What to Expect During a Design Consultation for Your Home Organization Project

Posted on November 1, 2012 by Clever Quarters

When you decide to redesign or organize space in your home, including your bedroom closets, garage,  kitchen and home office, your next step is to consult with a professional designer and organizer.

Although most designers offer free consultations, ask before you make an appointment so you don’t get any unwelcome surprises.  And, to get the greatest benefit from the visit, here are some things to consider before and during your consultation:

Before Your Appointment:
  • Prepare the space you want organized.  You don’t have to remove everything from the area — there’s no need to empty your garage,  for example — but make sure there’s room for the consultant to take necessary measurements.
  • Create a wish list.  You can involve the whole family in this.  Make the experience exciting and memorable for everyone.  In a perfect world, what would your newly-designed closets organizer, garage, media room or kitchen look like?
  • Prioritize your wish list.  When the consultant arrives, he or she may tell you that it’s not possible to accommodate everything on your wish list.  It will make the consultation more pleasant if you decide before the appointment whether drawers or extra shelves in your closet are more appointment and whether it’s more important to fit all of your cars or an entertainment center and pool table in your custom garage.
  • Schedule an appointment at a time when all decision-makers can be present.  Plan a time that allows time for the design consultant to make rough sketches — and for everyone to view the sketches and participate fully in the consultation.
  • Avoid embarrassment. A design consultant will typically come to your home, which is a very personal space.  A professional will respect your privacy but, if there’s something you don’t want the consultant to see, remove it from sight before your appointment time.
During the Consultation:
  • Let the Consultant Take the Lead.  Design consultants have years of experience and are well-trained to make a design to fit your needs.  It’s usually better to let the consultant draft an initial design and for you to ask for changes than to present a design to the design consultant.
  • Watch the Transformation.  Design consultants use 3D design software so they can show you precisely how your new space will look. You don’t have to look at pencil drawings and use your imagination to see how your newly designed and organized closet, home office, pantry or garage will look.
  • Discuss your stuff. The design consultant will get some ideas about how to organize your space by looking at the stuff stored in the location.  If some of the items won’t remain in the area, let the consultant know.  Also, if your house is new and your space bare, talk to the consultant about what you would like to store in each place.
  • Participate.  Don’t be intimidated by the consultant.  He or she is the expert — but it’s your house and you’ll be the one living with the design.  So take part in the planning. If you have questions or suggestions, share them.
  • Discuss Benefits.  The design consultant has good reasons for creating a particular plan.  But to make certain that the plan is right for you, ask how the proposed plan will benefit you.  Find out if the plan is versatile — can the space be used in ways different than those who you see in the 3D rendition or sample photos?
  • Ask Questions.  Don’t be shy about asking about the company, how long it’s been in business, what kind of similar projects the company has been completed, what it considers its area of expertise, how long the project will take, what the payment options are, what sort of guarantees you will get on the work.  You probably want to avoid getting opinion about other companies.  If you want to comparison shop, fine, but don’t ask one professional to judge another.

It’s fun and exciting to transform a cluttered, poorly designed or inefficient storage area into a beautiful area that fits your lifestyle, taste and needs.  And, with a design consultant’s help, your ideas can come to life.