As always, we’re here to give you the inside scoop on all things home décor and interior design. We believe that the better equipped you are with information, the better choices you’ll make for your home.
And that’s the goal, isn’t it? To love your home. We talked to Georgianna, our Store Manager in Cambridge to discover the 5 things your interior designer might not tell you.
The first may come as a surprise, and that’s that honesty is more important than your budget. Georgianna explains, “We don’t care how much you have to spend! The reason designers go into business is that we love what we do and we want to help solve all manner of design problems.”
There are a lot of reasons why you might be withholding key information about your budget, but the truth is you’ll get a lot more out of your time with a designer if you’re upfront right away.
“There are so many ways to solve design problems at every price point and you’ll get a lot more done if you’re forthcoming with the information a designer asks for.”
Inspiration photos are an important element of design – they help you craft a vision of your space, discover what you like and what you don’t, and, most importantly, they help your designer understand what you’re looking for.
However, it’s important to stay open-minded and to understand that your space probably isn’t going to look exactly like the magazine. And that’s not a bad thing!
“Your designer will work with you to find the best iteration of the design you came in with,” Georgianna says, “and an attempt at a direct replication will likely be less attractive than the alternatives a skilled designer will present you with.”
The fact is, furniture can’t change your architecture. And, expecting a direct replication is similar to going to a hair salon with an inspiration photo and expecting to come out looking like the celebrity pictured.
There are limitations to all designs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t love the result. If you stay open-minded, you’ll likely discover that the design tailored to your home is even better than what you were hoping for.
When you’re thinking about designing a new space, it’s easy to put too much weight on one element of the design, like a sectional or a dining table. One piece of furniture cannot meet all of your design needs. Georgianna recommends instead thinking in terms of composition and the big picture.
She explains, "Let's say I have a customer who's looking for a sofa, and they have set a firm budget of $5,000. We offer a variety of sofas in that price point, but perhaps the better option is to select a mid-range sofa, allowing for new coffee and end tables, as well. More often than not, I find customers who are shopping without the aid of a designer pair new goods with old, and haven't considered how worn their well-loved pieces might look against brand new ones."
A great designer thinks about the big picture and helps you make choices that will have the best effect on the whole room. It’s easy to zone in on one item and expect it to fix a room, but you may be limiting your potential.
She adds, “Thinking about the big picture prevents you from making impulse purchases and designing a space that ultimately isn’t cohesive.”
It’s also important to consider the smaller details that go into the big picture – the pops of color, the throw pillows, the accent pieces, and the rug. Before you get bogged down on one item, ask yourself what the overall feel is that you’re going for.
This may not come as a shock, especially these days when lead times have increased drastically, but even under normal circumstances, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. How far ahead?
“Pandemic aside, consider when you want to have your furniture and start shopping 6 months ahead of that date; it’ll give you time to deliberate, do research, shop around, and account for lead times.” 6 months may seem early, but if it feels like you’re shopping too early you’re probably shopping right on time.
Also, understand that the design process takes time. Especially if you’re filling out an empty apartment or home – you probably won’t have it completed right away. Home design is an ongoing process that requires a bit of patience.
A skilled and trusted designer can curate the decision-making process, hold your hand through the process, and bring a fresh pair of eyes to a project. But, there’s also an element of trusting yourself.
Georgianna describes, “The speed with which a concept comes together depends largely on the customers’ ability to make a confident choice. Working with a designer is an investment of time and attention.”
Trusting yourself is easier with a designer you trust. And it’s also easier when the options are narrowed a bit. “Sometimes too much is too much. Having a wealth of options is sometimes good but when it comes to room plans, it can muddy things.”
It may seem like a good idea to get 3 different room plans from 3 different designers, but ultimately you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Take time to find a designer that makes you feel comfortable and that understands your vision and then, as Thoreau said, “go confidently in the direction of your dreams!”
To summarize: trust your gut, it usually won’t steer you wrong.
Designing a home can bring up challenges, but if you trust yourself and trust the process, the results are always worth it.
“We appreciate that your time is valuable and that your financial situations are always changing,” Georgianna says, “at the end of the day, we love taking the time to create a functional and beautiful home that works for you.”
If you haven’t met our team of dedicated Design Consultants, watch their bio videos here! Unsure about the perfect sleeper sofa for your guest room or need a fresh pair of eyes for your bedroom makeover? Make an appointment for a free virtual or in-store design consultation.
Author: Julia Maiman
Julia is a writer, blogger, and believer in the smell of old books. She has been crafting stories since she could put pen to paper. She is also a lover of dogs, traveling, and Led Zeppelin.