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What to do before you meet your interior designer

Updated: Feb 12

Hiring an interior designer to help you with your new build or renovation is an exciting step. We are here to guide you through the whole process and take the stress away, but there are still some things that you can do before our initial meeting to help things go as smoothly as possible. Understanding your needs and your likes can gives us a solid foundation on which to design your home to ensure that it really works for you and your family. Below I have included some of the things which I would suggest to do at the early stages of the process:

Understand your scope of works

This one is especially important to think about if you are planning to renovate an existing home. Ideally you should go room by room and note down exactly what it is that you would like changed or added to your home. It is helpful to be as specific as possible, as your quotes and proposals from builders, architects and designers will be based on this. We will, of course, suggest changes that you may not have considered, but it is always beneficial for you to have a clear understanding of what you are hoping to achieve from the start.

Set a budget and get an estimate from a builder

As much as we all wish we didn't have any financial constraints when it comes to designing the home of our dreams, that is usually not a reality. Understanding what your overall budget is for the new build/renovation and then getting an estimate from a builder on your desired scope of works, means that you can have a clear understanding of what can be spent where. This will be incredibly helpful for your designer in understanding what sort of materials and finishes to propose. We always aim to be very transparent when it comes to budgets, so it is helpful for everyone if we are able to let you know from the start that your dream marble benchtop is out of the budget - so that you can either remove that from the wants list or remove something else to prioritise this!

Consider what works and doesn't work for you now

It is always helpful to think about how you use your current space, especially if you are renovating the home you already live in (if you can, try to live in the house for at least a few months before renovating so you can really see how the space works for you and your family). For example, if you are looking to renovate your Kitchen, I would suggest to,

  • Make a list of the things that currently work well, like the location of the sink or the size of the oven

  • Make a list of the things that don’t work, like the size of the Pantry or the style of splashback.

  • Consider how well the space functions not just whilst you're there on your own, but also whilst you're cooking with others, or whilst you’re entertaining - especially if you are likely to cook as a family or entertain quite often.

Your designer will be able to take this list and design your new spaces around how you and your family live and use the space.

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Collect inspiration images

Do some research and start to understand what you like and what you don’t like. You don’t have to know your exact style or have it all figured out, but having an overall idea can make a huge difference. You can do this by browsing online through Pinterest, Instagram and blogs or going through physical magazines. If you are finding it difficult to work out what you like, you can also start by working out what you don't. I would also suggest not to get too caught up in trends and what is popular now, as the aim is always to create a space that says more about you than about what everyone else is doing. Once you have all your images together, you should be able to start seeing a story come together - and if you don’t, don’t worry as your designer will be able to use this as a starting point and help you narrow it down!

Create a 'must have' and 'would like' list

This ties into all of the above points. Once you have a good understanding of your scope of works, your budget, your needs and your likes, the next step is to decide on what is really important for you and what would just be nice to have. Try to be as realistic as possible here, especially if you are working with a smaller budget. Try to consider the functionality of the spaces and what this would mean for you and your family, before you think about the aesthetic aspects.

Make a list of questions to ask

If you are building or renovating for the first time, you will probably have a lot of questions about the design and building process, which your designer will be able to answer. I would also suggest to put together some questions to ask your designer about them and how they work, to ensure that you are a good fit!

If you are considering bringing on a designer to help out with your new build or renovation project, you can get in contact with us using the link below.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Nina xx

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