(Catch up on Part 1 Hiring an Interior Designer)
An experienced interior designer will take the majority of the work off your shoulders, and still help you find that most authentic version of yourself, writ large in a beautifully designed space. What I’m describing here is the collaborative process. Depending on your wishes, this may suit you well. The question is: What kind of designer do you need?
If you love the idea of just handing someone your house keys and leaving for three (or 12) months, to return later for the big HGTV Reveal, then there are certainly designers out there who would like to work with you. You will basically be funding their creative portfolio and staying out of their way. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Some people prefer it.
On the other hand, if you would like a space that reflects who you are, an environment that personifies your dreams and your vision for yourself moving forward, then you need someone who will listen and be inspired by you. Each of us is one of a kind. Creating a space that reflects you requires time, empathy and intuition. Not all interior designers work this way. So be sure to know what you want while you are shopping for the right person or team.
A collaborative process means that the interior designer takes an interest in designing for you specifically. We recently began working with a new client who was referred by friends of theirs who are an existing client. The new client said that they loved what we had done for their friends. But they also made it clear that they would never do something similar for themselves, because it wasn’t their style. However, they saw that we had created a space for their friends that accurately reflected them, and that meant that we were listening. They hired us because they wanted someone who would listen to them, and translate that into the design of their own home.
Have you ever been stuck on a problem, and can’t figure out how to extricate yourself? And yet, when someone else has an issue, you may be able to see clearly what will help them (assuming they want your advice, that is!) What’s more, this friend may be equally able to help you get unstuck from your own problems too. Having an outsider look at your situation with fresh eyes and objectivity can be just the thing.
For example, a friend of mine looked at her husband’s closet and saw that it was in complete disarray. She knew what needed to be changed, what storage solutions to add, and how it should all go together for maximum functionality and visual order. She completely overhauled it with ease. Now he has a model closet, which he has kept in order for years, due to her design intervention. The surprising part of this story is that her closet is still in complete disarray, and she doesn’t know where to start. And the punchline is that she’s a professional designer! It’s often the case that we have an easier time fixing other people’s problems than our own.
Now this line of thinking does not automatically mean you must hire a designer. But it does recommend that you not go it alone. If you have a good stable of trusted advisors in this endeavor, then you may be able to get to those magic design solutions on your own. Maybe you or someone involved in the project has an innate design sensibility, so you have an advantage already. My advice it simply to use as many resources as you have at your disposal to meet your needs. Depending on your particular situation, that may or may not require paying for design insights.
Your space can be planned down to the fraction of an inch. It can flow effortlessly for anyone lucky enough to spend time in it. Great design can look simple, but getting to that simplicity takes real savvy. If you don’t have the skill set, don’t have the time or energy, or simply don’t quite know what you want — but know you do know you need a change — an interior designer can be your bridge into a new experience.
Whatever the reason is that you are planning a renovation, there are people and resources in the world who can make it come to life in ways you may not even have thought of. Plugging into your support network will be incredibly significant in your process. However you go about it, just don’t go it alone.
Others can often see in you things you are unable to appreciate about yourself. We often subconsciously picture ourselves living a certain way, looking a certain way, or feeling a certain way, and we’re in danger of dismissing these daydreams as nothing more than fantasies of some alternate reality. But they are powerful clues to deciphering desire and the potential for change, if only we listen in and take them seriously. Surrounding yourself with people who are able to see you as you really are will make such a difference.
If you’re not happy with where you are currently, you can change it. Changing your environment can transform how you feel on the inside. Beautiful surroundings will do a lot for you, but why stop there? Your home can be so much more than visually appealing, it can bring a feeling of wellness and tranquility. It can be a “you” space. Your interior design can reflect your interior world.
My goal as an interior designer is to collaborate with my clients so that they can live the reality they dream of, not just in terms of beautiful surroundings, but in their daily rhythms. Whether or not you go the route of hiring a interior designer is a personal choice. But there is no reason not to dream big and try to make your home reflect you specifically. In transforming your surroundings, you can transcend the ordinary and inhabit a new reality.