The space itself
Imagine your home completely empty—no window treatments, area rugs, furniture, or personal accessories. What’s left is what an interior designer sees almost immediately. “The first thing I look at is the space itself,” says Marissa Sauer, founder and interior designer at Design Macs. “That means where the doors and windows are, what the ceiling height is, and so on.” By starting with a blank slate in their minds, designers can better picture what to do next. These are the decorating tips interior designers would never tell you for free.
The style of the home
Dorothy Willetts, founder and interior designer at Willetts Design & Associates, calls it the bare bones of the house; its geographic flair and style. “East coast builders and designers tend to put more architectural detailing into their homes,” she says. “There you’ve got crown molding and baseboards, whereas out west you have the post-modern style.” The time period your home was built is also significant; older homes will have different sets of challenges and delights than new ones, and vice versa.
How you visualize yourself
The Pinterest boards and pictures you show your interior designer say a lot about your aspirations and the life you hope to lead, says Willetts. In a similar way, so does the way your home is set up before a professional comes in. An interior designer will notice the details: how organized you are, how your children and pets behave, which room your family spends the most time in, and even the way the you dress. But don’t worry, they’re not judging you—it’s all in the name of designing a space that suits your lifestyle.