HOW TO CHOOSE A DESIGNER IN THE SOUTH BAY

This relationship, unlike others in life, is by choice and it should be a fun one.  Here you are building or renovating your home where you and your family will hopefully make wonderful memories together for years to come. Maybe your set up is different and you just want to fix up the place, enjoy for a shorter period of time, sell it and move on. The South Bay bubble is a pretty particular area and prices for everything are high so having an efficient team will save you time and money. You may be thinking that you don’t want to feel like you made a mistake in this choice or that choice or that your house will look like everyone else’s or worse, that you have missed opportunities everywhere you look.  FOMO is a real thing!

Whatever the reason that brought you to this blog, we hope it helps.

Here are the top 7 things to help you choose a designer that is right for you and your project:

  1. Style: in your search, you will find that some designers specialize in one particular style and they do it well. Others have a more diverse portfolio and that usually means that they listen to their clients’ needs and the end result is a unique look for each client. If you feel like the portfolio shows exactly what you want to see or feel, you go to the next step and contact the designer for an in-person meeting.

  2. Personality:  It’s important to meet with your preferred designers in person. It has been proven that our initial two-second judgments are often more accurate than judgments derived from lengthy analyses.  Not to leave it all up to that but that initial feeling is pretty telling. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is bad but maybe not be ideal for you. Keep your mind open but listen to your instincts. It’s important to meet with your preferred designers in person.

    You don’t want to feel like you are being judged by either your ideas or your budget. You want to feel comfortable and listened to and for most of us, we want to know that the designer has our best interest.

  3. Experience in the area & years in business: having some knowledge of local regulations is always helpful and experience in the area comes with working relationships which can bring you better teams to work on your home. 

  4. Drawings: if the scope of work is anything larger than decorative items through the house, you are way better equipped with a design studio that can provide drawings. These detailed drawings, approved by you, will be given to your contractor, consequently to the tile installers, cabinet makers and several other subs. Another important aspect to drawings is that you can receive furniture that it’s the right size for your home. If you are in need of pillows and window treatments, for example, samples will suffice, and you don’t need any drawings.

  5. Pricing:  discuss what is the billing structure. Is it hourly? Is it a percentage of what you spend? Markups on items? Both? 

  6. Availability: you want someone responsive and responsible. Problems arise, meetings come up, clients and or contractor leave town and having someone answering questions and visit the job site is a huge time saver. 

  7. Ask for referrals: talking to other people that have worked with the designer is key. Don’t forget to ask the contractors! They work hand in hand with the designer.  

  8. Questions to ask your finalists designer:

    • Can you provide accurate drawings?

    • Working relationships: have you worked with this architect or that contractor

    • Pricing structure?

    • How involved are you with deliveries and installation