What is a Design Consultation & How Can You Make the Most of It?

Welcome to 2019! Okay, maybe I’m a month late on wishing you a happy New Year, but it has been just nuts over here! Let me explain...

If you saw our Instagram announcement back in January, you might have already heard the big news. If you didn’t, I’ll spill the beans now...

Jennifer Lynn Interiors is moving to a bigger space in Kingston, NY!!

When we started outgrowing our space last year, we had to decide… should we take on fewer clients or grow with the business...?

No question about it. If we can help more families live in beautiful spaces, that’s exactly what we’ll do! :)

Now, add “The Big Move” to welcoming a new Design Assistant to our team PLUS the several design projects we have underway, and you can see why it’s been so busy over here! And we are loving every minute of it! But enough about us — let’s talk about you.

If you’re considering a design project this year, this is the perfect topic for you. I’m going to tell you all about design consultations, how you can use them, and some good practices for making the most of your time.

You ready? Let’s go!

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What is a design consultation?

Great question, because a design consultation can differ based on the services you need.

1. Full-Service Design Consultation

If you’re looking for full-service design for a few rooms or your entire home, a consultation is a preliminary meeting to discuss everything your project will entail.

2. Advice for the DIYer

If you’re a DIYer who’s not looking for full-service design, a consultation is a great way to get some expert advice for your specific project — advice that you can then go implement on your own.

Since we work mostly with families looking for full-service design, I’ll speak specifically to that here.

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What does a design consultation include?

A LOT happens during a design consultation, but all those little details we discuss can be boiled down to two categories...

1. Getting to Know Each Other

In order to design the perfect home for you and your busy family, we have to get to know you…. and to get to know you, there has to be a level of comfort and trust!

The design consultation is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with each others’ personalities and see if we would work well together. We’ll discuss your project, as well as our process, to set the right expectations for a successful design makeover!

2. Discussing the Specifics of Your Project

What would a design consultation be without discussing, well, the design project?!

Before our consultation, we’ll send you a questionnaire to get some details on the following topics:

  • Your family’s home

  • Your family’s day-to-day lifestyle

  • Your design budget & timeline

  • Your style aesthetic

  • Goals/vision for your space

  • And more

We’ll discuss your answers to these and talk about how we can bring your home dreams to life.

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4 Best Ways to Prepare for Your Design Consultation

Being prepared for your design consultation is the best way to make the most of every minute of our time together. Here’s what I suggest you do in advance of our meeting:

1. Be Open About You & Your Family’s Lifestyle & Needs

We’ll ask many questions about how your family lives in the home and moves around from day-to-day. I encourage you to approach the consultation with the goal of being as honest and open as possible.

After all, we want to design a beautiful home for you, but we also want it to function with your family’s lifestyle!

2. Refine Your Design Aesthetic

Create a Pinterest board or Houzz Idea Book of spaces you love and that bring you joy. Even if two spaces look completely different, if you love both, add them! We’ll find the common design thread that attracted you to both.

This exercise will help us get a feel for your style, so we can select the best pieces for your home.

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3. Decide in Advance How You Will Make Decisions

When it comes to designing a family home, there are often multiple decision-makers. The best way to avoid drawn-out family battles and save time is to decide (in advance) how you will settle any disagreements.

Coin toss? Majority vote? Lady’s choice?

Only you can decide!

4. Complete Our Budget Worksheet

Budget is the #1 area where we see a disconnect between homeowners’ expectations and reality — and this is true for ALL interior designers across the board. Why?

Design shows (like the ones we see on HGTV) have created an unrealistic picture of what design is really like. No, we don’t have vendors “donating” all of our clients’ furnishings for free. (I wish!) No, we don’t have teams working 24-hours around the clock. (We’re real people, people!)

So instead of winging it with a ballpark number, I suggest you take some time to complete our budget worksheet.

We’ll send over the worksheet in advance of our consultation so you’ll have some time to fill it out. A little time spent here will save a LOT of time (and potential heartache) once your project is underway.

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Let’s Wrap It Up...

Alright, that’s a wrap! You now know everything you need to be prepared for a successful design consultation. If you’re not sure when you should schedule a consultation for your project, remember sooner is ALWAYS better than later.

And if you’re really unsure, ask us below! We don’t bite. :)

In the meantime, I hope you’ll stay tuned for our next post...  I’ll be attending the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) later this February and will have lots of exciting photos to share with you!

See you then!
Jennifer