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Ask the designer to use what you already have to arrange the rooms. Tell her you will want ideas for additional pieces, like a picture with X colors in X size would work here, a X color chair would look good here, get an 8' bushy plant back here, etc. Make a list of what she thinks you need and where it goes. Tell her you would like to see the things she has that would work, but you do not want to be obligated to purchase them. This way, you can go out and find something similar for less. You may end up buying one or two things she brings you, but don't feel obligated, especially if you are paying her by the hour. I would also come up with a budget and give it to her ie: you expect to spend around X amount for her consultations, X for accessories and furnishings. She can tell you how realistic that is. She sounds reasonable, my folks paid their decorator $50 an hour. You will get an idea from just talking to her if you think she will work out for you. Watch out for someone who doesn't seem to listen to your ideas or opinion. While you pay a designer for their skills, I believe you, as the customer, should certainly have input, especially when it comes to YOUR budget. Tell us how it goes!
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