Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why hire a designer?

It's funny I meet with different clients everyday and the reaction to what I do varies from each individual. Some say "Wow, how exciting!" and others roll their eyes as if to say "that's an actual job?" Some people are very intimidated at the idea of meeting a designer let alone hiring one but it's important to remember that a designer is a professional and not someone who should be going into your home and making it reflect their personal style - they are there to help you!

What can a designer do for you?
A designer is there to help you plan your space and make it yours. They should be asking questions like - what are your favourite pieces in this room? What do you like about this room? What don't you like about this room? What do you do in this room? The designer should be thinking about the functionality of the space, your budget and of course, the look. Having an open dialogue with your designer is so important, it helps the designer visualize the space and create a room the client has always dreamt of. Any designer who barges into your home and dictates which pieces to keep or toss, which colours to use and which fabrics/fixtures you need, is not a designer that is thinking about you or your lifestyle.

Where do I start?
Many of my clients claimed that they did not have a personal style. But that is impossible. Everyone makes style decisions and sometimes without even realizing it! Why did you decide to wear/buy the patterned shirt and not the solid one ? You make that selection based on your preference but you likely do not look at it that way. When it comes to personal style there is no right or wrong - but a designer can help you with your personal style and how to incorporate it into your space. I give my clients these two tips when it comes to finding their personal style.

1- This is a good tip if you are already in your home and are meeting a designer to help you personalize your space. Choose five favourite items in your home. Could be anything - a picture frame, artwork, a ceramic vase, a souvenir - anything. Lay these objects out when you are meeting your designer and he/she will learn a lot about you - your style and interests. Then choose your five favourite pieces of clothing. Lay these out as well for your designer to view. This will tell him/her a lot about your lifestyle (ex: laid back, formal etc...) and a preferred colour palette. The entire room or home will not be covered in old denim with trinkets from Mexico all over the place but it gives the designer a starting point and let's him/her understand you much better.

2 - This tip is best for those who are about to move into a new place and are starting from the beginning or someone who is looking for a total makeover. Go through magazines - home decor ones are best but fashion is OK too- and tear out any images that you are attracted to. Keep these clippings in a folder. When you meet with your designer present the images to him/her and go through them together. Explain to him/her what you liked about each one. You will likely notice a pattern or similarities such as the colour tones, types of furniture or the overall look (modern, country etc...) Everyone has a personal style, sometimes you need a bit of inspiration to unleash it.

It is important to remember that telling a designer "I want to re-decorate" is a very open ended request and everyone's interpretation is different. It is important to communicate openly about what you want to do and how much you want to spend. It might seem like a lot of work to meet, consult, discuss, look at magazines and discuss again but a designer is there to help you and has your best interests in mind. This is a big project and you want it done right the first time. A designer is a professional and should understand all of the aspects of your space, lifestyle, likes and dislikes. A designer should have these 5 words in mind when designing your space - interesting, inviting, comfortable, smart and appropriate.

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