If you are going to start an Interior Design project there are a few things to bear in mind first that will make the whole process easier and more fun.
1. Budgets – they are essential in planning the project. None of the people you hire can do a good job unless you have a realistic budget in mind. If you don’t know what things cost, discuss it with them and they will help you work out the budget. Only you know what you are comfortable spending and they aren’t mind readers. Projects can vary widely in price but can be tailored to your budget if you are open and honest about it.
2. Building Codes are an area you may not have thought about but your Architect, Interior Designer and Contractor all are familiar with them and the constraints they may impose on your project. By discussing your ideas with them in the beginning they can help you understand if there will be any code problems involved and come up with solutions before they are problems.
3. Make binders with ideas and products for each part or room of the design. As you progress through the project you may want several for different aspects such as budget, ideas, specs, etc. I wrote an in depth post earlier that will help you in organizing your binders.
4. Interview and hire interior designers, architects and contractors. It’s best to work with a team and go over your ideas and wishes so everyone is on the same page right from the beginning. If the team members already know each other and work together that is a plus. I have a free download on “How to Find a Good Contractor” on my home page that will help you with the interview process.
5. Be realistic about cost, quality and quantity. You can have two out of three – take you pick! Of course you want it all but you will have to make some compromises.
6. Develop a “Master Plan” instead of a “design and pay as you go plan” – it will keep you on target and on budget. It will help you avoid any big surprises and allow you to attack the project in stages if necessary.
7. Get organized so you know what to expect and when. That means getting rid of things you are not keeping and packing up those things that will be in the way during the process. If you have to move out for part of the time – do it!
9. Be flexible. Problems arise and substitutions may have to be made. If you are not rigid you will have a much better experience and usually end up with a better project anyway!