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Marla Caceres, Tribune Brand Publishing
When people think about interior designers, they usually think of professionals who design a home from top to bottom at a cost that may be impractical for anyone without a large budget.
But many furniture stores, like Baer’s Furniture, a collection of fine furniture stores with 15 locations throughout Florida, offer the services of professional interior designers to their customers. Their team of designers work
with the store’s customers on design projects large and small, through a process can be as simple as an initial in-store visit or as encompassing as
home consultations and installations.
These interior designers can help with any kind of furniture-purchasing decision, from updating a guest room to furnishing an entire home.
“Part of who you are is represented in your home,” said Maria Gaviria, a home furnishings consultant for Baer’s Furniture. “Working with someone who can help you find that part of you expressed in furniture — that is what we do.”
Before you seek the services of a designer at a store like Baer’s Furniture, check out the advice below to streamline the process.
1. There is never too much information. An interior designer will want to know all about the space they are helping you design. For that first meeting with a designer, come armed with everything she or he might need —
measurements of the room and the pieces currently in it, photos of the room from multiple angles, details about unique architectural features like windows, columns and room layouts, and insights about how the room functions in your home.
2. Don’t hold back the inspiration. Share photos of anything that inspires the look you are going for, even if you can’t articulate exactly what’s inspiring to you. Whether it is a color, a pattern, a textile or just an indescribable
mood, professional designers are trained to interpret the design elements of a room and translate them into reality. Even if you can’t say exactly why a certain room in a magazine is exciting to you, a trained interior designer can dissect that design into its individual components. Feeling at a loss for inspiration? A designer knows the right questions to help you figure out what is inspiring to you.
3. Pair something old with something new. If you are thinking about redesigning an entire room, you may not necessarily be looking for all brand-new pieces. Much of what you currently own can still work, and an interior designer can
help you blend new and old harmoniously.
“If you are doing a redesign, call your local Baer’s Furniture store and talk to a designer,” said Janet Graham, an interior designer with Baer’s.
Many customers find it helpful to have a designer come to their home and personally assess the space. This “house call” gives the designer a much better sense of the room and its needs than a photo alone.
4. Be honest about budget. Designers can work with a range of budgets. If they know your budget beforehand, they can tailor their recommendations to what you can afford. This is just one way in which working with an interior designer
is less stressful than working alone: Navigating the world of design without a guide can be overwhelming. Because they know the design world so well, great designers can find pieces that are both beautiful and attainable.
5. Form a lasting relationship. An interior designer can become a partner for the life of not just your current design project but also any dreams you have for your home for years to come. If the designer works for a store like Baer’s
Furniture, it’s like having an expert on the inside. Keep the designer up to date on your plans, and she or he can let you know when the piece that is just perfect for your next project comes in.
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