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

Posted on Sat, 25 Jun 2016 by KiM

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

mon says:

In the US, "interior decorator" and "interior designer" are not interchangeable terms (designers have certification, decorators do not). Is it different in Canada?

KiM says:

I believe it applies here in Canada too (but I think we're more lax about it).

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