Hiring a designer is a big decision – you are ultimately partnering up with someone to design a space that you will live with for a long period of time. It can certainly be a daunting task choosing one that is right for you – where do you even begin? There are a lot of factors that come into play, so here are a few questions and things to consider when meeting with interior designers.
First thing’s first – make sure you click with your interior designer! It’s going to make the entire process that much easier. You should get acquainted with another before things kick off – at the minimum have a phone call or a consultation. Some interior designers, (like myself) offer free 30 min meet & greets and consultations.
Partner with someone whose style aligns with your own! Be open minded to design decisions, but ultimately you should be working with someone who respects your style and keeps that in mind when making decisions. At the end of the day, it’s your space and you’re going to be the one using it. A good interior designer respects that and works with you to make the space uniquely you, while also being functional.
Cost & Services
Part of the intimidation that people have is how much a designer is going to cost. There are many ways that designers charge for a project – for example, some charge in hourly increments for specific needs, others charge room by room or some could even be flexible and work with what you have. You don’t always have to hire a designer for huge project. After speaking with a designer, you might realise you just need help accessorizing or choosing a color scheme for a room. At my design firm, we offer a wide range of services from window treatments to full home redesign – there is no job too small when it comes to design!
In general, a good mindset to have is that it can save you costly mistakes – for example you might think a piece can fit in a space when really it’s too large and limits the functionality of the room. It also saves you lots of time!
Talk openly with your interior designer about how much you are willing to spend, and what you’d ultimately like to achieve with your budget. Sometimes there are other things to take into account aside from their own services like contractors, labor costs and furniture delivery fees. Also be sure to ask an interior designer how they deal with problems that arise with budget and how you can work together to come to a design solution.
Timeline & Project Management
Know when you need to get your project done by and realistically if that is achievable. You have to remember that there are a lot of things that can happen on any one project, and sometimes things just don’t go to plan. Find out how your designer deals with these little hiccups.
Client Involvement & Communication Style
It’s best to get an idea of how you’re going to communicate with your interior designer and what you both feel comfortable with. Can you text them at all hours of the day with inspiration and pics of spaces you love? Or does the communication shut off after business hours?
Portfolio & Client References
Ask to see other projects they have worked on and what their favorite project was to date. It’s always good to get an idea of what kind of project an interior designer thrives on and what they truly love to do. If you know of other people who have used them, don’t be afraid to reach out and chat through their experiences, too.
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