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How to choose an interior designer…

by | May 28, 2015

How to choose an interior designer… If you’re considering hiring an interior designer for your project, then it is important to choose the right one for you. As with any good relationship, communication and trust are key to the success of the project and working with a good designer can bring many benefits, so here are our top tips to help with this all important decision;

1) Determine the scope of your project

The scope of your project will set the benchmark for your search, so it is well worth determining what work you would like to be done before you even pick up the phone to speak to a prospective designer, as the nature of your project may determine the type of designer you need to hire.

2) Check out the designers portfolio

Have a look at the designers past projects to see if you like their style. This will also provide a snap shot of the type of projects the designer is accustomed to and useful to find out if they have done a similar project to your own before. It is also worth finding and following any prospective designers on social media, as many designers would use sites such as twitter or facebook to present their most current work and what they get up to, which will help you to narrow your search.

3) Ask yourself what you need from your designer

Every designer works slightly differently, so it is essential to find out whether the way they work will suit your needs. For example, if you are just looking for a design scheme that you could implement yourself, check whether the designer can provide all the information for you to do so, as some designers produce schemes for free or very low fees, but then earn from the sale of the goods so would not be able to give you the information if you wanted to go it alone after the design process. Similarly, if you really need someone to look after your project while you are away, then find out if the prospective designer can offer a turnkey service. So ask yourself what you are looking for from your designer from the very beginning and make a check list so that you have all right questions to ask to find the best match for you.

4) Does the designer cover your area?

When searching online for a designer, think about location but don’t let it govern your search. Start local but widen your search until you find what you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to contact a designer several miles away, as most designers are very accustomed to travelling to clients and it need not necessarily cost you any more.

5) Find out what previous clients had to say

It is well worth having a read up of any reviews that the designer has had, as that will provide a real insight into what the designer has to offer. Ultimately, if they have happy clients, chances are you will be too.

6) Decide on a timescale for your project

Good design takes time, so remember to factor this into the schedule for your project. A designer will usually want to ensure everything is fully planned out before starting any work on site, so be realistic with your timescale and discuss with your prospective designer to make sure that they feel it is possible for them to fulfil from the outset.

7) Find a designer you feel comfortable around

Arrange to meet with the designer first to understand if you think they will understand you and what your aspirations might be. If you ‘click’ straight away then this is a great start, as working with a designer means that you will end up seeing a lot of them and the relationship you have with your designer is important to the success of the project as they need to equally feel comfortable working with you.

8) Understand the costs

Find out if your prospective designer charges by the hour or works to a fixed fee. Ask if they can show you what the associated costs would be for your project from start to finish and don’t be afraid to tell your designer if you have a predetermined budget that you need to stick to, as sharing this from the outset ensures there are no misunderstandings.

Remember, there is a designer out there for everyone and no two are the same, so throw away the preconceptions and go find the best interior designer for you. Once you’ve found the one, you’ll wonder what you could have ever done without them.