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Home & Garden

7 Rules for Working With An In-Store Designer

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.PicMonkey Collage7 Rules for working with an in-store designer1.  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.

Restoration Hardware in Winter Park Florida2.  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.

My Home Floor Plan The Kentlands by Town and Country4.  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.

Working with an in store designer

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.

My Chesterfield Sofa

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.

I will be sharing this at the following link parties:  A Little R & R | Homemade and Handcrafted

Written By

Chloe is the creator of Celebrate & Decorate. Chloe is passionate about having a comfortable and well designed home - she also loves to entertain family and friends. Learn more about Chloe. Follow Chloe: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube

7 Comments

  1. These are great tips and kudos for not being swayed by the designers choices. I’ve never worked with a designer before but have heard others talking about how pushy they can be sometimes.

    1. Thank you Sandra, this was a new experience for me, and it was great to have my husband along to back me up on our decisions.

  2. Great tips! I have had good luck with the designer services but your right when you have your heart set on something, go with your gut!

    1. Thank you Jenny, I am glad you liked the tips and happy it worked out well for you!

  3. There are talented in-store designers to be sure but one caveat to always remember – they WORK for the store where you are and many times they work on COMMISSION. (Think that “free design service” is REALLY free?) In your own experience, the designer attempted to have you two purchase a LARGER sofa (more dollars) and the next smaller size actually worked for you. Independent interior designers are always a better choice, in my somewhat biased opinion but, as I said, if nothing else, the free design services can “get you started.” PS – That sofa is DELICIOUS!!!

    1. Thanks Tim! The only time I felt really confident was when I worked with independent designers with their own business!!

  4. Leah Daniel says:

    I work part time in a home decor fabric store. My advice when redoing a room is to chose your fabrics first. A good paint store can color match your paint to your fabric. Afterall, there Is a limit to the fabrics choices available and lots of paint

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