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How to Talk to a Designer – A Five-point Guide

Once you decided to hire a designer for your store or restaurant project, it is time to have a serious talk about your vision. However, you may be a little confused when it comes to what such communication entails. You may wonder what is expected of you and how you can help the process. In short, how to talk to a designer.

Even though a good designer will guide you through the whole process and will do everything possible to make it smooth and easy, there is something that you can do to help. If this is the first time that you are dealing with an interior designer, follow the steps and pieces of advice below. 

1. Present your designer with the existing plans

Of course, you start with an existing space, so the clearer its state is to your designer, the faster the project can start. As soon as you are ready to talk about your project, make sure that you have the plans of the existing space ready, and include mechanical, electrical and plumbing plans from the previous business. This will give your designer a first idea on the advantages and shortcomings of the space he or she has to work with, and will make all the subsequent discussions easier.

2. Outline your ideas

To make sure that your space will turn exactly the way that you want, it is important that you take the time to clearly define your ideas and wishes. Of course, your designer is there to guide you, and most companies have questionnaires that help you do it. However, it helps tremendously if you make a little thinking beforehand – and even put your conclusions down on paper.

If you don’t know exactly how to verbalize your ideas, collect a few images of the elements you like, whether these are commercial spaces that you love, materials or accent pieces. This will ease the communication and help your designer understand your vision and preferences.

3. Decide on a budget and timeframe

Your budget and deadline will greatly influence your project, so present them from the start, and do it in very clear terms. Your designer will need to know the limits within which he or she can work, since your budget will likely affect the design of your space and even its style. For example, a small budget is a great opportunity for a minimalist design and creative use of materials. Larger budgets and more generous deadlines allow for the use of more expensive materials, more elaborate designs, more accent and details.

Keep in mind, however, that a smaller budget does not have to be an impediment. In fact, budget limitations have forced many designers to come up with creative ideas that turned into the signature features of some unique commercial spaces.

4. Trust your designer

Your preferences and vision are very important for your project – after all, this is about your business and your future. However, it is essential that you trust your designer’s judgement in both colors and materials. It is not only that designers’ eyes are trained to see what works, but their experience has taken them through many similar projects, and invariably through many trials and errors. This experience cannot be replaced.

Designers are also familiar with how color affects human behavior and how to use materials for both functionality and visual appeal. Finally, they know what is trendy among your target audience and what may make your business a success when it comes to your physical location.

5. Review deliverables

Timely communication is very important to the fate of your project, so never postpone answering your designer’s questions. Especially when presented with the design plans, make sure you review them promptly. It is a good idea to ask your designer for a deadline for your feedback, and to set up a meeting if you have any questions.

Unfortunately, this is the stage where some perfectly avoidable delays can endanger your project. Many times, it happens that a designer works on more projects at a time, so, whenever you postpone communication, your projects gets pushed onto the back burner. Remember, it is not only how to talk to a designer, but also how to respond to one. Make yourself available – and your project will only benefit from it.

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2018 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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