Commissioning an Interior Designer – creating a successful scheme

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When I meet clients for the first time most of them have never worked with an Interior Designer before and mostly they are quite
nervous and don’t know what to expect. Your home is your sanctuary and everyone has their own ideas and taste and many client have a
fear that the designer is going to come in and stamp their look all over the house without any imput from the client.

Some clients are quite defensive at first and obviously its a relationship that has to build over time.
Usually or at least hopefully clients have looked at your style of work and want something in-keeping although designers
are very flexible as creative people we should be able to bring any look to life however sometimes we like to work within a certain
style while having a wide range of looks to the style. I’ve created totally white interiors, interiors with dramatic colour schemes, new build ultra modern
interiors and organic grade II listed building designs so the key is to talk to the designer about what look you want most designers are very flexible and often grumble about
how clients pidgeon hole them based on previous jobs.
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Images and inspiration tear sheets are the best way to communicate within a visual world its amazing how many people try to explain what they want without any images.
A picture communicates clearly the style and look you are after and you don’t have to spend hours especially nowadays with inspirational websites of hundreds of images.

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Don’t however expect a designer to just recreate exactly something you show them we are creative people and the difference between undertaking your own scheme and a designer working on it is exactly that we can source unusual materials and fittings and space plan the project getting the most from the space and creating a scheme that’s unique to you.

Designers have relationships with joinery workshops and bespoke furniture designers and what is better then having a unique piece of furniture within your space created for your exact requirements and what every finish you would like. Bespoke isn’t always expensive it can be very cost effective and fit your space exactly.

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The designer wants to work with the client and there should be a number of meetings understanding your lifestyle and life pattern so we can come up with suggestions based on you not a generic scheme one to suit all. We create unique spaces taking everything into consideration whether you hate mess and everything should be hidden away or whether you like items on display I once displayed the clients 3 very expensive bicycles around his home as he loved them so we lit them and made them features.

Your designer will also make sure that all the details are being adhered to on a project as the builder can often run off on a tangent assuming finishes and details which don’t work with the scheme. The designer is the only person with the whole scheme in their head of how it will all look in the end from finishes, colours, furniture lighting etc everything needs to look like a cohesive scheme tieing together at the end of the project. Your designer will also make sure all snagging takes place and everything is in working order at the end of a project before signing it off.

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I’ve worked with many kinds of clients some who never want to have meetings once the initial details are signed off and some who like to be involved along the way and some clients have no visual skills and find it very hard to understand how the space will look when complete and again the designer can produce visuals, material boards, 3D walkthroughs all to help the client to see the final scheme and be comfortable with the overall works. Most people don’t have spatial skills and your designer can look at an existing floor plan and recreate the space and redraw up a space in a totally new way maximising the floor plate and fitting everything specially in place and by creating visuals such as axonometrics and perspective drawings we can illustrate to the client the vision before he spends any money on Contractor works and is comfortable with the overall scheme.

Designers also work with Building Control and planning to sort out any issues on projects and make sure all legislation is followed in regards to building and safety regulations and making sure at the end of the project you have all certification for future sale.

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Lighting is also key I work in both fields and from the very start I work with the client showing them moods and effects that can be created and how lighting can transform an interior which is something they never give much thought to. It always starts out with them not too bothered about lighting and by the end they are obsessed which is a great feeling.

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The key is to be open to your designers ideas and expertise and their understanding of space and interiors and to make sure you have a good relationship with the person you choose as its quite an intense process often meeting out of work hours and in a more casual setting you want to feel like you can get on with the person and that they have listened to your wish list and also that they have flair to create something special adding value to your property and that unique selling point that makes the property stand out in the sea of beige….

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Susan

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