually the best metric of a "job well done".

- Raph




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