Working with an In-Store Designer was not something I planned on doing. Styling this new home and starting from scratch (well, pretty much), there have been lots of long Saturdays wandering around furniture and home stores. I have really had my heart set on these Chesterfield style sofas from Restoration Hardware for a very long time. When talking to the salesperson at Restoration Hardware, she mentioned they had a designer on staff we could meet with as a complementary service. I was struggling over which color of leather to choose for my sofas, so I agreed and made an appointment for my husband and I for the following Saturday.1. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: You want to make an appointment so that you are sure that the designer has ample time uninterrupted to spend with you, focused on you.
2. TAKE PHOTOS: Take lots of photos of the space you are shopping for. Take lots of photos of spaces throughout your home, rooms you are happy with and rooms your are not happy with. This will allow you to show the designer things you like and don’t like, which will give him or her an idea of what you do and do not like. I found the best way to do this was to use a tablet to snap all of the pictures I wanted to have on hand. I took a lot of photos of our new shiplapped fireplace since this was where the sofas were going to be.
3. TAKE FLOOR PLANS: I not only took a copy of my floor plan, I sent it via email to the designer so she would have an idea of what I was looking for, and what I space I had available.
4. TAKE MEASUREMENTS: Measure everything that you think you will need the measurements for, rooms, furniture, counters.
5. TAKE THINGS YOU ALREADY HAVE: Do you have pillows or fabric or artwork that you are going to be using in the room you are shopping for? If there is something you absolutely love and want to use in the space, take it with you, or if it is too large, take photos of those objects.
6. TAKE PAINT SAMPLES: If you have already decided on paint colors for your spaces, take a large sample of the paint. If you have not yet decided on a paint color, take color swatches that you are considering.
7. DO NOT COMMIT TO A PURCHASE IF YOU ARE NOT COMPLETELY CONFIDENT: Remember that this is your home and your money. You do not have to make a purchase just because a designer has taken time to work with you.
CONCLUSION: We ordered a pair of sofas this day, we ended up ordering the color we had originally chosen previously ourselves. We did not take the designer’s suggestion on the length, we ordered sofas the next size smaller. We also bought an area rug that we found and picked out ourselves and a light fixture and dining chairs. Was working with an in-store designer a success? Not particularly, but I wouldn’t hesitate to work with one again in the future, just be confident in your decision, be it the same as the designer, or not.