You might be able to boast about rad decorating skills, but most of the time, professional interior designers will do it better. They possess the training and experience not only to make a space beautiful, but also keep it fully functional.
This is crucial for any home renovation or upgrade. But not every interior designer will be right for you. To make sure you get the right fit, you should weigh the following pointers.
1. Ask for Referrals
Word-of-mouth recommendations are often the best resource. Talk to friends who have used interior designers and read online reviews.
You might also speak with real estate agents in your area. They or their clients might have the names of excellent designers around town.
2. Peruse Local Options
Although interior designers will occasionally travel a long distance to work with a client, that’s typically going to be the case only with high-profile projects and homeowners. Most of the time, you’ll end up hiring a designer within a 50-mile radius, which admittedly may limit your options.
But it’s best to start your search in the most local area anyway. You’ll save money on travel reimbursement and be supporting local business.
3. Research Design Style
If you hire a professional designer, that doesn’t guarantee satisfaction with the end product. Your consultant might do a good job as far as space planning, but if his or her sense of style doesn’t accord with yours, the final product may not please.
Investigate and try to identify your style and design preferences before you hire the designer. Collecting ideas and photographs of furnishings, accessories, colors, time periods, and other details that tickle your fancy can help you define a style for your designer to follow. You might also take a quiz.
After you know what you like, compare the images you’ve collected to the designer’s portfolio. That will help you select a designer who matches your style most closely.
4. Set Your Budget and Research Costs
To some extent, your budget will determine the quality of designer you can hire, so try to have a number in mind while you’re doing your research. Factor in the designer’s hourly rate, cost of materials, contractors, etc.
Also, you don’t want to overpay for services. It’s worthwhile to know the going rate for interior design projects when they’re executed at a competitive rate.
5. Interview Prospects in Person
Many designers will offer a free initial consultation or at least meet for an interview before you commit to using their services. Even if you have to pay for an hour-long consultation, it might still be worth it to get that person’s input and vision for your home’s future appearance.
This will also give you a feel for the character of the designer. It’s likely that you’ll be working closely with this individual for several weeks or even months, so you’ll want to get along.
6. Draw Up an Interior Design Contract
The interior design process can be fairly expensive, so you should get what you pay for. A design contract or letter of agreement lays out your expectations of the designer and states his or her agreement to deliver.
If a conflict or dispute should arise once the work is underway, your contract should protect both you and the consultant.
7. Check Credentials
Not every interior designer holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In fact, some will be operating without a certificate of any kind.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the person will do a bad job, but it could be cause for concern. Certain states require interior designers to be licensed before they can practice.
So check references, review the designer’s past projects, and double-check certifications. This could preserve you from getting stuck with a bad job, which is particularly important if it’s going to be large scale.
8. Be Clear About Your Expectations
If you’re happy to allow your designer to do the driving and set many of the basics of the project, that’s fine. But if you want final say on all the design elements, make that clear to your designer up front. You may call the shots, but your designer won’t be able to read your mind.
9. Make Sure The Person Will Be Fully Available
Your home renovation is a top priority for you, and your designer ought to approach it that way. Some may overbook themselves, and take on more projects than they can handle efficiently.
It can be hard for them to keep up and respond to developments on our job if they’re stretched thin. Thus, it can sometimes be preferable to hire a designer who might have slightly lower ratings but more time to devote to your job than to use the highest-rated designer who’s accustomed to operating with more on the plate than he or she can easily handle.
10. Prepare for What’s Ahead
Redecorating often includes construction and renovation. It can be time-consuming and stressful, with plenty of ups and downs. Make a plan to survive the remodeling process so you can enjoy the finished product more fully and look back on the work as a happy memory.