Working with an Interior Designer
A beautiful home doesn't just happen. Good decorating is the result of good planning and should start by developing a comprehensive, detailed decorating plan.

What should be included in your decorating plan? Everything that needs to be done, including timing priorities and budget. It's vitally important to write down everything and be as specific as possible.

Most people feel they need assistance in creating and implementing their decorating plan. Professional interior designers have the talent, experience and specialized knowledge to help you pull it all together. They can also save you time and money. After all, the most costly furnishings you will ever buy are the ones that prove to be mistakes! Here are a few suggestions that will help you understand your own preferences and prepare you to work with a designer.

Begin by collecting decorating magazines or design books, especially if you don't really have a style that you like but know what you like when you see it. Consider cutting out photographs of furniture, styles, window treatments, color schemes, floor and wall coverings, etc., that appeal to you. Then, compile everything you've collected into a notebook or binder and organize it into sections for each room you'll be doing.

Alternatively, you can also do it all electronically using a website called Houzz. You can save photos in files called ideabooks and share them with your designer. This is a great way to collaborate on projects that are long distance also.

If you chose to work with a designer, your pre planning (or what I like to call homework) will make it much easier for you to communicate your likes and dislikes.

Evaluate your present furnishings and decide what you would like to keep, eliminate, and re-do. Write down the various items in your notebook. What will be your overall color-scheme? Does the carpeting/flooring need to be replaced? Which room do you want completed first? What budget have you established for each decorating project you wish to undertake. Knowing this information will prove valuable in working with your interior designer.

And remember - no matter what your lifestyle - your home should be a reflection of your tastes - your likes and your interests!