We’ve selected a Homepolish designer for you and now it’s time for your consult. We’re giving you a peek into your meeting, what to prepare (not much!), and how you can make the most of it.
You’ve shared your project details and we’ve matched you with a designer from our roster of Homepolish partners. Now it’s time for your first meeting.
It’s OK to have first-date-style jitters.
But, your consultation is nothing to fear. It’s a chance for your designer to learn more about you and your project, and for you both to decide if they are the right partner for this space. Whether you’ve worked with an interior designer before, or if this is your first time hiring an expert, your consultation with your Homepolish designer is the initial step in your partnership.
To take the edge off: remember your consultation is simply that—a consult… It’s a “get to know you” moment. The work comes later. For now, you’re just having a chat.
This is a chance for you and your designer to meet, to review what you need, and explore whether or not you fit—from your artistic and aesthetic senses to your personalities and the way you communicate. It’s a “get to know you” moment. The work comes later. For now, you’re just having a chat.
CAPTURE YOUR IMAGINATION
Before your meeting, it’s helpful to get inspired. Flip through magazines, click around Pinterest, look at your friends’ homes with a discerning eye, ponder your favorite (and least favorite) things. Pull together pics you like (our Instagram and Magazine are great places to start). Visual references help your designer get a sense of what appeals to you, and together you can discuss why they do. If you do have specific likes or dislikes (say certain color combinations you despise, or you’re dying to have a leather chair, etc.), jot them down so your designer can get a firm grip your taste from the outset. You want your designer to know as much about your desires as possible at first, so you don’t have to explain once they’ve already made suggestions.
Just as critically, reflect on your overall project goals. Beyond just aesthetics, what do you really want to achieve with your design? How do you use your space? How do you wish you were using your space? Do you have young children and need a relaxed, kid-friendly environment? Or are you looking to decorate a grown-ups only pied-à-terre in the city? This helps you and your designer prioritize your needs—and your budget accordingly.
This is called “the design discovery phase” for a reason, you’re discovering where you want to go. So take in inspiration wherever you find it. (If you want more guidance on making the most of your full experience, read our 5 Tips for First-Time Interior Design Clients.)
SIT BACK, THEY’VE GOT THIS
On the day of your scheduled consultation, your Homepolish designer will come to your space and discuss the project in detail. They’ll guide the conversation, asking you the questions that will help them best understand your style and needs. It’s not going to be an interview, just a casual fact-finding chat. All you have to do is be honest.
Walk through your inspiration images, and be brutal about your likes and dislikes. Don’t hold back, the more openly you and your designer chat, the better understanding they’ll have of how to make your project successful.
At this point, you and your designer will not discuss detailed plans for your space. They won’t provide specific concepts or design advice. They may offer ideas as a way to illustrate how they think or approach the process, but this meeting isn’t design time. They are taking everything in for the first time, and gathering info to pull together into their proposal. After you and your designer agree to work together, you can dive into the details.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Your designer will drive the conversation based on what he or she would like to know before taking on your project. Generally, you’ll cover key topics like:
Timeline: Discuss how long (or short) your ideal timeline for design would be. Do you have any specific needs to finish at a certain time (move-in date, etc.)? Do you need renovation work that will take time?
Budget: During the signup process you provided an estimated budget. It’s helpful to start finalizing that number so your designer understands where to begin. If coming up with your overall budget is difficult, you can share price points for items that you are comfortable with—think the highs and lows you typically spend on furniture and what vendors you have shopped from. These can help give your designer a framework of reference. By communicating your estimated budget, your designer can help you make decisions for how best to invest your funds.
Don’t hold back, the more openly you and your designer chat, the better understanding they’ll have of how to make your project successful.
Pieces you have, pieces you want, and pieces you need: Let your designer know what you’re hoping to incorporate into the new design—or what you’re absolutely not interested in keeping. They can help you see existing pieces in a whole new light, or decide if it’s time to let something go. Let them know if you have specific needs in mind (you really want a new desk, etc.) so you can decide how to prioritize.
Likes and dislikes: As we mentioned, you’ll discuss your style (you don’t have to know the vocabulary to explain it, they’ll talk you through it). Here’s where you can show off all those inspiration images you delved into and list some of your favorite brands or shops.
Your involvement: This is important. It’s helpful for you and your designer to outline what work you want them to handle—and where you want to be involved. Do you want to go on shopping trips and sit on all the couches in the city or review all the options and have a back-and-forth? That means you might need more hours. Or are you super busy and just want to give your designer a budget and trust that they’ve done the work? This is a chance to clearly define your priorities and how you can use your time to best utilize theirs.
After the discussion, your designer will prepare a customized proposal for your project including a recommended project timeline, scope of work, inspiration images, and budget. You should receive the proposal a few days after your initial consultation. Your proposal will provide a framework for how the project will progress and allow you to decide if this designer is the right fit for you. If you have questions about the budget, number of hours, or any other specifics in the proposal, reach out to your designer to discuss and together you can adjust as needed.
Once you approve your proposal, your designer will begin working on the deliverables outlined (new floorplans, product sources, design decisions, etc.). We strongly recommend reviewing and approving or adjusting your proposal quickly. You don’t want to lose momentum. Your designer is holding the time for you and your project, and if you delay, their timeline and availability might change.
When we select a designer for you we carefully review the details you provided and hand-match you with who we feel is best-suited for you and your design needs, budget, style, and timeline. At this point, you should feel comfortable and excited to move forward. But if after your meeting you don’t feel like your designer is the right fit, we can always match you with another professional for an additional consultation. Email a member of the Design Success team and they can help. Designing your space is a process, but Homepolish is here to make it easier.
Don’t have your complimentary consultation booked yet? Sign up for Homepolish now.