HOW TO WORK WITH A RESIDENTIAL INTERIOR DESIGNER
Residential Interior Designer Joy Williams is the founder of Joyful Designs Studio based in Chicago, Illinois. Williams has worked on many projects over the years, helping her clients create a home experience that is uniquely theirs. Below she gives us some exclusive tips on how best to work with a residential interior designer.
Credit: Joy Williams
WHY DID YOU BECOME A RESIDENTIAL INTERIOR DESIGNER?
Joy Williams: I really wanted to focus on my creative side. I have been designing and remodeling my own homes for a while and always felt excited while doing so. I started with my own homes and those of family and friends, then slowly moved towards offering services to people wanting to live in a well designed home.
WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE WORK WITH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
People dream of buying and living in a beautiful home for so long and plan the purchase of this heritage asset, so I think it's only fitting that they start talking to design professionals about services very early in the process. Some may need more guidance to help narrow down their design perspective and others may simply need a designer to lead them to great heritage pieces that will form the anchor of their home's design. It will vary widely, but it's never too soon to have a conversation, start interviewing designers, inquiring about costs and planning for life in your new home.
TIPS FOR HIRING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
1. Think about temperament in the face of adversity. Do they work well with others? It takes a village to bring a design concept to fruition. So you need someone who can get everyone on the same page and work in the best interest of the homeowner.
2. Consider the scale of budgets that they’ve managed before. It is critical for clients to understand that someone who has only handled a 10k budget might not be able to handle larger projects at the 100k level. The designer needs to understand how to spend within the client’s budget.
3. Ask about experience outside of design. For some designers like me this is a second career. We have a plethora of skill sets that accentuate our ability to manage and run large design projects. Tap into that.
WHEN TO NEGOTIATE WITH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
It depends on what the negotiation centers on. Is it price? Color? Space Planning? At Joyful Designs Studio, we consider the design processes we've set up to be based in collaboration with the client from day one, that is exactly why we have an in-depth paid design consultation. We want the clients we take on to be serious about the business of planning their home. We welcome their input on color and function, furniture, etc. We want them to have a stake in the process beyond the monetary investment they are making.
DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN ONBOARDING PROCESS
First, we have clients make lists. We ask clients to write down things they believe their home must have to feel like a home they could love. We also ask them to come with a list of what home means to them and how they want to feel in their homes.The client’s daily home rituals inform planning spaces, furniture layouts and home function so we have a list of questions that prompt them to explain their routine from morning until bedtime.
Second, we connect with them on Pinterest so that we can see the boards and pins that they saved or created. If they are not on Pinterest, we have them clip magazine pictures or email us pictures of things they love and are inspired by. It's a whole process that we've developed to dial down to understand how home is defined for that individual client. We want to know if they travel, what kind of art are they drawn to? Art and culture are part of my design DNA. I love to help clients incorporate both into their homes.
At Joyful Designs Studio, we offer our clients concierge level design services and believe that your home should be an experience.