Now that the new year is here, a lot of you will be getting back to decorating your homes. If you are planning to redo a room, you might save a lot of money by working with a designer.

Decorators have a lot of experience working with fabrics, furniture, flooring and other elements of home décor that leave the average person baffled. Because of this knowledge a designer can tell you the best places to splurge and save. If you do decide to work with a decorator, here are some tips to get the most out of your time and money.

First, interview several potential decorators. You need to feel comfortable with the person who’ll be decorating your home. Make sure your needs, wants, taste, budget and timeframe will be taken into consideration. Also, lay out your budget at the outset and ask if what you want is reasonable. The designer will most likely ask you a lot of questions about how you live and how you envision your new room. Trust me, if you don’t have any ideas, then the decorator won’t know how to help you.

Next, you need to understand that this is a creative process for the designer. It is virtually impossible for any designer to be jumping back and forth between rooms, tackling everything piecemeal, and do a good job. It is best to start and finish one or two projects at a time. This will also work best for you. It will keep you from getting overwhelmed and you will really get a sense of your project’s progress.

Your designer will also need time to just process the information you have provided. Decisions cannot always be made on the spot, so your designer may choose to shop without you first, and then present ideas to you later. Don’t expect your designer to take one look at your room and have the solution immediately. In fact, as the project progresses your designer might even change his or her mind about some of the details.

Lastly, have faith. I know it is really difficult to believe that this person who just days ago was a stranger can really understand the vision you have for your home. I am not saying to give the designer full control. I’m just suggesting that you trust the talent of the person you hired.

Julie Chrissis is a professional home stager and interior decorator based in Nashua and Malden, Mass. She can reached at