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I cannot reiterate enough the importance of clients (YOU) looking at samples IN PERSON, not through emails, photos, or text. When you decide on samples virtually, they just don’t have the same effect online and the colors can look off when you get them into your home.  I’m pretty positive all designers would agree with this, but I think contractors sometimes are so caught up with installing the project pieces that we also need to remember the end result: a satisfied customer who is pleased with how all the materials work together to make a beautiful new space.

Please. Save yourself a catastrophe. Make sure you see the samples in person before you order them. Any company that is worth using will let you sample products in your home for a few days. When you get the sample, touch it!  Imagine how it will feel to use it in the space. Stare at it for multiple days at a time. Don’t rush this process; you want to make sure that you like it. If applicable, have your dogs walk on it, kids walk on it, etc. Put the sample next to all your other materials/samples in that area.  Keep the sample at home for a while and just stare at the sample and its surroundings in all different kinds of light (seriously!).  This is the trial time that can make or break your satisfaction level of your renovation. Another idea is to take a picture of the sample and then make multiple copies of that picture to place all around the space you are looking to renovate. I recently did this with a patterned tile floor sample. I made multiple copies of that floor sample and then placed the tile pattern around on my floor just to make sure that I like the look of the overall pattern.

Take time to sample. This sounds like such a simple request. But renovations are emotional, and many items can pop up (renovation or non-renovation related) that collide with you not being able to use your kitchen for 2 months!  So, choosing your materials while you are getting enough sleep and can take your time to really consider them is majorly important.

Quick tip: Having your dogs walk on your flooring samples may sound crazy but it’s not. Dogs have nails (I know, pretty obvious!), and with soft species of wood they can scratch your floors before they are even entirely installed. Wood is expensive, so don’t make this mistake!  If you do have dogs and want hardwood, I recommend you look at engineered hardwood samples that are more durable and already have some character/markings built into them.