Design 101: Working with an Interior Designer

How does the process of designing a room work, you ask? How does it all start?  Let me show you how it works.

1-The First meeting is key

I will have my prospective client do homework to prepare for an initial meeting. This allows me to better grasp the client’s needs and style. Even if you can’t put your style into words, I can put it together for you from examining your photo selections and asking precise questions! Everyone has a style: it’s just a matter of having someone help you express it. For this, I have my clients clip images from Design magazines or select some of my pins on Pinterest. On Pinterest, I have filed over 1400 images to use for inspiration, keep track of projects, sort colors, fabrics, and beautiful interior design images. Prospective clients can create a board of interiors they like and present them to me at our meeting.

So a more traditional client drawn to earthy, warm tones may select something like this:

Via Pinterest. Designer unknown.

 This inviting warm color infused space was found on Pinterest. Designer unknown.

Somebody who likes a more elegant/glamour look may be drawn to this:

Suzanne Kasler ELLE DECOR

This refined interior was created by designer Suzanne Kasler. Via Elle Decor.

While a photo of a more masculine, relaxed and eclectic interior will draw others in:

Designer unknown. Via Pinterest.

A selection of a dozen or so photos by the prospective client are essential and tell me so much! I also like to look at images of things they don’t like, as those tell me a lot as well!

I will also present prospective clients with a questionnaire before we meet. Questions I ask include:

What will the rooms be used for?

Do you have any family heirloom or special item, such as a rug or painting you want me to showcase in this space?

What colors are you drawn to?

Have you worked with a designer before?

What is your budget?

After the meeting, I go to the drawing board and present clients with a follow up letter explaining the next steps as well as a contract.

2-After the contract is signed, we can get down to business!

-Measurements, photos are taken on site. These take a while, as we look at placement of outlets, vents, space around and under windows, etc. All of these will allow for information on where to position lamps, height of furniture, space in recessed areas, etc.   I will take photographs and measurements of all the pieces that are to remain as well (such as a treasured rug, painting, chair…) so to incorporate them in my plans.

-A few CAD drawings are prepared to offer different furniture placement options:

-Some sketches may be presented:

And of course, color schemes! Usually 2 or 3 selections. In this scenario, the client wanted me to work with three existing cherry red walls and two existing white roman shades. I created with the contractor a shelving system all around the bed. An  incorporated platform was designed with hidden drawers under the mattress, as well as two night stands and lighting above the headboard. The goal was to create something a bit eclectic and contemporary. The colors and fabrics we ended up selecting were reds, blacks, greys and whites. A few examples of fabrics used for this room:










After hours and hours of research for all elements, meetings, scouting the best fabric, lighting and furniture matches, more measurements, coordinating and waiting for all the items to be fabricated, I came up with a design that worked very nicely for my clients.

3-Grand Finale

This is the Before Picture:

Voilà, hope you enjoyed my friends! See you soon!






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