How to Work With an Interior Designer in Atlanta

If you’ve watched home remodeling TV shows, you’re used to watching an extremely condensed version of a whole home remodel where a designer’s first plan is within budget and perfectly matches the clients’ preferences. Don’t get us wrong--these shows are a great source of inspiration, but the truth is that working with a designer for your own home remodeling project in Atlanta, GA, is a lot more complex.

Here’s what you need to know about how an interior designer can help you and how you can find the right fit.

The Benefits of Working with an Interior Designer

An interior designer can help you get the most out of your money by using their expertise to find unique selections and also ensuring that you’re investing in items that have long-term appeal for future buyers. As a design-build company, Copper Sky Renovations hosts all of our designers in-house, which allows for an improved level of collaboration between construction and design.

Additionally, a designer can help save you time by quickly identifying a color scheme and material selections you’ll love; they can help you maximize your space by identifying arrangements that work well for your needs; they can make sure that your whole home feels cohesive and pleasant. Because they’re intimately familiar with the designing and remodeling process, they can also help facilitate communication with your contractor.

[Read More:Working with a Kitchen Designer in Atlanta [6 Tips for Communication]

No Stupid Questions

Growing up, we all repeatedly heard that there is no such thing as a stupid question. And while we’ve all heard some truly questionable questions throughout the years, that phrase still stands up pretty well. Unless you’re a remodeling professional that deals with design questions every day, you’re going to have questions. Asking questions about the process doesn’t demonstrate your ignorance—it shows that you’re interested in understanding the process and in figuring out what you need to know to get the results you want.

Have a Little Faith

It can be tough to trust a stranger to come up with a plan for your home. After all, you’re the one who will be living there! At the same time, someone with a lot of experience in interior design can steer you away from common design mistakes and pitfalls. That involves having a little bit of faith or trust in the person advising you. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right remodeler. The ability to listen to clients and help them articulate exactly what they want is a big reason Copper Sky was selected Remodeler of the Year in 2018 and then again in 2019.

How to Prep for Your First Meeting

To make the most of your time with your designer, it’s essential to prepare for your first meeting ahead of time. Start by sitting down and writing a summary describing why you’re remodeling. What is it that you’re unhappy with? What are your top priorities for improvement? Are there any features you have that do work well that you’d like to keep?

Next, attend to the aesthetic portion of your project: Visit Houzz and Pinterest and create collections of kitchen remodels you like. Once you’ve built portfolios, review your favorite photos and try to identify common themes: do you like certain color schemes? Specific cabinetry materials? Kitchens with island barstools?

Use these to revisit your initial notes on what you’d like to change about your kitchen. Be ready to talk through your pictures and ideas with your designer, but remain open to the possibility that your designer may propose changes to match your budget, maximize functionality, or incorporate new ideas you hadn’t considered but might love.

Establishing Budget & Timeline Expectations Early

Now that you’ve crafted and begun to communicate your vision, it’s time to establish a workable budget. Decide how much you’re able to spend overall. Then, ask your designer for service quotes (some designers bill per project and others bill per hour), and meet with your remodeler to determine ballpark construction figures.

Your budget may flux minimally depending on design, materials, timeline, and revisions, but working with a company that provides comprehensive design and construction services in-house can simplify and expedite your planning to give you a more accurate budget.

NEW! Download the 2021 Atlanta Remodeling Cost Report [PDF]

How to Get the Most Out of Your Collaboration

As you move forward in collaboratively creating a design for your home remodeling project in Atlanta, remember to balance these two ideas: designers like homeowners who know what they like, so don’t be afraid to express your opinions, but at the same time, you’ll get more out of the collaboration if you allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by ideas you may not have entertained before.

The purpose of hiring an interior designer is to give you a perspective you couldn’t have on your own, so keeping an open mind will give you the best long-term gain! Allow yourself to have fun, to learn from your designer, and to explore new ideas.

It’s important to keep in mind that remodeling is a collaborative process. You and your interior designer have the same goals, but different responsibilities. Your job is to be as clear as possible about what you want. Your designer is responsible for helping you express that. What sometimes happens, however, is that the client goes beyond expressing desires and goals and tries to tell the designer or remodeler how to achieve the goals. That's their job. It doesn't mean you can't offer suggestions or ask questions about options. But, to get the best results, let your designer and builder earn their money by coming up with the best ideas for getting the results you want. Often this comes back to asking questions. You may need to ask follow-up or clarifying questions about the suggestions they make. That’s great. But let them do their job.

Educate Yourself

One of the biggest helps for homeowners in the remodeling process is to educate themselves. You don’t have to be an expert with a hammer or saw—but the more you understand about the remodeling process (including design) the smoother that process will be—and the more likely you are to get the results you want.

That’s why we offer helpful resources such as our free Remodeling Cost Guide eBook. It provides great information about the essentials for a great remodeling experience, including things such as the importance of lighting, logistics, and colors as well as how to finish your remodeling project with stunning accents. It's a great starting point even before you begin to think about specific design ideas. Download it for free here!

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