When I first met the homeowners of the home below, I found them to be fun, worldly, with a good appreciation for today’s cleaner less ornate styles. I noticed their rugs, furniture, and fabrics were VERY formal & ornate, which they said did not fit their personality. The fabrics were velvet damasks, the art was dark, formal & traditional. They requested a much cleaner look, one that would fit their personality (to replace what the prior designer brought them).
We actually get requests for a “clean” and/or “less formal” look every week. It’s often due to the fact that other designers provide small sample swatches or catalog photos, which do NOT make it easy to visualize how the rooms will look. That’s why we spread out fabrics by the bolt, and unlike other firms, we bring actual art, lamps, & rugs, (instead of catalog photos). This makes the end result much easier to visualize.
1) Ask for portfolio or web site or blog link – is it a variety of styles??.…From metropolitan …. to old world …to craftsmen…. to traditional? If so, this normally means they listened to their clients wishes! If, on the other hand, it’s limited to one style, such as a formal traditional look, they may not be capable of switching gears to work with a variety of styles.
2) What questions did they ask? Do they try to find a common denominator between different photos? Do they try to find ways to please both you and your spouse? (Along with solutions for compromising)? Do they ask about the current items in your home? (what you love, what you don’t like).
3) Think of it the same way you look at your wardrobe. Some people have a great sense of personal style that I so admire! I wish I had this gift when it comes to clothing, my gift is only in home design. Yet, some people find themselves in a house with a VERY formal traditional look….saying it’s not the look they love, with floral fabrics etc. It normally happens because clients are busy, with children and a full life, so they expect their designer to read them, and to know how to implement their taste. A good designer can do so.
4) Most important of all — study the designer’s reviews – are they general with words like “pretty” or do the reviews mention how well the designer fulfilled their goals and implemented their taste?
In this Kernersville, NC home we brought new art & soft comfy chenille pillows.
Notice how the room now has cheerful colors!
The other designer provided a very formal frame, which didn’t even cover the white speaker!!
The pillows were a slippery satin, they were not comfortable nor durable.
Four ways to communicate your goals
- Show photos of rooms – express what you like & dislike
- Show them what you love in your home, versus what you keep for budget reasons. Point out what you want to keep for sentimental reasons.
- Choose specific words for your feedback, “that is too contemporary for me, I like the other option because it has the cozy casual feeling I want” or “I like A better than B because it’s such a big change from what I had for years”.
- INSIST on actual bolts of fabrics, or a couple of yards to spread out. Never try to visualize from a small swatch. We display bolts (and spread them out in the room) because the color will change in certain lights.
Updating your home can be fun & fulfilling. Your home should reflect your style, after all, it is YOUR home!
For more before/after photos, check out our web site. http://www.transformingrooms.com
To communicate your goals & style, be specific, noting likes & dislikes, use visuals such as Houzz, Zillow, or Pinterest, and most important, find a designer who will listen and implement your taste.
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