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Most people consult a professional designer for their home to ensure that the interior design process is a quicker, less stressful and more cost-effective process than if they were to do everything themselves. If you have never used the service of a professional designer before, these tips will help you make the most of your initial meeting with your designer. 1. Clarify Your Style It will help your designer tremendously in giving you what you want if you can clarify the style that you are gravitating towards. If you do not know what your style is called, share about what styles inspire you generally; your favourite designer, a restaurant or a hotel with the décor you like or just share which design elements you do not like. 2. Use Visual Examples In clarifying your likes & dislikes, use visual examples like Pinterest boards, a page torn from a magazine or photos. All these visuals help your designer clarify your preferred colour palette, art style, and other aspects of design. 3. Think About What’s Important To You What do you value the most in a design? Beauty? Quality or functionality? Also, consider the design process; cost, timing or convenience? If all this information is made available to the design team early on, they will know the correct element to focus on. 4. Think About Your Lifestyle While style is an important factor in design, what is more important is how you will occupy a space. Your lifestyle is very relevant in the design of your space. Will you have children running around the house? Do you have pets? Come equip with information on what your lifestyle is like so your designer can come up with a design that is ideal for your lifestyle. 5. Communicate Must-Haves Budget and timeline are two important necessities when working with your designer. However, remember to also communicate other things like which pieces you would want to keep and if you would want a footstool when watching TV. This will further help the designer tailor his/her design to suit you. 6. Seek Out Your Designer ASAP The earlier you consult a professional designer, the better. Doing this will help you save time and prevent you from costly mistakes and changes. Interior designers are normally given discounts on products. This can save you money in products alone. Furthermore, these professionals are trained to spot a challenge early on in the process; having to change design plans at the eleventh hour can completely throw off your project. 7. Ask Questions Make a list of questions you may have about the design process. It is always best to have all your questions answered up front than later in the process. 8. Understand the Design Agreement Look over your design agreement carefully before you sign and agree to the design process. Complete transparency between you and your designer is crucial for a successful project especially when you are on a budget. Photo credit:

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