Top Tips

Getting The Most From Your Interior Designer

7 June 2017

Inviting an interior designer into your home can be daunting. In the early days of a project it can be difficult to know what to expect.  The process should be collaborative and fun. However, sometimes the experience is quite the opposite.

Below are my tips to help you build a strong relationship with your designer.  Before you even appoint your designer consider if you really like them! You may love their signature style but you also have to be comfortable spending time together. So personality fit is incredibly important.


Before you embark on a project gather together images that inspire you. It may be a piece of artwork you love or a place you have visited. Hotels are a huge source of inspiration for me. The bar at Babington House in Somerset is a favourite of mine.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer, Sussex. Working with an interior designer. Bright interiors with pattern and leather detail

Tear out images from magazines or create Pinterest boards for your ideas. Pinterest is a great tool to gather ideas. Don’t worry about curating the images or pulling together themes.  It is your interior designer’s role to interpret, filter and shape those ideas. Do also consider what feel you would like – do you wish for the room to be relaxed or more vibrant?


If you are carrying out a renovation include your designer in the planning stages.  If you consider layouts right from the beginning you’ll iron out any issues alongside the architect. Your designer can work alongside your architect to consider layouts and make any adjustments. This will ensure the space works to its fully potential. Small things like ensuring plug points are in the right place can make all the difference. These are the kind of details that can annoy you if they aren’t quite right!

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Working with an interior designer. Fabric swatches and paint colours

Many clients don’t have a clear idea about their budget. It can be difficult to know what a house renovation might cost. If you can provide a range of what you are prepared that is the ideal scenario.  It allows your designer to consider if your expectations are achievable. 

Don’t fear that your budget will run out of control. Often what I do is to provide 2 or 3 options for each item once I start sourcing items. This allows my clients to choose whether they invest in a statement or bespoke piece. A mix of these with less expensive items often works well. There is more information about budgeting for an interior design project here. 

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Working with an interior designer.

Don’t be afraid to say if you don’t like any of your designer’s ideas. Many people are worried their designer will take over or be precious about their designs. A good interior designer listens.

In the early phases of a project I work with the client to test ideas and shape them. You should always feel confident in these high level concepts before your designer develops them further. If you get these concepts right the rest of the project will run smoothly. So always speak up if you are feeling uncomfortable. You should feel excited about the end result not stressed!

However, do take the time to make decisions and let ideas to sink in. Always ask the designer why they chose it before you dismiss it!

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Working with an interior designer. Fabric Fabric swatches

Your designer isn’t just a creative.  A fully trained interior designer leads you through the whole process, taking on the project management and driving it forward.  They also have access to a black book of talented suppliers and specialists.

The benefit of hiring a trained professional is that they understand the smallest details that make a project a success. They also have experience that they can share to prevent mistakes being made. 

Image below – project completed whilst at Justin Van Breda.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer, Sussex. Working with an interior designer. Grey bedroom interior with yellow detail

I hope you have enjoyed this article and do contact me if you are looking for Interior Design in Sussex and would like help with your interior design projects. If you are looking for some inspiration for your next project then do have a look at my articles on choosing a colour scheme for your home and my top tips for renovating a listed property.