Defusing Tension
Ultimately, the decorator's job is to make a remodeling job easier by expediting your design decisions and keeping the contractor informed in a clear, timely way. But with a homeowner, designer, contractor or architect, and decorator all making decisions, there can be some real tension among the different players involved in the project.

A classic example is when a homeowner sees a decorator as an ally in a job that's running late—a common trap that's easy to fall into because the decorator isn't handling the physical work. The result is that some homeowners entrust the decorator with overall quality inspection and other extra duties, causing her to be seen as a pushy interloper who is eventually frozen out by the other pros on the job.

That's why it's so essential for all the people working on a project to stick to the jobs, duties and deadlines assigned at the early meetings. Be sure that tasks and responsibilities are clear, and that lines separating each profession's responsibilities are respected.

Your Requests: It's How You Ask
Changes are inevitable once a job gets under way. That means your contractor and interior decorator must have a system for sharing and acknowledging your requests.

•Be sure anything you ask for is written on a change-order request form that's dated and signed by you and the interior decorator. If the contractor doesn't have official forms, print out some simple homemade ones on your computer. •When the contractor gets one of these forms, he knows it's OK to make a change in the original plans and bill you for the work. He also knows he won't be caught in the middle later when everyone has a different story about how your request for a 30-in.-high countertop never got through, and why he should pay for the redo—which he thinks is the decorator's responsibility.
Ask TOH users about Living Spaces

Contribute to This Story Below