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Should You Trust Your Designer?

December 6, 2011

Should you trust your designer?  A better question might be– Can you trust your designer?

Yes, you should trust her, but, if you are having doubts, then perhaps there is a problem with the relationship.  Have no doubt that it is a relationship, for you are engaged in a business arrangement that requires mutual respect, cooperation, as well as a meeting of minds.

Your designer does not need to live with your style, but she needs to understand it and know how to achieve the look you want.  You may love modern furnishings, and she English antiques, but you want to trust that she will not impose her preferences on you, but will bring her professional objectivity and resources to your project.

On the other hand, some clients hire a designer for their perceived good taste and personal style, and are willing to give her carte blanche.

So, to have the kind of faith that is required of you when you give a designer this power, you will have to do your homework, check her references carefully, and interview her. After this, you should be feeling really comfortable with how she works, and how she is compensated.

Let’s go back to the top of this article.  I hope that you are not a client who is having doubts about your designer, but if you are, here is a list of questions to ask yourself and him.

  1. Do you know how you are being invoiced, how often and the hourly or flat rate?
  2. Are you satisfied that the designer has years of experience relating to your project, for example, if you need a kitchen design, have you hired a kitchen designer or a designer that works closely with a kitchen contractor?
  3. Do you have a budget for purchases or the project, and does your designer do his best to stay within it?  Does he tell you when your decisions affect the budget?
  4. Does your designer show continued interest in your on-going project or does he send an associate or supplier to answer your questions?
  5. Does your designer return your calls and e-mails promptly, ideally within 12 hours?
  6. Is your designer excited about your project, does he seem engaged when you meet?
  7. Does your designer answer all of your questions clearly, in a way that you understand?
  8. Has your designer been willing to make changes to the design when you are not comfortable with it?  Can he offer alternatives?
  9. If you are worried about something, will your designer address your concerns?
  10. Do you feel that your designer is being creative, and has new ideas for your home?

If you have answered no to two or more of these questions, you may need to have a serious discussion with your designer to ask for clarification and attention to the issues.  Perhaps the designer is too busy, or is over his head.

 There may be nothing really wrong with your business relationship, or the designs; you just may need a little reassurance and better communication.

 Adele Barrett Interiors offers a Second Opinion Consultation service that may be helpful.  We are excellent communicators; we can bring clarification to your project when things are going wrong.  We will provide a second opinion about any part of the project:

  • Colour
  • Design
  • Furnishings
  • Lighting
  • Renovation
  • New home design
  • Selections and finishes
  • Floors, Walls, and Cabinets
  • Details
  • Workmanship, Quality
  • Style, Creativity
  • Budget, keeping it on track

Adele Barrett will be an advocate for you and your project.  She will assist your designer and contractor to make your project a success.

About Adele Barrett

Adele Barrett is a consulting interior designer in Hamilton and Dundas. Over twenty years of conferences and continuing education classes keep Adele Barrett Interiors design practice both on trend and timelessly classic. She started collecting paint chips from the local lumber yard when she was 3 years old, and a seed was planted that grew into a career. Continue reading...