An interior designer can add considerable value to any project. Of course, if you’re considering full-scale remodelling, then reaching out to an interior designer will help you realise your grand vision.
But an interior designer’s services can also be useful for smaller scale projects – anything down to re-decorating your bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. Not only is an interior designer invaluable in bringing a fresh pair of eyes and creative ideas, but they can also help you avoid making costly mistakes.
An experienced interior designer will be able to offer practical advice at every stage of the project, to help you make informed choices.
So an interior designer is useful, whatever the project – but how do you find the right one for you?
Do your homework
There’s no substitute for sheer legwork when it comes to finding an interior designer. You need to research as much as possible to find the best quality candidates.
Internet searches can yield excellent results, but don’t neglect to reach out to your friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers.
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective methods of finding the right professional.
Once you have someone in mind, make sure you get references from them if possible. Previous customers will give you an honest take on what they’re like to work with, how efficient they are, and whether the final results were of acceptable quality or not. Browse their portfolio – but remember, an interior designer will put their best work there, so don’t allow the portfolio alone to make the decision.
Learn how they work
Every interior designer is different, and each works in a different way. It’s so important for you to understand the chain of events that will follow after you actually hire the designer so you feel fully in control of the process.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, what will the consultation period look like? Can you make alterations? What happens if you’re not happy with the final product?
This is where previous customers come in useful – ask to speak to some of their clients and see if their experience matches what you’re being told.
Talk about the money
To avoid any nasty surprises at the end of your project find out your interior designer’s fees and payment structure before you agree to anything.
Know how much they’re going to charge you, and both when and how they expect you to pay.
Can you pay in instalments? Or do you need to pay a deposit then a balance? If you have a budget in mind, it’s important to let your designer know as soon as possible – if they can’t work to your budget, nothing else matters.
Plan for things going wrong
Mistakes happen, even to the best of us. So it’s important to know what happens if something does go wrong. Enquire about what the procedure would be for an accident occurring.
What does their insurance cover? Would you have to deal with their insurance company yourself?
It’s important to ask these questions because, despite even the best of intentions, things can still go wrong.
Do You Actually Like Them?
If all the other things fit into place, and you’re happy that they are capable of creating the space you want for the budget you’ve set. The last thing to consider is whether or not you can get along with the team.
Did the conversation flow easily when you met them? Do they come across well via email? And are they the kind of people you would be happy spending time with?
An interior design project could last a few months and it is of the utmost importance that you feel comfortable around your designer and can be 100% open and honest.
It works the other way too, you need to feel that your designer has a deep understanding of you and your needs and will be honest with you at every stage of the project.