8 ways to prepare for an interior design consultation
You have been thinking about meeting with an interior designer for a long time but have never taken the plunge. Maybe there is a little fear of the unknown and you might have some questions like: How much will it cost? Is it a waste of money? What does the process look like? Luxury interior designer and owner of Inside Creations, Justyna Remijn, gives us eight ways to prepare for a consultation with an interior designer for your home in the Netherlands.
The best place to start your interior design journey is to arrange an initial consultation. This way, you get to know the designer a little and work out if they are the kind of person you can enjoy working with and who you feel understands what you want.
What is an initial design consultation?
An initial consultation is a meeting where you and an interior designer come together to discuss your project in detail. A consultation usually lasts two or two and a half hours. These meetings also generally take place at your home.
The consultation is an important part of the design process, as it helps determine the scope of work for your project and is a critical first step for both you and the designer. It’s the chance to get to know each other and see if you’d like to work together. It’s also good to know that there is absolutely no obligation to continue with design services after a first consultation if you’re not feeling a connection!
What can you expect from an initial design consultation?
During this consultation, the designer will chat with you about your current living space. They may ask questions like how do you and your family use the space? What do you like and dislike about your home? What are your project goals and what is your ultimate vision for your home?
The designer will explore the brief in detail and get to understand your priorities, ideal timing, and budget. It’s also the perfect opportunity to ask your designer any questions you might have about your project.
While it’s unlikely that a complete design solution is drawn up in the first meeting (remember, good design takes time!), your designer will start to get a feel for the direction.
How to make the most of your design consultation
Here are a few recommendations to prepare you before your initial design consultation:
1. Come prepared
Make sure you have a clear idea of your needs, goals, and budget before the consultation. Bring any inspiration photos, measurements, and other relevant information to the consultation. To help potential clients with this task some interior designers send an intake questionnaire beforehand to help organise your thoughts and to make an inventory of all your wishes.
2. Define your style
Take some time to think about the style you want to achieve in your space. Look for inspiration online or in magazines and create a mood or Pinterest board to help you articulate your style. If you take some time to explore your aesthetic before the consultation, the designer will be able to interpret your ideas and refine them to suit your home as well as your budget.
3. Have a decision-making process
It is ideal that anyone who will be involved in the decision-making process in your project is present at the initial consultation. This saves a lot of time and frustration as the interior designer will get a much better picture of what needs to be included in the design and can work at keeping all parties happy.
4. Be honest and clear
Be open and honest about your needs, preferences, and concerns. Clearly communicate your expectations, budget, and timeline to avoid any misunderstandings. Being open and honest in this first meeting will get the designer on the right track from the very beginning. Remember, this is your home and this meeting should be a judgement free zone.
5. Look at your daily habits with a fresh set of eyes
Help your designer define the vision for your space by being conscious of your daily habits. Write down a list of activities you do during the day. This will help them better understand your needs for your home. There are so many daily things we overlook simply because they've faded to the background of life!
6. Ask questions
Ask your designer any questions that you may have about the design process, timeline, or budget. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification or further explanation if you don't understand something.
7. Be open to suggestions
While it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want, it’s important to also be open to new suggestions. The designer may have ideas you haven’t considered or they may be able to offer creative solutions to design challenges.
8. Trust the process
Interior design is a collaborative process, and it may take some time to find the perfect design solution. However, trust the process and work closely with your designer to achieve your goals.
What happens after the initial design consultation?
Based on the inspiration photos, mood board, or other things you share in the initial consultation, the designer will be able to understand and put into words what your personal style is and what you want to achieve with your design or re-design. You will then receive the complete interior design offer with your personal summary and the interior design project fee.
Do you have a design or decorating project that you’d like some help with? Get in touch with an interior designer by booking a complimentary introduction call with Inside Creations. Haven't scheduled your design consultation yet? There's no time like the present! Book your free consultation below.