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Building & Renovating

How To Be A Good Design Client

Are you keeping your side of the bargain? Here's how you can maintain a harmonious relationship with the design professional you're working with.

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Photography: Rawpixel and Simon Rae on Unsplash (Main Photos)

If you’re one of the many who chose to build or renovate with the help of a design professional, we’re sure you’re familiar with the process of finding the right design partner. After all, you don’t want to end up with an empty pocket and a home that’s completed in a rush.

Once you’ve finally found the design professional who can help make your dream home come true, you need to commit to your part of the deal as well. To be able to ensure a smooth construction or renovation period, you need to be honest with your designer and be open about your needs and vision for the space. “Treat your designer as a friend and you’ll be able to feel more open and relaxed in explaining your expectations. You’ll be able to address your concerns properly, too. Designers are trained to deal with all kinds of people and they’re always open [and ready] to understand their clients’ end. It involves mutual trust,” says interior designer Nikki Audine. How can you be a good design client? Nikki shares her insights below:

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Prepare the needed materials from your end.

Architectural plans, floor plans, ceiling plans, and other materials needed by the designer must be ready before your first meeting. These essentials can help you finalize the plans for the space, take into consideration vital adjustments, as well as note the things you need to discuss with the building administration (if you live in a condo).

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Finalize your home wish list.

Do you want to have a den, a home office, or a bigger kitchen? “Tell your designer about the feel you want for each area and make a list of the requirements you need—the more specific you are, the better,” says Nikki.

Be ready with the scope of work and your budget for the project.

Are you renovating the entire home or just the bedrooms? How much are you willing to spend? “Before anything else, always inquire about the professional fee, terms of payment, and process of design,” the designer shares. To be able to maximize your allotted budget, you need to make a list of priorities—would you rather spend a huge chunk of your budget on quality materials than accessories? Are you ready to go beyond the budget when needed?


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Reach an agreement on the deadline.

While you have a target moving in deadline (maybe you want to welcome the New Year in your new space), you need to consult with the design professional if the date you have in mind is feasible. They can properly assess if the timeline is manageable or if it’s unrealistic. Remember, it’s best not to rush the completion of the project to avoid problems and poorly done finishes.

Take into consideration the appliances you plan to bring in.

“List down the appliances you need for the space. Careful space planning is done by considering the appliances you are putting in each area,” explains Nikki.

A good designer-client relationship is rooted in trust and openness. To be able to be a good design client, the interior designer says you need to:


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Have an open mind

“Don’t just rely on the photos you’ve seen online. Be open to what your designer is suggesting and don’t be afraid to try new designs so yours can be original.”

Be transparent

“Be transparent with the budget you have, the things you like, and those that you don’t like. It plays a big role and it can save you from a lot of disappointment. Let your designer know if what he or she presented is not on par with your expectations.”

Be a good listener

“A client who knows how to listen to her designer achieves the goals they both want to achieve.”

Be understanding

“This plays an important role, especially when there are things that are beyond the designer’s control. You also need to keep in mind that there are instances when we need to make adjustments on the budget and timeline.”

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Trust your designer

“Trusting your designer in terms of design and money matters can help make sure the project will run smoothly. Always ask for a breakdown of expenses and receipts. Design professionals have good rapport with their suppliers and contractors. You’ll be assured that they will delivery on time and in good quality.”

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Be straightforward

“Just tell us what you need and want.”

Be open to trying something new

“It may be a design that you haven’t seen in magazines and online, like a new material, a product in the market, or a new technology.”

Give honest feedback

“Provide us honest feedback about the designs we propose and ideas we share. Learning your insights will help us understand what you want better and this way, we can avoid mistakes.”

Are you looking for a design professional to work with? Click here for a list. Ready for your own home makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Nikki Audine through mobile at (0917) 823-2118 or you can also e-mail vvaudine[at]gmail.com.

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