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How Does a Designer Help If I Don’t Know What I Want?

How Does a Designer Help If I Don’t Know What I Want?

Maybe you’ve had this experience…you know that you’re longing for an update in your home, but you put it off…because you haven’t REALLY defined what you want, and why get started if you don’t know exactly what you’re after?!

As a general rule, we try not to put the cart before the horse. Clients, professionals, employees and bosses all get fired for different forms of unpreparedness. And you DEFINITELY don’t want to get “fired” as a client of an interior designer because of showing up with too many “I don’t know” answers.

How embarrassing! And what a waste of time…

There are some professions, though, who specialize in guiding you to what you’re after. It’s like when the chef comes out at a five-star restaurant to talk to you and make a special recommendation, or even suggest something off the menu.

In the same way, if you work with the right interior designer, she or he will feel what you feel about your home…and then guide you to the solutions you’ve wanted all along!

Here are some of the tactics a luxury interior designer will use to guide you…so you can get out of your own way and create the spaces you truly desire…


Your designer will start by assessing the impact of the design…

Large walk-in shower with curbless entry.

The first order of business for a professional interior designer will be to determine the impact of the design you want to have done.

  • Will this design work impact anyone’s wellbeing or safety in your home?
  • Is this for a primary home or a second home?
  • Is this a home you wish to stay in long-term?

After a simple series of questions, your interior designer will understand the impact of your project and will then craft your design, selections, and overall recommendations with that impact in mind…


Introducing lifestyle questions…

Your interior designer will then introduce key lifestyle questions to determine how you use each space—and, more importantly, how you WOULD use each space if it were truly perfect for you.

  • How do you like to cook?
  • What’s your morning routine like?
  • How often do you entertain? What kinds of groups do you have over?

These lifestyle questions will inform your interior designer’s recommendations in a BIG way. You might want to ask yourself how often you’ve considered these key lifestyle factors, or if you’ve been hung up the whole time on the “look” of a space instead…remember, if it’s your home, you are NOT going to want to pay for complacency. If something doesn’t fit your lifestyle, it is worth updating it!!


Identifying your design style…

This step involves a lot less talk and a lot more show and tell. Do you get lost on Pinterest? Share your saved pins! Do you have magazine clippings or screen captures of things you’ve seen and loved? Send them to your designer NOW.

…And finally, are you confident you know how those random things you love could actually fit together in a design?!

It’s a GOOD thing if you have more products saved and earmarked than you could ever fit into your home. That means your designer will have ample material to look at to determine what your style really is.

Want a quick look at your design style? Take our interior design style quiz

kitchen remodel with traditional look and side table for eating


Uncovering your pain points…

Pain points are the things in your home that bug you. If someone asks you on the spot what those things are, you probably won’t be able to think of many. An experienced interior designer, however, knows what questions to ask you to get to the biggest pain points FAST.

  • Do your pockets catch on your cabinet hardware?
  • Does someone in your home have hands that are too big to fit into handles of any kind?
  • Do you plan to age in place in your home?
  • What are you ALWAYS cleaning that never gets clean enough?!
  • What do you not do enough of at home even though you’d like to?
  • What are the things you hope your guests NEVER notice when they come over?
  • What’s the hardest part about hosting when you DO have people over?

…There are SO many more questions to ask!! Some might get a bit intimate, so be prepared. There is nothing too small. After all, the market has every imaginable selection available, and the professional designer you work with will know about them all…so why not get it right?!


Learning what mistakes were made before…

Your interior designer will also ask about experiences you’ve had before, especially BAD ones. Maybe they were mistakes you made in your selections—something was too big, too small, impractical, or broke quickly. Or maybe you had a bad experience with a designer or a contractor.

Think about these experiences ahead of time because your designer WILL ask. These experiences provide lessons learned, and they also help your designer understand your preferences on another level.


…Each step of this process represents one of the reasons why it’s worth it to hire an interior designer. The cost versus value of a guided design experience makes it VERY clear how much easier your experience can be…how you can stop procrastinating…and how you can even ENJOY yourself over the process if you work with a professional!!


After the exploration…

Once your interior designer has asked these questions (and more), she or he will be prepared to dig deep into design. Interior designers are trained to think creatively, and that includes getting to know your wants, likes, needs, and dreams. A luxury interior designer will see the overall picture before you do! Your final design will improve the functionality and the aesthetic of your environment in a way that delivers the optimal living experience you deserve.

Among other interior design services (depending on the designer), once you start the design phase with a professional, your interior designer might include:

  • Proposals for reconfigurations
  • Layouts and space building
  • 3D renderings with all your selections
  • 3D tactile project boards with your materials
  • Guidance, ordering, managing, delivery, and installation of your selections
  • Coordination with your contractor and all subcontractors
  • Project timelines and project management


Added Benefits to Hiring an Interior Designer

Some of the MOST fun you’ll have working with an interior designer will be when you make selections. You’ll be excited to see the insider options available on furniture, fabric, and other materials that your designer can share with you, too.

The best interior designer will act as the point of contact for your project, too—not just draw floor plans and renderings and then leave you do the installation and construction on your own!!

Remember…people NOTICE a well-designed home. They will feel the luxury, and you’ll get to sink into the joy of living in a perfect space every day. If you’re unsure what your next project will hold, work with an interior designer to get help putting your dream into words now!!

See all the ways to work with us for your interior design.

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