The way that your home is designed, built and decorated says a lot about the kind of person you are. If you are going to have the right design, you have to have the right designer. There are simple tips to help you narrow down some of your choices. You can start narrowing down some of your choices before you even make the first phone call, and then further narrow it down from there. Remember, the larger the area, the more selection and options you will have with residential designers. Choose carefully.
Before making the very first phone call:
- Eliminate any designer who does not offer free consultations.
- Eliminate any who do not carry the Better Business Bureau seal or other professional seals.
- Do not call designers who are only listed by initials in the white pages and nothing more.
- Do not bother with any designer that you cannot verify any information about.
During the first phone call:
- See how quickly and courteously the phone is answered. If you get a machine, check how long it takes for someone to return your call. Did the call come when promised?
- Gauge how interested the designer is in meeting for an initial consultation.
- Are your questions answered politely and without hesitation? If you probed a little deeper, would you have gotten cut off?
- Does the designer seem less than interested, distracted or bored?
>During the first meeting:
- Did the designer shake your hand and make eye contact with you?
- Did you talk about business and only business? (this is a plus for some and a negative for others)
- Were your own plans and ideas discussed or was it only the designer’s?
- Did you feel rushed or disrespected in any way?
Building a home can take a very long time and it is likely that you will have to deal with the designer a lot, especially while the plans are being finalized. You want to make sure that you are using the right person for the job, one whom you can work with closely for a long period without feeling stressed every time the phone rings. Once the home design is completed, you may not directly speak to the designer again, but you will still feel their presence in your home—do not tolerate someone that you cannot work with on this or any other project, big or small.