Considerations When Choosing an Interior Designer
Attempting to choose an interior designer can be a daunting task. After all, you have likely waited some time to tackle your renovation, and will be living with it for a long time as well. It’s understandable that you want to get it perfect. Here are the steps to best ensure that design – and its designer – are perfect for you.
Be Able To Communicate Your Style
Make use of sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz. Gather pictures of designs that best reflect your style or that you would want to live in. Try to gain a broad understanding of design terms used. (Is your style country chic? Minimalist?) However, don’t waste time on trying to perfect your terminology. In this case, a picture’s worth a thousand words and your designer will understand more, intuitively, from seeing the pictures you bring.
Identify Designers Who Reflect That Design
Choose three or four designers whose work seems to reflect your preferred style. Though the best designers can adapt to their client, many will have certain design philosophies incorporated into each job they tackle. So make sure your styles and priorities align. If you are going to need them on-site during the renovation, ensure you choose someone local.
Meet With Your Chosen Designers
Bring your Pinterest boards, floor plans, and design inspirations to the meeting and make sure to ask a lot of questions: Are you available to take on this project? How many other projects will you be working on during this time? Whom will I be communicating with on your team? What do you charge and what services does that include? What services does that not include? How long do you anticipate the project taking? It is critical to communicate whether you want to be an integral part of the design process, or more hands-off. Also, don’t be ashamed to ask for client references. This is a very standard request. References will shed light on what you will experience working day to day with this designer. Most integral to your choice is finding someone that matches your aesthetic and personality. This is also true on the part of the designer, who equally needs to be comfortable with your preferences.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
Your designer is there to help you and, as in all relationships, honesty is key. Sit and work through your budget before your initial meeting with a designer; go in stating only a budget that will not cause you to feel stressed or ‘maxed out’ along the way. Leave some wiggle room for the unexpected. Doing so will allow you to stay calmer, feel more satisfied, and better enjoy the final results of your project. So, have a clear and honest budget in mind, and communicate that with confidence at the very first meeting.
Sign A Contract
Weigh the different aspects of each of the designers you have met. The likelihood is that one will stick out in your mind. However, when in doubt, go with your gut. Remember, personality match is critical to a positive design experience and outcome. Once you have chosen a designer, review the contract and make sure you are comfortable with all of its conditions before you sign. Try to anticipate any issues that might arise down the road, even if they seem minor to you on paper now.
By doing your diligence in choosing a designer, you are maximizing your chances of achieving the design of your dreams. Be flexible though. As in any collaborative process, the results might look slightly different than the ones you had anticipated. If you trust the designer you have chosen, those results will likely be even better than you envisioned.