Hiring an E-Designer? 6 Things to Ask

The interwebs today are filled with e-designers and e-design, which can be extremely confusing. Do you go with a big company such as Havenly or Laurel & Wolf, or is a small designer the way to go? What are the differences and what should you look for when hiring an E-designer? These 6 tips will help:

1.  Is my project a good fit for E-design?

E-design is best for “lite” design projects, which includes paint, lighting and some finishes, along with new furniture and accessories. If you want to remodel your entire kitchen top to bottom it’s better to look for a designer that can help you in-person to oversee that level of project. That’s my opinion.

I know there are major projects that E-designers have executed fantastically well, so I’m not saying it can’t be done. There are just so many things that can go wrong during the remodel process. I’m a member in many designer groups and I have heard some stories which all came down to the designer not overseeing the project in-person and that’s when things went terribly awry.

Major remodels are best left to in-person designers.

2. Will we work well together?

Hiring a designer is agreeing to a relationship, where the designer is in charge overall yet works with your ideas and budget. To hire any designer you need to be able to relinquish control and trust that the designer has your best design in mind, hears what you want and need and like, but also knows more than you do about design.

Hire a designer that you like, because you’ll be working together on this project, either a little or a lot.

Hire a designer that you trust, because you will need to relinquish control and trust that this person has knowledge and vision for your project.

3. What will I receive – exactly?

As the question, what will I receive, exactly? There are so many e-design services now, from $ to $$$$. Some offer custom services, others just churn out cookie cutter designs. Know what’s important to you and ask for it, make sure what you need is included in the package you are purchasing.

Like everything in life, you do get what you pay for. You’re not going to get a high-falutin’, custom design that holds your hand all the way through the process from a cheap source. If $ is all you can afford, that’s ok, just set your expectations accordingly.

E-design is best for lite design: paint, artwork, furniture and accessories.

4. If I want to make changes, what happens then?

What if the designer starts the process and then you decide you want to go in a totally different direction? Will their head explode? Will you need to purchase a new package? Design is a process, and sometimes in that process we discover that what we thought we wanted isn’t what we actually want. Make sure you have wiggle room to change things up if needed.

5. Do you understand my design style and what I want to accomplish?

There are two kinds of clients: those that have lots of ideas and want help executing their vision, and other clients that have no vision or are too busy and just want the designer to come up with all the ideas. In either case, you need to have some degree of input.

Does this designer listen to you? Does this designer “get” you? Do you feel heard and does the designer have ideas on how to run with your style and ideas, and do they have great ideas all on their own? The best design pushes the envelope a little bit, that’s why you hire a designer.

Great closet design, unless you hate red and wanted a big rug. Is your designer listening to you?

6. How will the design be executed?

What is the process? Are you expected to shop for your new stuff or does the designer pick everything? How do you know where to put your new stuff? Do you have help if you have questions? How much help? How will you reach the designer and how quickly can you expect to hear back from them?

E-design works brilliantly when you know what to expect, and have help from the designer throughout the process, including executing the final design plan. Like so many things in life, it’s about good communication, but first you have to understand what the E-designer is offering and if that will work with your project and expectations.

Oh and hey! We do E-design. Isn’t that convenient? For more information on our E-design services, or to schedule a complimentary Discovery Call about your project, go here.