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How to Make Your Client-Designer Relationship a Fruitful One

It’s all ’bout communication.

Unlike working with an independent contractor or a team of workmen, an interior designer will be able to help you plan your home renovation from start to finish, figure out all the nitty gritty details in between and even find affordable ways to furnish your dream home – but that’s only possible if everyone is able to work together.

So, start the ball rolling on a fruitful partnership by following these tips on how to work and communicate better with your interior designer!

Marine Parade by Pavilon BC
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1. Think about how much control you actually need

“One of the most important things to do to avoid a strained client-designer relationship is to have a clear breakdown of roles,” says Ben Teo, the founder of design boutique 19EightyThree. And for most renovations, this means determining who should handle key tasks such as space-planning, buying and procurement as well as project management.

The Florida by 19 Eighty Three
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View this project by 19 Eighty Three

And while it’s possible for you to take control over some of these matters, ask yourself if you have the necessary time and experience to execute them efficiently.

If the answer is ‘no’, you might want to leave it up to your interior designer or an experienced professional (e.g. decorator or contractor) to get the job done instead.

2. Show and tell your ideas

Pictures tell a thousand words – which is exactly why mood boards are one of the best ways to communicate your design vision to an interior designer.

Even before meeting up with one, start compiling images of rooms and ideas that pique your interest – this way you’ll be able to start the planning process immediately when you finally find the right designer.

Segar Road by PHD Posh Home Design
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3. Work things out with your other half

Screaming matches over whether to re-do the bathroom/get a kitchen island/keep your old furniture don’t just make things awkward for everyone present, they also keep interior designers from doing their job.

“Neglecting your differences and not discussing them beforehand isn’t going to do anyone any favours,” says Ben. “It’s also going to be hard on your interior designer as well, because he or she will be unable to proceed with conflicting instructions.”

YGK Garden by New Chapter
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Hence, if you ever find yourself disagreeing with your partner over renovation matters, talk it out privately before letting your designer know about your joint decision(s). Alternatively, allow a trusted designer to take the helm.

4. Be upfront about your budget

Money matters, but not for the reason you think it does. When discussing your renovation plans, being open about your budget will allow a capable designer to better manage it for you.

“It’s alright to have a tight budget or a figure that you don’t wish to exceed,” says Ben. “In a way, interior designers are solution providers and they can help you save on your renovation, whether it’s by purchasing online or finding alternatives to materials or furniture.”

Balmoral Road by BLACK N WHITE HAUS
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5. Speak up about your concerns

Last but not least, if you have any concerns about your renovation, bring them up to your designer – and don’t hesitate to do so.

Black N White Haus Director Vincent Ang says, “If you ever find yourself facing any issues, have a talk with your designer. This way, solutions can be found quickly, and your renovation can proceed. In the event that you’re unable to reach an agreement, you can always speak to a third party, such as a higher-up in the company who is able to assist you.”

To sum up

Hiring an interior designer is often the start to an easier renovation but finding a professional whom you can trust and communicate with is the beginning of an enjoyable process.

And if you’re looking for one, simply let us know by dropping in a quote request and we’ll recommend you 5 design firms based on your requirements for free.

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