Deborah Gordon Designs


Two Things You Shouldn’t Tell Your Interior Designer

It is really important to be transparent with your interior designer, just like you would be with your doctor or dentist. Every designer wants to help you achieve your design goals by giving you the space of your dreams. But there are two things that every interior designer does not want to hear.

“Money is Not An Issue” or “I Don’t Have A Lot Of Money To Spend”

You should never give your interior designer a budget that is lower or higher that what you actually plan on spending. Why? There is a misconception that you will save money in the long run by giving an interior designer a lower budget than what you actually intend on spending. This is not an ideal situation, as you may end up getting a design solution with which you are not happy. Conversely, if you give your designer a budget that is more than you are comfortable spending, down the line, it may result in you having to cut back before the project is completed.

It is an interior designer’s job to show you items and give you creative design solutions that fit within your budget. Certainly, we understand that sometimes it is hard to come up with a budget for the project, and we would always recommend that you let your designer help you figure that out a realistic budget.  Our experience, combined with what we will learn about how you live in your home, what your goals are, and seeing the kind of materials/products you like, will help us recommend a budget to get you started. If you don’t give your designer a full or realistic budget, you may not get that great idea or product that completes your space because your designer didn’t show it to you.  It will be your interior designer’s job to keep the project moving forward, on time and on budget.

Many times people hire a designer to help them achieve a completed room or one that looks like it has been designed by a professional. Typically, that is achieved because a good designer knows how important it is to allocate money towards the “jewelry” of the room. Items like accessories, pillows, art, accent lighting and window coverings truly complete the space. Many clients just put money towards the big items in the space and forget about the accessories. Your designer will be able to help you achieve that “designed” look by setting aside money for those important items.

Interior designers want to make sure that the size of the budget does not determine the creativity that you will see from us.  Now, that does not mean that we will not show you some ideas or concepts that might be slightly higher than the budget, as part of our job is to expose you to a wealth of ideas.

That means that clients will be given several options that are within their budget and then sometimes one or two more that are above their budget.  This way, they can pick and choose how to spend their dollars. There are items or products that are not worth going over budget for, and sometimes there are. But ultimately it is always the client’s decision on what is important to them. 

“I Need It Tomorrow”

Timing will be one of the items that are discussed when you hire an interior designer. It is a vital part of the design process. Clients should expect that the first phase of planning includes a meeting to understand their needs.  At this time, your interior designer will interview you to get a strong understanding of your design aesthetic and what you are hoping to accomplish.  Many times, the client will be unsure of what that is, and it is not uncommon for them to look to the interior designer for direction.

If you are trying to get something done for an event or party, tell your designer that information right from the start as they will be able to tell you if that expectation is realistic or not.

Typically your designer will help you set realistic goals and create a cohesive design plan. Once you have determined the scope of the project, a rough timeline will be created to help all parties keep on top of deadlines. But it’s very important to understand and plan for the unexpected. 

Don’t forget, sometimes we end up waiting for that sofa, or painting to come in and lead times can often be longer than expected, so make sure you plan for that.

Communication Is Key with your Interior Designer

You need to have a connection with your interior designer as you will be spending a lot of time with them. You need to trust and understand them as they need to do the same with you.  If you have selected the right designer, and have discussed timing and budget at the onset, you are well on your way to having a successful relationship and project.