1. Finding Products
Finding the desired materials, furnishings, and accessories for a project is the number 1 project challenge most people face. It could be that this is impacted by budgetary and or geographic constraints, but many simply do not know where to start. These days, fortunately, the internet makes it easier to gather information without ever leaving your home or office.
Many cities have design centers or districts. Some are established for the trade only – interior decorators and designers – while others are open to the public. They may be formal "centers," or it may simply be an area where like-minded retailers have set up shop. Look for these areas. Consider working with a design professional, even on a consultative level, to gain access to professional sources not available at retail or to get a list of places to look for the items on your list.
2. Defining Design Style
Styles evolve and change, both within the industry and personally. For those who prefer sticking to trends, there can be a fear of commitment lest something should change or lose favor after the purchase. Some do not like being placed into a box that says, "This is my style."
There are several quizzes you can take that will help you better define your style, such as the following from Sproost and Style at Home . However, I suggest spending an afternoon or evening scrolling through Houzz or Pinterest to gather ideas. Both have search functions that allow you to zone in on particular rooms. While you can also search for styles, you can also enter things like "white cabinetry," "granite counter," or "wide plank wood floor" to find what you want even faster. Creating ideaboards or inspiration files will better help you understand what you are attracted to within certain spaces.
3. Making Design Decisions with a Spouse
Finding common ground might just be the trickiest of the three as some of us can be very strong in our opinions and unwilling to compromise. Given the investment you are making in your home improvements, you want to be able to love the results and feel comfortable, so it does merit consideration.
Calling in a neutral third-party to mediate can prove helpful. While it could be a trusted friend, it could also be the specialist at the flooring store, the rep at the bath center, or a local designer / decorator. After asking questions about the way you live, how you want the space to function, and who you live with, you might quickly learn, for example, that your 100-pound dog's nails would quickly mar the finish on the wood floor you've Been coveting and suggest a better alternative. Product knowledge can make all the difference when making decisions, so become educated.
If fear of a public argument is holding you back, rest easy – I do not know of a design professional who has never witnessed a "lively discussion" between clients and stepped in to smooth the way. Contrary to what you may think, it very much fits the designer task list for every project.
To remove the stress from your renovation or design project, call in a local designer or decorator to guide you through the process. Many can also work correctly, so do not despair if you find you prefer someone who lives in a different area than you. Give the firm a call and see how they can help!