It is the first job of any great interior designer to get to understand their customer’s personal and distinct preferences for color, textures and styles. Once that is discovered, they will then be able to translate those preferences into a beautiful room that is a reflection of the customer and not the decorator themselves.

Before your first meeting with your decorator, we always recommend spending several weeks collecting pictures of rooms, vignettes, fabrics, furniture and even flowers that particularly appeal to you. Aside from tearing out pages from design magazines like Architectural Digest and Veranda (two of our favorites for inspiring ideas), there are a multitude of websites, even social media sites, like which provide thousands of new images every day that you can peruse, print out and bring with you. Once they are spread out on a large table all together, a pattern will emerge which demonstrates the colors, textures and overall style which most appeals to you.

You have now provided a wonderful place to start, have sped up the process and probably learned a lot about yourself at the same time. If you find that your decorator does not make this his or her very first priority, then that is a good indication that you will wind up with a room that reflects their taste and not yours!

Tuscany tile and sink - Bertolini Co.