With the right interior designer, you can turn your home around, avoiding possible renovations you may think you need. The right interior designer can take any design dream and turn it into a reality. Whatever your budget may be, here are some tips on finding the right interior designer.
Size up your project
Are you planning on redesigning one or two rooms, or do you need a full home renovation that may affect plumbing, wiring, or layout? Interior designers typically are trained for larger jobs; many have taken college courses on architecture, design, and project management. While they can help homeowners pick colors, fabrics, and furniture options, they can also oversee large renovations. If you are going for a smaller project, look into hiring a home decorator. They usually aren’t required to have formal training or licensing and charge much less than interior designers. Decorators are a better fit if you are looking to change your home’s color scheme or to enhance a few rooms.
Gather design ideas
Your designer is going to want to get an idea of your vision for your home. Start by pulling a few ideas from magazines, websites, or other finished projects. You can also provide fabrics or furniture you would like to see in your home. The designer can then quickly discover your style and start looking for your dream pieces.
Ask for referrals and check references
Check with your real estate agent for a list of interior designers they recommend. There are also many online resources that can help you find the right designer. Once you have the names of a few professionals, research them. An experienced professional should have an online portfolio with references. Don’t be afraid to contact past clients.
Communicate your budget
No matter the size of your project, this is probably the most important thing you can do. Let your designer know your budget upfront before you begin anything. This is also a good time to find out how much your designer charges, many charge anywhere from $50 per hour to $200. This may cover consulting fees, plus any time spent buying material for your home. Some designers mark up the cost of furniture they purchase on your behalf to cover the cost of their time. One option isn’t necessarily better than the other, just choose one that you are more comfortable with. You should also ask how often you’ll be billed. Some interior designers send a bill once a month; others charge as they reach different project milestones.
Some designers don’t charge for their services, but only work as representatives of specific furniture manufacturers. They may have good ideas for your home, but hiring one could limit your decorating options.