Our top tips to make your meeting as productive as possible!
Wondering how to prepare for an interior designer meeting?
Looking for tips to make your very first consultation with an interior designer useful?
Searching for points to consider and discuss at your very first meeting with a new interior decor consultant?
Don’t worry – this is the blog post that you’re searching for!
How to get ready for your initial home/workplace design consultation
The entire point of the initial consultation is to remove the barriers between you the client and us the designer, and establish a working relationship.
The designer will listen to your requirements, talk with you to get a sense of your personality and preferences (yes, we designers are trained to do that), and give you a very basic walkthrough of what your desired project will involve.
This is your opportunity to set the tone for the work – what kind of timeline you need, the level of involvement you want to have, the amount of customisation, and so on.
Your chosen designer will also form crucial opinions about the project from this interview.
Which is why you should make every effort to be prepared to have a meaningful design strategy meeting.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Make a note of all the things that make you nervous about beginning an interior design project
The first thing to do is to ask yourself – have you been feeling nervous about scheduling the meeting?
Were you concerned about issues like how much the project will cost, whether you can keep up with the pace, what opportunities for feedback and alteration requests will be there…and so on?
Now, isn’t it obvious that the initial interview is the best opportunity to clarify these issues and get them out of the way?
So, make a note of whatever fears or overall questions you have about the work and bring them up at the meeting.
Know what your goals are
In our experience as interior designers in Bangladesh, we have met with multiple clients that are confused about their overall goals from the space to be designed.
In other words, the space that you want to get designed – are you trying to move into a smaller and more manageable house, are you creating a space to accommodate children, are you trying to create a more upscale office interior, and so on.
Now, for example if you’re moving into a smaller and more manageable space from a home in which you’ve lived for a long time, which aspects of your former home would you like your new space to have?
These are important issues that will give the home designer clues on how to frame the design.
Give the designer an idea of how you plan on using your space
Say you are looking for a new office space.
Now, what is the function of this office?
Are a lot of customers expected to visit the office daily to conduct business with you?
Or is it more of a dispatch point, where you receive goods from a factory, and then ship it out to customers?
Needless to say, those two situations are completely distinct and the way your designer will plan the interior will be very different.
Be honest in sharing your requirements
It is important that you be completely frank with your designer and tell them everything that matters with respect to the design.
We are not there to judge you, but simply to ensure that your new space is a great one to live and work in, and to design such an interior we need all the relevant information.
For example if you are a smoker, and will have a baby in the house, we will design the internal ventilation to minimise the chances of tobacco smoke entering the child’s room through vents or internal windows.
Pro tip: If you can give us a walkthrough of the interior to be designed, as well as your existing home, it would be very useful.
Gather any and all documents
The most important documents are floor plans. Both of the space that’s being designed, and your current home (as applies to your case).
If you have them, carry them along to the consultation.
Any other inspiration you got – whether it’s a page from a physical magazine or from websites – take them with you too.
All of this gives the designer context and helps them to understand your wishes and make a proper approach.
Think about your budget
We know – many home decor and even office interior design clients will feel unsure about how to come up with a budget.
Especially if you are a first-timer, and have no idea about labour costs.
However, it is still crucial for the designer to have a fair idea about what kind of budget they’ll be working with. As designers, we are trained in project management and will be able to advise you on how best to proceed.
One thing you can do is to refer to furniture and design websites and magazines and get an idea of prices and materials.
For tips on discussing budget, refer to our blog post on how to discuss the budget with your interior designer.
Get an idea of an expected timeline
Any interior design work – from a single room remodelling to an entire restaurant interior design – will have its own project timeline.
In other words, it will take a certain amount of time.
And there is potential for delay at certain steps – your chosen designer may not be able to begin work immediately, there may be labour shortages, contractors may need to be replaced midway, and so on.
So, make sure you discuss this at the interview and get a realistic timeframe of when you should expect your project to be completed.
Designers often have packed schedules and will not be able to begin your work immediately – this is among the things your interior designer wants you to know.
Make sure all decision-makers are present at the consultation
This is another key concern we have actually faced as a home decor service in Bangladesh.
Say a couple – husband and wife – are looking to design a new penthouse for themselves.
They both want to be involved in taking design decisions, setting the budget, and making aesthetics choices.
However, at the initial consultation only the husband turns up.
This can give the design professional only a partial idea about the client – as the client is 2 people out of which only one has shown up for the meeting.
It may happen that the two have completely different ideas about interior efficiency and aesthetics, and our job as designers is to combine their styles into the final product.
Come with an open mind
Remember, an interior design initial consultation is not a one-sided meeting.
The idea is for us to listen to your requirements, ask you questions to understand your lifestyle and preferences, and then give you a rough idea about our design plan.
Some of the things we propose may not appeal to you, or be stuff you haven’t thought of.
In that case, trust us!
We’re trained for this, and can bring concepts to the table that you may be unaware of, but that will be to your benefit.
Is your project in Dhaka? Choose from among the best interior design companies in Dhaka.
Plan to have your meeting time slot distraction-free
Our final tip on preparing yourself for your initial home/workplace decor consultation is a practical one – make plans to have the time free of distractions.
Ask your workplace to not call you unless it’s an emergency, switch off most alerts on your phone, and make sure there is nothing else that will demand your attention during this time – like, for example, picking up the kids after school.
This will make the session productive.
How to make your initial interior design interview productive – key conclusions
To wrap up, let us repeat the key idea of this blog post – the initial meeting is when you establish a relationship with your designer and get an idea of how you can expect your project to proceed.
So, make sure you clarify all your queries, take along all documents and ideas you have, have an honest and open discussion, and keep your mind open.
Ready to book a meeting?
You can schedule one with us through our contact page!