How to Choose an Interior Designer

If you’re like most people you would rather Do-It-Yourself rather than hire an interior designer. However if you do prefer the assistance of a professional, keep these things in mind.

An interior designer must be qualified. There are so many DIY‘ers that claim to be designers yet they lack real experience. Certainly some have the “gift” for design and others will have an “eye” for design. Distinguishing between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator is the first step.

Now there are some very qualified Interior Decorators. They have a good eye for design and the gift to finding the right design. In this instance it is important to check out credentials, check out their portfolio and see their designs. A good designer will have an eclectic portfolio. Several different styles of design can illustrate the versatility of the designer.

So how do you choose an interior designer? The first steps are the hardest – finding the right one.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Ask friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors for recommendations.
  2. Check out several websites including LinkedIn, IIDA, and local organizations and universities. There are good designers out there looking for work.
  3. Once you have a few designers of interest, set up an interview. You’ll want to see their portfolios and if possible, go see some of the jobs they’ve designed.
  4. The next step is critical for every person’s taste. While the designer may have excellent credentials if you don’t “click” you won’t be happy. A good designer will listen before jumping in with all “their” ideas. They will want to hear what you want, your interests, the function of the space, and they’ll want to know your likes and dislikes.
  5. Once your intuition tells you this is the right designer and you have checked out their qualifications, make sure they have the right contacts. Designers network. They know how to get the best prices, coordinate with contractors and installers. They are a valuable resource.
  6. Now you’re ready. If fee has not been discussed yet, now is the time to set it up. Figure out who will buy the materials and all the fee structures. Some designers will require a deposit if they are responsible to getting the merchandise.Residential Green Design
  7. Remember these things as the project starts to develop. Time and patience. Quality design takes time. Product lead time can exceed expectations and sometimes unforeseen things happen. Keep calm and let the designer do their thing. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, have a sit-down with your designer.
  8. Having confidence in your designer speaks volumes. Paying someone else to design your place of residence or your commercial space requires a level of trust.
  9. Next be ready to live uncomfortably while your space is under construction. Depending on the size of the job, for example a kitchen makeover, may require eating out more and living in crowded surroundings.
  10. Understand design is a process. When the job is complete, you will appreciate your new space all that more.

These were some of the fundamentals when choosing an interior designer. There are plenty of variables including scope, availability, flexibility, time and of course, money. This is just to give interested parties an idea of the process.


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