8 Rules for Choosing the Right Interior Designer
Interior design projects are both exciting and nerve-wracking. Going DIY can prove to be a prudent approach, but not everyone is eager or skilled enough to deal with the complexities of interior designing, renovating, and remodeling. So, if you meant to do more than merely repainting the walls, you should ponder on hiring a designer. After all, a sublime touch of a professional makes all the difference in the interior realm.
At the first glance, it may seem like a more expensive solution. But, rest assured that the benefits you can reap are many and opulent. Just imagine the financial ruin that would ensue in the wake of poor structural work. The only problem is that selecting the right contractor for the task is more complicated than one might assume. There is a variety of factors to consider before making a commitment. So, here are some of the main considerations you should keep in mind.
Eureka! found it
Regardless of where you live, there should be many interior design companies to choose from. Do not start rejoicing just yet: This is a double-edged sword because not all designers are created equal, and some of them deliver shabby results, to say the least. Therefore, before taking a plunge, you should be crystal-clear about what you want to achieve.
Otherwise, the designers will struggle to translate your murky visions into reality. To steer away from such hurdles, turn on your computer and do a research. Bear in mind that there is a wide array of interior design styles and that you should opt for a designer who matches your taste and preferences. Top-notch designer ideas should help you flesh out the project and get your own creative juices flowing.
Setting the foundations
Once you get high on interior design ideas, it is time to take more concrete steps. First off, define clear criteria for hiring a designer because gut instinct does not cut it. Note that clear and open communication is paramount to completing projects on time and to your utmost satisfaction. It lays the groundwork for a successful working relationship.
In this day and age, the interior designers tend to employ multiple communication channels and should be at your disposal most of the time. Also, you need to think about the level of your involvement. Do you prefer to be in the know even on the nitty-gritty detail or just the big picture? These aspects have a lot to do with your preferred work style and the limits of your comfort zone.
Assess the reputation
Reputation is, hands down, one of the best telltale signs that exist. If a designer operates successfully for years, he always leaves a trail of happy customers. Namely, things like customer reviews and testimonials speak volumes about the designer’s credibility and trustworthiness. This brings us back to the importance of doing the research. Of course, it does not have to include only the utilization of online or social media tools.
Feel free to ask around for referrals and see if you find out more about local contractors and the way they handle home improvement tasks. Clarify their credentials and you should be able to make the right choice. Of course, do not forget to confirm whether a designer fulfills licensing and other formal requirements. There is no shortage of shady individuals who like to use smoke and mirrors in order to deceive you.
Scope of the project
The final decision heavily depends on the type of the home improvement project you want to carry out. What matters the most is the scope of the work because it determines necessary qualifications and experience that a designer has to meet. Major renovations, structural changes, and space additions may call for a seasoned architect, who often works hand in hand with designers to finish tasks with flying colors.
Similarly, large-scale improvement could even be suitable for managers to step in and get a hold of aspects such as billing. On the other hand, in case you want to conduct a renovation of the single room on a shoestring budget, then an interior designer most often does the trick. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, though, and losing sight of your specific circumstances is never a good idea.
Interview is essential
At this point, you should narrow down the choice and select candidates for face-to-face interviews. It goes without saying that you ought to prepare a set of questions. Ask the designers about the professional experience and educational background. It helps if the designer is well connected and knows a bunch of other professionals who are worth considering. Furthermore, get familiar with work practices as well as their teams. See if they can help you get an accurate estimate and establish a budget.
Another crucial aspect is the timetable, so reach an agreement on a comprehensive schedule. It is highly recommended to receive a visual representation of a project via 3-D modeling programs and other pieces of software. I would not overlook subcontractors as well because they have a major role to play. At last, try to reveal if your project is a priority task or a designer or not.
Different strokes for different folks
In some instances, it pays off to hire specialists that are capable of capturing your ideas and setting them into motion. For example, those who need to do a bathroom remodel and assemble a state-of-the-art space might want to hire someone who is versed in creating a stunning designer bathroom. Even if you have a limited budget, you should know that bathroom projects are among the most popular among homeowners and they offer a great ROI.
Apart from that, spurring up the bathroom boost your satisfaction and allows you to melt your stress away like never before. Along similar lines, those who do kitchen remodeling should try to find contractors that specialize in related projects and know products like countertops like a palm of their hand. They are able to blend principles of prime functionality with visual bliss and put together an awe-inspiring hub of domestic life.
Piece by piece the puzzle completes
Let us linger on an example of a bathroom renovation a bit more to give you some practical advice. Firstly, you can either shop around for items like designer bathroom accessories yourself or let a professional do it for you. The advantage of the latter approach is that many designers have access to discounts that they can pass onto you. I have seen some amazing designer showers and sinks in the market that are both highly-functional and visually pleasing, but cost a small fortune.
After consulting with designers, however, I found out that they can help me save money on these pieces. The same is true for mirrors as well as stools & benches. Frugality should not be the only priority, though. You get what you pay for, so it pays off to splurge a bit on centerpieces such as vanities and bathtubs. Likewise, do not skim on storage space and see if you can invest in custom-made cabinets to make the most of every inch.
Hold onto your freedom of choice
One thing to remember is that you do not have to put yourself in an all-or-nothing situation. If you are replacing a countertop and need some advice you do not need to hire a designer to do the whole kitchen renovation. Despite what others may have you believe, you are free to cherry-pick and choose as much as you like. So, beware of contractors who are pushy and seem desperate to take the money out of your pocket.
Another point that can slip away is that not everything needs to be brand new. Why spend a truckload of money on new furniture when you can re-purpose, revitalize, or restore old pieces? This is to say that it is definitely possible to combine the DIY approach with professional work. Oh, and I almost forgot: do have everything put in the contract before signing it and commencing the work. Keep your options open and you will be able to get the most bang for your buck.
Use social media
Since we live in the era of technology, it’s easier than ever to find the right person for the job. That especially applies to interior design which is a visual craft so you can check out the works of a designer with just a few clicks.
To go a step further, check their social media, especially the tagged photos. That way, you will be able to see not only the projects they worked on (referenced by real people), but also how they interact with their future/past clients.
A perfect match
Hiring a designer can turn out to be both an utter disaster and the best decision you have ever made. This depends on your diligence and ability to make a sound decision. Thus, take some time right off the bat to do the homework and figure out what are your expectations and goals. To play it right, you need to invest a great deal of effort, but preparation and planning work miracles for the long-term success. Wishful thinking does not make it so.In any event, strive to ask some questions to yourself before contacting designers. Do not leave a single detail to chance. If you ask me, there is no such thing as being too careful. Evaluate multiple offers and make an educated decision. Get what you want and stay within the limits of your budget. Take the frustration and stress out of the process and see your dreams coming to life right before your eyes.