Department of the Interior

 In Feature, Style

Ready to take your space to the next level? Whether you are revamping your entire home or just a single room, take this expert advice into consideration for the most stunningand stress-freeoutcome.


Michael Pepper knows a thing or two about helping people beautify their surroundings. As president of one of St. Louis’ most respected interior design firms, Edwin Pepper Interiors, he’s helped coordinate projects both big and small. Along the way, he and his team have gathered lots of useful tips to help make the process of working with an interior designer on your next project as smooth as possible.

Plan Before You Act
Wait! Before you fly into a frenzy of buying furniture and testing paint colors on your own, take a moment to evaluate the scope of your project. Do you want to change the look of just one room, or is it time to think about updating your entire space? If the project is something you don’t think you can do successfully on your own, Pepper says it’s time to call in a pro. “A good designer is trained in areas like furniture scaling and color theory, things that everyday person may not take into consideration,” he says. “And a designer might have another prospective on the space that might cause a client to re-evaluate particular choices.” An interior designer can help you negotiate between the needs of the space, the look you seek and your budget, so hold off ripping off crown molding or investing in light fixtures until you talk to a pro.

Do Your Research
When searching for a designer, Pepper says experience is paramount. “Look for a designer who has a track record of excellence,” he says. “A degree or certification proves they have the basic knowledge, but be sure his or her past work is work that you like.” Look through portfolios, get referrals, research the designer’s firm—does the firm have the area of expertise and access to resources needed for your project? Does the firm’s overall aesthetic appeal to you?

Set Your Budget
A professional designer will help you determine how much you’ll need to spend in order to complete the vision for your new space. Discussing your limit upfront makes the process much easier for your designer. “The designer needs to know your limit so they know what level of products they should be working with, but what’s great is, many styles and products can now be found at nearly any price point,” says Pepper. A good designer will also find ways to help you make the most of your budget without skimping on quality.

Trust Your designer
Pepper understands that it can be hard for clients to relinquish control of their space, and notes that a good designer will always make the client feel included. “This is why the selection process is so important—the person you select should make you feel confident and at ease,” he says. “It’s also important to get along with the designer from a personality standpoint, especially if you’re going to be working with them for an extended period of time.” And Pepper’s final tip? Honesty is the best policy. “A quality designer will always be honest with the client—good or bad—and the client should feel like they can be honest, too.”




Photo credit: By Alise O’Brien Photography, Courtesy of Edwin Pepper Interiors

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