A great interior designer can turn a wreck of a house in to a home. It might cost more to hire an interior design than to do it yourself, but a professional designer and decorator can help avoid mistakes, save time and bring your dream home ideas to life. Here are the essential tips for finding, choosing and working with an interior designer.
CONSIDER THE STYLE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
Collect magazine clippings of the kind of home styles, furniture, colors, fabrics and accessories that you like. Go through them and pick a few styles that you like best and that you think will work for the space you have. Also make a list of the furniture and items you would like to keep. Sketch out a simple basic floor plan. You do not need to go into detailed measurements at this stage.
LOOKING FOR AN INTERIOR DESIGNER
Flick through local design and home magazines, and visit show homes to find designers whose work you admire. Call them up and ask for their portfolios and at least two references. Be sure to call up the references and ask them who actually did the work, how they were, was the design completed on time, on budget, are there any thing they would do differently and how was the after-care service once the project was finished.
You might want to consider an interior designer who also specializes in creating good feng shui for your home. Or a designer who can custom-build furniture to match your home's particular requirements.
SELECTING YOUR DESIGNER OF CHOICE
Once you have conducted the initial review, make a shortlist of around 3 designers. Ask them for their fees: is it a flat consultancy fee, an hourly rate or a percentage of the overall project. Ask how payments are made, from deposit to the end payment. Fees may vary widely, but be sure that you have picked a designer that you can afford. Ask if they will personally oversee the project. If they don't, try and meet with the actual project manager/designer.
A FORMAL DESIGN QUOTATION
As your favored designer to visit your property in order to provide a written quotation. Ask them about the approximate completion schedule and do not be embarrassed to ask for a discount or advice on ways to save money.
ALWAYS HAVE A WRITTEN SIGNED CONTRACT
Even if your chosen designer is a trust friend, make sure you sign a contract before any work is agreed. A contract is not simply a matter of trust, it is also to clarify and record any details that you might forget once the project is underway. Clarify in the contract exactly what services the designer will provide, the payment and projected time frame. Make sure you have discussed how unforeseen cost overruns or delays will be handled.