Q: I like doing some of my design work myself, but I feel like the finished product isn’t as polished as I’d like it to be. I’m afraid a designer will take over the process and my house won’t look like me. How do you stop that from happening?
— Lee Young
A: The best designers are not interested in a blank slate or a blank stare from their clients. The most successful rooms come from the collaboration of a professional and an engaged client. You need to find someone whom you trust to keep your needs in mind from aesthetic, lifestyle and budget perspectives. As in all relationships, balance is best and conversation is key. A good designer won’t bully, and a good client will be open to the advice of a professional. You may be surprised that your designer will become a close friend. (Who else knows how much wine storage you need and that you must have a high shelf in the pantry to hide your favorite chocolate?)
— Patricia O’Dell Shackelford
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