Thinking of starting a new home project? Stop! First read this. Westfield Area’s Columnist Ellie Mroz is sharing five things that’ll make you love your interior designer.

1. Start with a realistic budget.

Let’s talk soup to nuts. Great projects come in all shapes and sizes. There is no judgment here; it’s just a matter of planning and executing. If you haven’t bought a couch since college and aren’t sure what things should cost, ask your designer.  Based on our experience of buying dozens of couches (not to mention tables, chairs, lamps…), we will be more than happy to give you a general range of what you can expect to pay.  Be honest about what you expect to get out of your furniture –is this something you want to use for a few years and then upgrade, maybe when your kids or pets are older?  Or, is this a piece you are ready to invest in and would like to hand down to your children when they have a house of their own?

2. Be prepared to make decisions.

Not everything will cost more than you think it should… but some things will. A designer will help you to decide which pieces are worth the extra money and which may not be. Just because we’re shopping a trade-only source or something is “custom” does not necessarily mean it will cost more than something you’d buy on your own. In my mind, as long as the room looks amazing and the entire room’s cost comes within your budget, it’s a win/win situation for all.

3. Trust. Trust. Trust.

Try to refrain from premature judgment! I rarely present individual items to a client without giving him/her an overall vision of what the space will look like first.  This is truly an example of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  Not every item will be the standout item.  Your eye needs somewhere to rest and the elements in a room need to be harmonious, not overwhelming.

4. Stop shopping and relax.

Put down your smartphone and close your laptop.  Surrender your Pinterest boards to your designer. Aside from gathering inspiration, ditch the endless web-surfing.  If it’s out there, your designer has seen it.  And, for my part, at Ellie Mroz Design, I’ve seen it, done better, cheaper or in another color!  Once you hone in on a style you want, pick a designer and sign a contract, the time for browsing should be over. Let us do our job for you. Trust your initial decisions…and watch the magic happen.

5. Count on Murphy’s Law.

If something can go wrong, it probably will.  But remember, this process should be fun and rewarding. With a healthy dose of patience, teamwork and communication, projects will remain on track, on time and on budget.

Photo courtesy Raquel Langworthy.