So, you’ve decided to make some significant changes to your living space. You interviewed lots of interior designers. You made your selection. Now, the design process is beginning. You’re nervous. Will you get what you want? Will there be problems? Can you stick to your budget? Will it be finished in time for that big event that’s coming up?

As a working interior designer for almost three decades, I don’t think there’s a challenge I haven’t encountered. In order to make the interior design process go smoothly, before we start, I sit down with every client and have “The Talk.”

It goes something like this…

“I know you want the interior design process to go smoothly. You need to stay within your budget and timetable. You want the outcome to match your vision. So do I. So, here’s how you can help…”

It’s Sort Of Like A Marriage

You see, the relationship between a client and an interior designer is sort of like a marriage. You chose the designer for a number of reasons – her taste and aesthetics match yours…and you really liked her. But, now that you’re actually “married” little disappointments pop-up that you didn’t expect.

  • That oversized sofa you fell in love with on Your designer says it won’t fit in the room.
  • That incredible wall covering you found on the web? It’s way over your budget – and, no, her industry connections can’t get it for less.
  • That paint color that looks so awesome in your sister-in-law’s powder room? It will look horrible in yours.

Your interior designer has years of education and experience, and that’s why you’re not DIY-ing it. Her job is to make the job run smoothly, stay on budget, stay on schedule, and most importantly, deliver something as close to your vision as humanly possible. Your job is to be her partner in the project.

Here Are 5 Ways To Make Your Interior Design Project Go Smoothly

1. Be Prepared

  • Before the design process begins, invest some time to collect everything you can that illustrates your vision.
  • Buy some interior design magazines and tear out the pages that catch your eye, such as paint colors, upholstery fabrics, carpet patterns, furniture, cabinetry, etc.
  • Go through your vacation photos. Look for photos that you took of buildings, rooms, furniture, colors…whatever caught your eye enough to make you want to remember it.
  • Create an account on Pinterest if you don’t already have one. As you peruse the web for interior design ideas, pin the images that catch your eye and share them with your designer. Pinterest is fantastic for this.
  • Decide which furniture pieces, artwork, etc. you would like your designer to re-use. But, please understand, it’s not always possible to work older pieces into new design schemes.

2. Be Clear

When you’re clear about what you want, your designer will be able to work faster. Try to be as clear as you can be about what you want to achieve – the feeling, the look, etc. Give visual examples of things that you cannot describe in words. And, if there is an industry term he or she uses you don’t understand, never be afraid to ask for a translation.

3. Be Open-Minded

Your designer may present an innovative solution you would never have thought of in a million years. Don’t reject them right away. Give yourself time to think it through.

4. Trust Your Interior Designer

TV shows like Fixer Upper do not represent reality and they can make you have unrealistic expectations. But, most interior design TV shows only share beautiful outcomes. What you never see are the big boo-boos – they are on the cutting-room floor.

You chose to use an interior designer because of her experience and technical skills. Try to trust in her expertise.

5. Be Nice!

Everyone on your project, the designer, contractors, and craftspeople, work towards common goals –not to exceed your budget, to complete the job on time, and deliver a space you’ll adore. Everyone goes the extra mile when their client treats them with respect. So be nice!


With some preparation, a willingness to compromise, and the understanding that every successful interior design project encounters a few problems along the way, your project will run smoothly. Follow the 5 ways to make your interior design project go smoothly, and you may even enjoy the process!

Sygrove Interior Design Services

Sygrove Associates Design Group is an NYC interior design company. Our company’s founder Marilyn Sygrove is the lead interior designer on all projects. And she’s as tough as you are when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and coming in on time and on budget.

It all starts with a design consultation with Marilyn. She takes the time to thoroughly understand your design needs then personally directs all interior design, planning, and installation activities. Her work has been delighting clients, co-op and condo boards, and homeowners for over 30 years.

You can reach Marilyn by email at or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

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