What to Look For When Hiring an Interior Designer For Your Home
When you’re remodeling your home or working on freshening up your home decor, it can be a challenge to know what to look for if/when you consider hiring a professional interior designer. In this blog post, I’ll outline what you need to know to make the right decision for you so that you choose the best-suited professional for your project.
What to Look For When Hiring an Interior Designer
1. Get prepared, and know what you need.
Is your dining room too dark and dreary? Does your master bath need new vanities and fixtures? From the start, make a list of what you want to accomplish. Get clear on what you would love to change and what you don’t want to change. Think about what existing furniture you want to keep and what pieces you’re OK letting go of.
2. Be sure of your sense of style.
Hiring a design means you get to work with a professional who can help you hone in on your sense of decor style. To get the process moving along, though, I suggest that you do some preliminary legwork to figure out the basis of your style. Save magazine pictures, research looks online, and make an inspiration board on Pinterest. Make a note of what colors, textures, patterns, shapes, and styles you like and don’t like.
3. Make a budget.
Before you commit to any design project, make sure that you have an idea of your financial resources and then determine a budget. If you have a maximum spending limit, go ahead and let your designer know what it is; it will be worth it to tell her how much above you can go from your proposed budget. Most designers can work within your budget, and knowing an exact number can help the design process — keeping everybody on the same page. To really get the look you love, you might need to have a little wiggle room to get that perfect piece. Just be prepared to have a buffer to cover those really special pieces.
4. Find someone you click with.
Working with an interior designer is a fun, rewarding, and personal experience. You’ll want to be sure you find a designer you trust and who has the same aesthetic as yours; ask your friends if they can recommend anyone. Look online at designers’ websites in your area and see if their look and aesthetic speaks to you. Ask around at local design and homegoods stores you like; they might know someone they can suggest to you. Most designers offer a consultation, so set up a phone call with a few prospects, and see which designer you like best. A consultation is a great opportunity to ask questions, share details about your project, budget, and timeline, and see if you feel a connection with the designer.
5. Agree on a clear timeline.
Remember that making your living space into a sanctuary won’t happen overnight; it’s a process. Be prepared for it, and be patient. The process of making a good design takes time. From the start, be clear about your expectations and ask your designer to let you know if there is any concern that the project may take a little longer. It’s a good idea to allow for some flexibility in the project; it’s better to take time than to rush this process.
6. Determine Your Role and Relationship.
When you start a working relationship with your designer, it’s important that you decide how much you want to be involved. It’s beneficial to be a part of the process to ensure that the end product is personal and exactly what you want but be sure to remain open and flexible as your designer works through their method. Design is a collaborative effort, and open discussion is usually encouraged. If you feel strongly about something, it is best to say so. Honesty and transparency help the designer understand your objectives and taste, and ultimately the project will progress faster as a result. Just like with any professional service-provider, giving small instructions and input is valued, but remember to take a step back every now and then so that your designer can have space to do their job. If you did your due diligence to find a designer you trust, then chances are that they won’t show you any bad ideas and won’t let you take a step in the wrong direction. The best projects comes when you ask your designer to do something totally different, something using their creativity.
7. Make it Official with a Contract.
It’s always good to have a contract or a document that clearly states the requirements, services, payment, and payment schedule. Most likely, your designer will have a contract written up and ready for you to review and sign, if they don’t, make one yourself and have your designer sign the agreement; give a copy to her and keep one for yourself. If you’re DIYing a contract, you can use websites like Rocket Lawyer, Law Depot, or HelloSign to draft your own.
8. Don’t stress. They’ve got this.
Remember to relax. Once you have a designer, keep all of your worries away, have faith in your designer, and look forward to a beautifully decorated house. In the end, hiring a designer is absolutely worth it. This is a fun process...try to enjoy it!
Are you in the process of searching for a designer? I’m here if you have any questions about how to find your ideal designer. Just leave me a comment below or contact me to start a conversation.