Rove Concepts

How to achieve the best outcome when working with an interior designer for your condo

As someone who has bought several Montreal condos in the last 15 years, I have worked with several interior designers. My experiences with them have been mostly positive, although I’ve also had my share of problems in the past.
Whether you’re planning to remodel your condo or buy new property, hiring an interior designer is a big decision. Most people who hire a decorator don’t have a concrete idea of what to expect, and this often leads to anxiety and problems along the way. But you don’t have to make the same mistake (which can be costly at times). Read through the suggestions that I’ve outlined here so your experience will be generally positive and you can expect a much better outcome for your home improvement project.

1. Preparation is a must!
A very common mistake that homeowners make is that they expect their interior designer to simply know what they want. The first time I hired a decorator, I merely told her my budget and shared a few ideas. Three days later she presented me with a design and as it turned out, I didn’t like most of it. It was then I realized that if I had only showed her some pictures of the concepts I liked, then maybe she’d present me with a design that I would approve the first time.
So before you meet with a potential decorator, you should have at least some idea of the style you like. You can also show your decorator the color schemes you want. Doing these will save you time and money.

2. Set realistic goals.
We see HGTV shows and start dreaming of high-end window treatments, hand painted wall designs, and shiny ebony floors. But you have to be realistic. Don’t expect your living room to look like a million bucks if you’re only willing to spend $5,000 for this project.
On a related note, it’s also important to be practical with your timeline. If you’ve been watching too many home improvement shows on TV, then you probably think that everything can be done in 3 days (or less!). But that’s usually not the case. Many interior decorators spend a week planning and creating the design alone. The whole project can take a month or so depending on how much work needs to be done.

3. Finally, have confidence in your designer.
Of course, it also pays to actually do your homework and find a designer that has the experience, training and track record. Ask around for recommendations and be sure to check their portfolio before you even consider them.
Once you’ve found your interior designer and you’ve already agreed on the design/concept then it’s time to let them work their magic. Designers should be open to your ideas if you’ve been thorough and explicit about what you want. Remember that your interior designer can visualize the completed project for your condo’s interior and veering from their design plan might lead to an unsatisfactory outcome.


This post is a contribution by a guest writer


Southwood by LLI Design

I just got a hold of some photos of this fabulous renovation project by London design firm LLI Design and had to share. LLI Design was hired on to complete a total redesign and refurbishment of a 4 story 1970’s townhouse in Highgate, London. The house had tremendous potential and the new owners, a young professional couple, wanted to embrace the 1970’s feel, rather than try to ignore it, albeit not in a cliched way. Top of their wish list was a contemporary glass and steel open tread staircase and a master bathroom with a distinctive WOW factor. In included one before photo below of the lower level to give you an idea of how much work this project was. I think the resulting contemporary home (it won an award!) is classy, welcoming and a great use of the space. Check out a couple more projects by LLI Design here and here

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Burnt caramel

Concrete and wood, linen and leather with a palette of burnt caramel. Whether formal or family the rooms in this Vaucluse house by Sydney-based Lawless and Meyerson are delicious.


A surprise in the kitchen

Fabulous French Friday. Is there such a thing? Well there is today because I had to share this delicious Haussmannian apartment in Paris by Studio Razavi Architecture. The bones are great, those white walls and floors the perfect foil for the covetable furniture and art collection but there's a surprise in the kitchen ... after the jump.

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Garage doors by Garaga

I was approached recently by Garaga, a Canadian manufacturer of garage doors, who offered me a brand new garage door of my choice. I was elated, as garage doors have always been a bone of contention with me. Here in Ottawa builders always install cheap, run of the mill garage doors on houses and you are guaranteed to see this on every house in the suburbs in particular. Something that has rattled my cage for as long as I can remember is how much I hate that most homes have garages that are set forward from the rest of the house so it is ALL you see. Yet no one seems to put any thought into the design of their garage doors. My current home is located in an old neighbourhood (1940's) and most garages are detached and located in the backyard at the end of a long driveway. Lucky for me because my garage is a bit of an eyesore. It really needs to be re-built one day as it is in rough shape and leaning to one side which is why I turned down the offer of a brand new garage door (soooo bummed). It would just look ridiculous. I will however absolutely take Garaga up on that offer when I have a new garage. :)

To show you why I am so bummed, here are samples of some of the fantastic garage doors they have designed, starting with some modern ones.... 

And some with a bit more of a traditional/country look

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