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6 Essential Tips for Preparing for Your Interior Design Consultation

Updated: Jan 20

Client creating a checklist to prepare for discussion points during their interior design consultation

The Consultation, is a bit like soul seeking... start by asking yourself...what makes you happy?  What inspires you? What do you want your new space to look and feel like? What purpose does it serve?

I'll  be conducting a thorough walk-thru.  I may ask to see other areas of your home so that I can get a sense of your style and preferences. But I completely respect your boundaries and you need not show any more than you are comfortable with. 


We’ll spend a bit of time going over your client questionnaire, which should be completed prior to booking your consult.  I'll listen to your goals and develop an understanding of how you envision the space in both functionality and design.  If you're not clear on what that is, it's ok...we'll figure it out. This is more like a conversation than an interview, really the goal is to understand you as well as your needs.


We'll discuss your budget and determine a realistic idea of what is achievable. 


Your space will be photographed and measured. 


Set aside an hour and a half to two hours for our visit.

The consultation is just as much for you as it is for me. Use this time to ask all the questions you need. This time is also useful for you to determine if I am the ideal designer for your needs. Keep reading to learn the best way to prepare for your interior design consultation.


Filling out the questionnaire is the very first step in the design process. It serves as a foundation for us to build upon. We will review it together during your consultation and is required before we can schedule an appointment.  You can complete the questionnaire here


What do you want from this space? Do you need to entertain a houseful of guests, a quiet reading nook? What items must we work around? Did you just paint and we must work with the existing color or recently install new floors? Have a clear idea of what you need out of the space. You should be prepared to be an active participant in the beginning stages. 


Have any photos, paint swatches, objects, Pinterest boards, art, favorite piece of clothing or other inspiration available during your appointment.  If you don't have any visuals to present, don't fret, your client questionnaire will suffice.


Angela Todd discusses this piece best....

Be honest with your designer about what you want and what you can invest in your project. Once we understand the scope, goals, and priorities we can talk to you about how those investment dollars would fit into your project.

If you don’t have a full furnishing or remodeling project under your belt yet, it is likely it is going to cost more than you are estimating. We can help you estimate more accurately based on your priorities. 


Getting a space professionally designed is not the way most people decorate. Typically, people piece several items together over an extended period of time and while the cost is spread out, the final look is not as cohesive. Perhaps you purchased your sofa and chairs together, but then each piece afterwards came in separately. You purchased lamps, you found occasional tables, you purchased an area rug, you found artwork while traveling, and you pick up accessories over the years. Interior designers specify and order all at once and it creates a more impactful result.


The trouble with implementing a room over a long period of time is that there was no initial plan. When finished, and it may have taken years, it never feels pulled together. A designer’s focus in your space will ensure it gets finished, and all pieces and parts are selected because they strengthen one another. It also ensures pieces aren’t purchased and later purged because they didn’t work in the space.


If you find yourself skeptical about what I said about room costs, try this exercise. Add up the cost of each piece in even a modest room in your home. Look at every piece in the room and jot down what you paid for it. Don’t forget the cost of throws, pillows, artwork, and lighting. If you reupholstered a piece, total the fabric and the labor of the workroom. Total the cost of your window treatments (even in the case of blinds and shutters.) It will likely surprise you what you really spent.


While it is not a prerequisite for you to clean before our appointment, please be mindful that we will be in the nooks and crannies of your space to take wall to wall measurements in addition to taking photographs.  I've found most people are more comfortable when new guests arrive to a clean home. We're all busy folks and I understand schedules do not always permit a tidying-up, so know that you are not being judged, but please do what you must so that you can focus on the time we have together.  


If you keep a notebook, have it handy during the days prior to our visit. You may find a question strikes you at random, write it down, and be sure to ask when we meet.  There's so many variables in the design process and any designer you choose should be able to answer your questions about their individual processes. 

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