Hiring a good interior decorator for your next project will save you lots of time as well as a few headaches.
Architects and remodelling contractors are the folks to call for structural planning while interior designers work out optimal room size, traffic flow and lighting.
When it comes to choosing and coordinating the colour schemes, paint finishes, cabinet styles and light fixtures that go into that room, that’s where an interior decorator comes in.
A good interior decorator will save you months of hunting down product samples and other research and prevent some potentially messy missteps.
What’s more, the decorator can do everything from simply acting as a sounding board for your ideas to undertaking more involved work, like buying paint and fabric, scheduling an installation and even supervising the job.
Your contractor and interior decorator must work closely together. First, choose a decorator your contractor likes, preferably someone with experience on your type of project.
A pro who specializes in new construction or commercial space might not be equipped to integrate an addition with the rest of your house. Here are some other essentials forgetting, and working with, a first-class decorator.
A good way to begin to identify your style is to create a “vision board” or “style file” containing images of things you like that you’ve collected from design magazines, websites or even catalogues.
The images should include things that show colours you prefer, furniture styles that speak to you, textures, patterns, fabrics, and accent pieces that catch your eye — even space planning options or organizational ideas.
You should also think about any “design deal breakers”—things you would never want in your space, such as animal prints, wickers, or the colour orange. Also, keep in mind items you’re not willing to part with, like your dearly departed Aunt Ida’s sofa.
Once you have an idea of what you like (and don’t), you’ll be better equipped to communicate that to your designer.
And this is important if the interior designer will be working on a shared space that a spouse or other family members should have their say-so on. Also, be sure to get their input starting at this stage and throughout the process.
What’s Your Designer’s Style?
If you’ve gone through the exercise of determining that your style is casual and beachy, it would be foolish to choose a designer who is known for a distinctly edgy contemporary style, even if everyone you know raves about him or her.
Of course, a great designer shouldn’t be a “one-trick pony” either. Choose a designer who has a range of work that fits within your overall aesthetic.
That said, you shouldn’t expect an interior designer to treat your style cues as prescriptive design rules but rather as inspiration. It’s just a starting point, a way to get their creative juices flowing.
Remember, you are hiring a professional for a reason. And it’s not just to re-create a picture out of a magazine.
After all, you can probably do that yourself. A good interior designer will use his or her expertise to translate the feeling of your vision into your living space, taking scale, function and budget into account.
Your designer can also suggest different pairing elements you would never think to use together to create a unified, harmonious effect.
Your needs may go well beyond aesthetics and be about how space functions for your lifestyle. Figuring out exactly what you need will help you find an interior decorator who has the skill set you’re looking for.
You may need someone who has the vision and know-how to make walls come down and move or remove doors and windows, not just someone who has a great eye for pattern.
Once you determine your needs, you can develop a list of questions to ask prospective interior decorators about their relevant experience. It’s also a good idea to get references from satisfied clients who had needs similar to yours.
Things Interior Decorators Don’t Want You To Know
The inspiration strikes—you simply cannot live for one more second with that old, sagging sofa or those tattered, sun-faded drapes or the paint-chipped kitchen cabinets—it’s time to redecorate!
The potential that comes with a home redecoration project can be exciting and difficult when it comes to logistics.
While some homeowners have inspired ideas for design, they might not have the means or skills to put it all together and make it happen.
This is where the professionals come into play—This is when it’s time to hire an interior decorator. Interior decorators are essential when you have so many good ideas, but you don’t know how to narrow them down, or on the other side of the coin—you want a home makeover but don’t know exactly where to begin.
Interior decorators can be a great resource for taking ideas and putting them into motion in your home. However, interior design is also a business, and there are some tricks to the trade.
Here are ten things we thought you should know before opening your door to the professionals:
Professionals Have Connections
Interior design is a business, albeit a creative one, but still a business at its core. When hiring an interior designer, you must consider it just like you would any other business deal.
This means that interviewing potential candidates is a must. Since networking is a big part of any business success, you will want to hire an interior designer who has a long history in the trade; therefore, has lots of connections.
A well-connected designer has great resources when it comes to discounts which they can pass onto you.
An interior designer new to the market may try and exaggerate their connections because they don’t want you to know that they lack a history in the business.
Make sure you ask who your interior designer knows for specific products such as flooring or countertops. These features are pricey but could be reduced with the right connections.
Aside from discounts, interior designers have connections that can provide you with the right ideas. For instance, if you are looking to create an immaculate staircase in your home, a well-connected interior designer might know just the person you are looking for.
Discuss Budget First
While it would be nice to think that your interior designer has your budget savings in mind—this usually isn’t the case.
Unless you discuss your monetary limits at the start, your designer will choose the best features in quality and structure.
The finished job reflects upon them, so of course, they want it to look lavish and top-of-the-line. This has the potential to boost your bill beyond your budget, and unless you’re looking to break the bank, be sure to discuss budget limits and how far you’re willing to go. If you have hired the right designer, they will give you some ideas on what changes to your design plan need to be made to help you stay within that budget.
Don’t Bypass Your Preferences.
Your interior designer is a professional but also a person with preferences. If you leave the options too wide open, you might soon realize that what your interior designer loves is what your home becomes.
This is also the sign of a poorly qualified designer—their main job is to design for you, not for themselves. Interior designers don’t want to design rooms that they think are ugly, rooms that do not adhere to their tastes, but that is simply part of their job.
Be sure to have a discussion about what you love before your interior décor becomes a testament to your designer’s interests and hobbies.
Show the designer pictures of rooms you love, colours that call to you, and fabrics you admire. It is important to clearly state your wants and needs and ensure that it is your vision that comes to life in the finished product.
The Best For Less?
Just because they claim to be the best doesn’t mean you can’t find someone just as talented for less. Interior design students will often take on projects for school credit and could offer up quality services for half the cost.
But remember, they are just starting out, so they will not have the connections that an established professional does. Ask around for referral from friends who have hired interior designers.
Be sure to check out each designer’s portfolio to ensure that their ideas meet your expectations. Take your time in hiring a decorator. Although the saying goes ‘you get what you pay for, you deserve to find an interior designer who can give you what you want and within your budget.
It’s Ok To Say No
While it might not be easy to say you don’t like something they’ve done, your interior designer won’t be offended if you dismiss an idea. You’re paying them for a project you love, and it’s their job to deliver.
If they add an element you dislike, say it and confidently move along. While the interior designer may not agree with your design choice, the final decision is not up to them. Remember, the project is your home, not theirs, so it is ultimately your decision as to what design elements stay and which ones go.
It’s Not All Or Nothing
While it might seem like you’re locked in with an interior designer for an entire project, it is possible to pay for only a portion.
If you’re looking for someone to consult on countertops in your kitchen, it’s not necessary to hire them for the entire room makeover.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t pick and choose when it comes to professional design. The project is yours and has the ability to be completed in the manner of your choosing. Just be sure to get everything put in the contract prior to signing the agreement.
Your Home Might Not Be Their Priority
Interior designers might tell you that your project is a top priority, but chances are they are very busy, and you’re on a long list of clients— some clients being more prestigious than you; therefore, getting more attention and time.
For this reason, be sure to create clear lines of communication. On days they’re off the radar with other homes, you’ll want to know how to get a hold of them.
In addition, you want to make sure that even though you are not their only client, that they do make you an important client. Checking references can help ensure you are a top priority.
They Might Not Love Your Design Ideas
Interior designers are ultimately there to give you a room or home design that you love, but that doesn’t always mean it makes them happy.
Just like you might not be fond of all of their ideas, your interior designer might not be in love with yours. Don’t take offence.
Just don’t be surprised if they try to sway you in another direction. While some ideas you have may not fit with the overall room design, some may be perfect. Choose the elements that are most important to you, and stand your ground on them being included in the design.
The Budget Can Be Tweaked
Interior designers want the best for your home, and that doesn’t always go well with a tight budget.
The good news is that budgets can be tweaked while still achieving an amazing outcome. For example, if your designer suggests new curtains, take a minute to look at options for curtains that might save.
If your designer suggests floor-to-ceiling drapes in a luxury fabric that beats your budget, then consider less expensive roman shades in the same pricey fabric; thereby, saving your budget from being blown on yards of fabric.
This same concept can be applied to other areas of your home, such as kitchen cabinets. Custom cabinets will create a one-of-a-kind look, but they are also far more expensive than stock cabinets that can become unique by changing out the door fronts.