- JetBlue pilots vote to unionize; 2 previous attempts failed
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots
- Navy’s military dolphins may meet Putin’s porpoises in Black Sea
- Forget the Porsche — it’s the guy with the Prius that attracts the ladies, poll shows
- Fired Russian Facebook CEO says site has fallen in the hands of pro-Putin supporters
- Sen. Boozman of Arkansas has emergency heart surgery
- Brazil embraces drones to save the Amazon rain forest
- Teen stowaway shows holes in vast airport security
- Supreme Court to decide if passports can say ‘Jerusalem, Israel’
- Cries of anguish as South Korea ferry toll tops 100
Cover story: Designer’s help shows your style at its best
“You need to be upfront about the budget and completely honest,” Ms. Bonness said. “One of the most common complaints clients have about designers is that they show them things they can’t afford. Many people are shy about talking about money, but you need to make sure your designer knows what you can spend. You are wasting your time and money and your designer’s time if you don’t set a budget, because a designer can spend five hours searching for a coffee table that you can’t afford to purchase.”
Designers have different methods of billing for their services. Some work for a flat fee, while others charge an hourly rate or get paid from the discount they receive on furniture purchased by the clients. Interior designers have access to furniture resources not available to the general public and often can pass on discounted prices to their clients.
Many interior designers choose to be paid with a combination of an hourly rate or flat fee and to keep some of the discount on purchases. Some interior designers will charge an upfront retainer, while others offer a two- or three-hour consultation for an hourly rate. Sometimes the consultation is all someone wants, just to have an interior designer tour the home and offer suggestions.
Ms. Bonness said the easiest relationships between clients and designers occur when the clients are well-prepared with a budget, so she sends out a questionnaire before the consultation.
“Your budget is critical because you can find a rug that costs anywhere from $500 to $20,000,” Ms. Huff said. “We can help make choices, too, to save money on one item and spend more on another or to use pieces you already own.”
Ms. Huff recommended that both partners in a couple attend a consultation, particularly if they have different tastes.
“A designer can be a bridge between different styles to create an attractive space,” she said. “Both people need to give the designer all their information about a budget and talk openly about style.”
While you are hiring a designer to help you decorate your home, the process of working with a designer can go more smoothly if you have some idea of what you like and dislike.
“You should build your own file of photos from websites or magazines,” Ms. Schlegel said. “You can see what you connect with in a positive or a negative way. It’s just as important to know what people hate, such as repeating patterns or geometric prints. We can help people see the connections between pictures, such as monochromatic palette or something like that.”
Ms. Munn recommended creating an inspiration file, but she said some clients opt to collect favorite items such as paintings, a tea set, clothing or even a handbag to show her what they like.
“Anything that makes you feel the way you want to feel in your new room can be used as an inspiration for a designer,” Ms. Munn said.
Communication between a designer and a client may be the most important element in a successful relationship.
“It’s so important to know what someone wants in terms of their budget and the date they need the work to be complete,” Ms. Munn said. “Clients need to be realistic in their expectations. There are three qualities to any design project: budget, speed and quality. You can usually only have two of the three, so you need to think about what matters most to you and communicate that to your designer.”
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, renegade
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Michelle Obama: Obama family Sundays are more for napping than church
- Vice reporter Simon Ostrovsky being held by east Ukraine militants: report
- Bonuses given to IRS employes who owed back taxes
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.