You know you want help – in fact, you need help. When it comes to interior design and home renovations, you want to ensure it’s done right the first time. After all, your most valuable asset, your home, is on the line. Furthermore, you know your home could function better, be more enjoyable to live in and help improve your quality of life – but you don’t know how to get there on your own.

You realize an interior designer can help, but you have concerns… you’re not sure if your interior designer will understand your needs or you’re afraid to ask “a dumb question”. Well, we’re here to tell you there’s no such thing. And, in this article, we’ll help you with how you should prepare for your interior design consultation. 

Let us clear the air before your interior design consultation

Now that we’ve set the stage for this article, let’s take a step back. First, don’t let the word “prepare” worry you about the amount of work involved. We’re here to do the heavy lifting for you during your interior design consultation. You simply need to tell us your wants, needs, desires, dreams, and aspirations for your home. We’re the folks that will make it happen.

Second, we call it a “consultation.” But, it’s more of a friendly conversation. We want to connect with you so it’ll be easier for you to tell us everything you need to tell us. We’ll do our best to foster this connection, but it takes two to tango. But, if you let us in, we promise by the end of your consultation with our interior designer and team, that we’ll know you on a more personal level. And, consider us your friends and allies as we embark on your interior design project together.

Throughout your interior design project, we want you to get to know – and trust us – as much as we will get to know and trust you.

What does your interior design consultation include?

The initial meet and greet with our interior designer and team

Interior designers and our design-build renovation contractor team discussing options and floor plan layouts for your home renovation

There are two parts to your interior design consultation. The first meeting together is what we consider the initial consultation. When possible, we like to host you at our showroom location. During this appointment you can expect:

  • To meet key members of our entire team; including our design team and construction team
  • We’ll walk you through our entire interior design process from start to finish
  • We can have an initial discussion about the materials and finishes you prefer or would like to use
  • You’ll also receive approximate information about the timeline for and cost of your interior design project
  • At your initial interior design meeting, all we ask for is your preferences – especially if there are key points that will determine your satisfaction – and to bring photos of the space (photos on your phone is adequate)

After this initial shorter meeting our design-build team will put together an interior design project contract for you to sign. Once signed and your deposit for the project is paid, we’re off the races!

Up next – your in-home interior design consultation

This is where the excitement truly starts – consultation appointment day! With the icebreakers out of the way at our previous meeting, we can truly begin understanding your needs from your home. As part of this appointment, we visit your home where you can walk us through the spaces we’ll be designing.

An interior designer meeting with home owners in their home for their in-home interior design consultation appointment

You can expect your in-home interior design consultation appointment to take a couple of hours, so be sure you have time so neither party has to rush. Additionally, at your in-home consultation, we will be working through the following items.

  • An in-depth review of all the materials and finishes your interior design will require, including your must-have materials and our recommendation for finishes
  • Guiding you through a series of questions that will help us, and help you, uncover your interior design style
  • Physically walking through your home’s footprint, as we discuss the changes that need to occur to increase the functionality of your home
  • Taking all measurements and recording the dimensions of the spaces we are designing in your home

At this point, we’re so glad that you’re taking this journey with us! We’re as excited about your design project as you are and look forward to seeing the outcome. The rest of this article is devoted to an in-depth look at ways to get the most from your interior design consultation. And, perhaps, the most important thing of all – remember to have fun and enjoy the journey.

Know your goals for your interior design project

Everyone will have a different reason for completing an interior design project. If you’re an empty nester the goals of your project will be very different if you’re planning to sell your home in five years. Alternatively, if your family is growing – in numbers for family planning or physical size as your children grow up – you’ll want to ensure your design addresses the expected growth.

You need to know what you want from your interior design project – before you start. If you are true to yourself, your satisfaction with your home will be much greater.

We recommend going as far as writing down your goal – or goals if there is more than one. There’s something about putting a plan on paper that allows for deeper reflection. Then, we’d be appreciative if you share your goal list for even better alignment.

Determine your project budget

Your interior design budget is one of the biggest factors in your project. You want the very best from your project, and we agree that you deserve it. But your budget will likely need to maintain balance. It’s no fun to be “house-poor”. Conduct an honest review of your financial situation before your interior design consultation. Then, at your consultation appointment, clearly relay your budget to us, so we can help you stay within the confines of your means.

Also, it can be fun to dream up extravagant, luxurious wishlists with social media apps like Pinterest, Instagram, or Houzz – it can also set false expectations without clearly relaying the costs. We will do our best to meet your needs and make your home everything you want it to be, but budget limitations can become a factor.

Have a process for making a decisions

When faced with interior design decisions, how comfortable will you be in confidently making a decision? One of the most common reasons for a delayed project or extended timeline can be traced to the decision-making process. Be cognizant that every single decision you need to make will require time and effort to consider.

Our interior designer and design-build team discussion options for your main floor renovation

Perhaps, you’d prefer a more hands-off experience with your project. Everyone’s comfort level with deciding on their home’s design will vary. We will happily take the lead and guide you through all of the decisions required.

You may also encounter decision exhaustion. The number of important decisions can become overwhelming. However, one of the advantages of working with an interior designer, is that they will show you limited options – all of which are based on serving your needs – to help streamline the decision process. 

And for dealing with indecision

As mentioned in other parts of this article, have your design goals in mind and imagine how you’ll live and interact with the designed space. Go as far as to think about how you’ll live in your home for years to come.

Chances are, you and your partner will both have different opinions, wants, and needs as the project unfolds. Sometimes it can be important to listen to each other to ensure that you are both equally satisfied with the decisions being made. As always, feel free to lean on us for help making decisions throughout your project.

Your interior design tastes and style discovery

We help you discover your interior design style. We’ll walk you through a series of questions, inspiration sources, and exercises to ensure we match you to a design aesthetic that you’ll love for years. Of course, feel free to show off your Pinterest boards, or however else you’ve been tracking your dream home inspiration.

The results from our interior design consultation - a finished renovation with lots of style and functionality

At your interior design consultation, your designer should be able to offer suggestions that will make your home feel cohesive. They should be able to match your newly renovated space to the rest of your home’s style. As well, they should be able to incorporate your belongings into the space.

Explore your likes and dislikes

They say a photo is worth 1,000 words, and we agree! With the Internet and popular apps and websites, there is no shortage of inspiration to go around. It’s also possible that this is not your first rodeo, so you may have certain products, materials, finishes, or styles already in mind. 

We also ask that you keep an open mind during your interior design consultation. Your designer will have vast product knowledge, including options that might not be on your radar yet, and likely a few tricks up their sleeve that they are willing to share.

Bring visuals and examples of inspiration – if that’s your thing

We love it when you’re engaged and actively want to participate in your interior design consultation! But, you also don’t need to feel like you have it all figured out! Every project is different – while one customer might have a massive Pinboard of inspiration, the next might not. It doesn’t mean that either project won’t be a success. That’s why we’re on your side – to help guide you through everything required to make your dream home a reality.

In-depth review of materials and finishes

Finally, as part of your interior design discovery, we’ll discuss the materials and finishes we will use to design-build your interior project in more detail. Even if you’re not sure which company will ultimately complete the construction, we ensure you have your materials selected, so all that is needed is to source them.

Give us details as to how you’ll live in your home

All of the beautiful visuals and expansive sightlines in the world won’t matter if your home doesn’t function for you – and your family. Let us know how you live now, your plans, how long you expect to stay, and any other details that might dictate features to enhance your living.

Homeowners reviewing the information and plans from their interior design consultation, smiling, as they begin to imagine how their exciting it will be when the home renovation project is finished

Your daily routine

Perhaps one of the best ways to discover what functionality may need to change to increase the satisfaction of your home is to review your daily routine. Go through each step and record what could make it better. Is your routine dependent on the day of the week? Be sure to give some thought to how your life at home might evolve.

Imagine how you’ll live in the designed space

With your routine in your mind, try to visualize how you’ll live when the changes to your home are made. This can be an especially important reflection after you’ve received the floor plans and renderings of your new space. Taking yourself through these exercises may give you insight as to how your home will work for you before you proceed any further in the project.

Go into detail about your specific needs

We can’t help you, guide you, or meet your needs unless you communicate them to us. When you confide in us you can rest assured that the details you share will be handled with absolute professionalism.

We also can work with you to create lists of functionality, features, and materials that will help you determine “nice-to-have” versus “need-to-have”. This will help crystalize any decisions you might be on the fence about. We will diligently help you weigh the pros and cons of each option to get you what’s best for your renovation.

Finally, we understand that your interior design consultation is just the start of what will be a substantial investment in your home. We will give you options for places where it makes sense to stretch your budget and splurge versus save options where conserving budget is the wiser choice. Most of the options presented will be focused on your home’s high ROI areas, which can be even more impactful on the investment you’re making in your home. 

Be focused, attentive, and clear yourself of distractions

Our last tip to get the most from your interior design consultation may seem obvious, but it is easy to overlook. We understand that life is busy and it’s impossible to prevent all distractions. We kindly ask that you try to limit your distractions during your appointment. It can be helpful to take your pets to doggy daycare, have relatives or friends watch your little ones, and ensure you’ll be able to spend a full two or three hours with our team.

As we stated at the beginning of this article, your interior design consultation will help you start on the path to a successful design project and home renovation

Take the first step toward your interior design consultation!

If you’re interested in starting the conversation for your interior design project, we make it easy to reach us. Give us a call at 204.793.0500 or online through our contact us form. We can’t wait to meet you and we look forward to kicking off your interior design consultation soon!