What to know before hiring an interior designer?

Do you have a home, business, or office that is in need of a remodel – or perhaps you are starting from scratch and need an interior design plan? Have you considered using a professional Interior Designer? If not, what’s holding you back?

7 Reasons to Invest In An Interior Designer

Would you be surprised to learn that when you hire a certified Interior Designer, you are actually making an investment that will pay you back ten-fold?  Those that have hired a designer – know exactly that.

  1. An Investment in Time: Life is busy. Whether you work outside the home or not, life is going on all around you and your time is worth money. How much time would it take you to complete your project? Three days? Thirteen days? Three months? With an interior designer, they will complete the project before you would even get started.
  2. Invest in Energy: Do you know what makes your home Energy Efficient? An Interior Designer does. Think of the money you will save in utilities alone when you seek the help of a professional designer.
  3. Knowledge Is Power: What happens when you run into a problem? You will probably reach for the yellow pages looking for subcontractors. More often than not, an interior designer will take on all those responsibilities for you. They know who to call, and they know what to do when they run into an electrical problem, a crack in the wall, or any other “uh-oh’s” that are discovered when a designing project is tackled.
  4. Creative & Focused: An experienced interior designer can save time, money, and provide the form, function, and aesthetic beauty you desire. Armed, educated, and certified to help with colors, lighting, space planning, and project management (just to name a few), interior designers work to create the optimal design for their clients. They are smart and detail oriented. Their invaluable knowledge of products and technical specifications will ultimately help clients when it’s time to make decisions about purchasing and construction.
  5. Do It Right From the Start: How many cans of paint do you have in your garage? How many rolls of wallpaper have you purchased trying to get it just right? Flooring? Furniture? Accessories? How much money are you willing to waste trying to achieve your desired interior design? When you call an interior designer, they will take out all the guesswork and get it right from start to finish without costly mistakes. Have it done right the first time.
  6. Investment in your Home: Do you think your home will sell quicker if you decorated it yourself, or if you hired an interior designer to do the job? Home Staging or making updates to floor plans to create more livable space is a huge win-win for everyone. Everyday a house sits on the market is another day of incurring costs.
  7. Investment in your Family: Building, designing, decorating all take a toll on your family. It’s not a myth that many divorces arise during these stages of transition. Having an interior designer on board will save you and your family stress and grief. That is priceless.

Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish. Hiring an Interior Designer will reward you throughout the years. When you are ready to make the best decision in your designing plan, visit our interior designer directory to find a qualified Interior Designer in your area.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Interior Designer

Most of us hem and haw over important decisions (especially those that will cause us to open our pocketbooks) for fear of making a mistake – or worse yet; having regrets. Choosing to hire an Interior Designer would fall into that category – it’s an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There are a great deal of Benefits to Hiring an Interior Designer, but there are also many factors that should be taken into consideration before you make a decision on which designer will work best for your particular needs.

You certainly want to make sure the individual is qualified for the position by verifying their credentials, but you also want to make sure you understand the designing process – which is easy to do when you know the right questions to ask any potential designer.

Questions to Consider

  • Do You Have a Portfolio?: An Interior Designer should be able to produce a portfolio of his/her work for your viewing. It will serve as a resume’, of sorts, as it will showcase their previous jobs and offer you insight of their particular skills. Keep in mind, however, that the designer was hired to perform work according to someone else’s wishes and won’t necessarily reflect the designers true tastes or styles.
  • Can I See Your References?: Talk with their previous clients, business associates, and any one else that has worked with your designer. Get a feel for their work ethic and personality, as well as checking to see how satisfied previous clients have been.
  • What Services Can You Provide?: Make sure you understand what a designer can and can’t do. While many Interior Designers have numerous skills, they may have limitations as well. Know up front if they’ll need to collaborate with any other professional in order to get your job done.
  • How are the Finances to be Handled?: Decide, before you hire, the type of budget you are looking at. Discuss payment arrangements, schedules, retainers, etc., that your designer may require. Also, inquire if there is a possibility of additional charges that may not be covered in the original budgeted amount – avoid chances of surprises down the road.
  • What’s the Time Frame?: How long is the process going to take – from start to finish? Find out how the designer prefers to work; will he/she be on the project for a few hours here and a few hours there, or will it be completed in one fail swoop? Inquire if your designer has any other projects that they will be working on that might impose on your schedule, and if so, how will that be handled?

How Much Does An Interior Designer Cost?

When choosing to hire an Interior Designer, you are not only paying for their services, but perhaps more importantly; their knowledge.

Whether you are needing your entire house transformed into a glamorous Georgian Interior Design, or you simply would like your bathroom remodeled, an Interior Designer will bring the skill set to accomplish all that your project requires, no matter how large or small.

Collaborating with an Interior Designer will render an expense that (for some) may be hard to justify, but when you consider the abundance of creativity, comprehension, ideas and other Benefits that Hiring an Interior Designer can offer you – it’s an expense that you are certain to never regret.

Estimating Interior Design Costs

The good news is that you can establish your own budget. You can determine how much or how little you’d like to put forth, and the designer will work with you to the best of their ability to conform to your budget. Your designer will also be able to provide an estimated cost based upon the project and the type of services you are requiring.

Interior designers call for payment in a few different ways. Depending on your particular designer, they may use one of these methods below, or a combination of them, to arrive at the estimated price.

  • Cost Plus Interior Design: Cost Plus is somewhat of a traditional method used when calculating fees. Usually the designer will purchase all the materials for the project, ie; furniture, paint, rugs, accessories, and then sells them to you (their client) with an added mark up or percentage. This percentage would be the agreed upon price in which the designer is paid for their work.
  • Hourly Rate: Most commonly used for smaller projects, an hourly rate would be what the Interior Designer charges you based on the actual time spent on the project. This can be economical if you plan on doing some of the work yourself, however, for larger jobs it might not be feasible and the designer may feel another method is more practical. You and the designer will be able to determine if this will work best for you and your situation.
  • Fixed or Flat Fees: Larger interior decorating jobs may be based on this method of cost. Your designer will price the job as a whole, and present you with a “fixed” price which generally covers the cost for the complete project, ie; furnishing, time, services, etc. Most designers prefer this method as it makes for an easy and comprehensive billing method. You will usually be required to come up with a retainer to which is applied to the initial start of the project, and then terms will be agreed upon for the remaining bill.
  • Square Foot Basis: This is generally the manner in which fees are established for commercial work. The designer is paid a fixed amount based on the square footage of the space that is to be remodeled or designed.

Controlled Stage Designing

Most Interior Designers will recommend that your project happen in controlled stages – which means that when a certain stage of the project has been reached, the designer and the client will re-address the budget. This will ensure that there are no surprises and that any additional fees, or services, can be addressed and agreed upon before continuing on with the project at hand.

10 Questions Your Interior Designer May Ask YOU

Have you recently come to the conclusion that you are ready to take the next step towards hiring an Interior Designer? You’ve done your research, you’ve set up a couple of interviews with local designers, and you’ve armed yourself with the Questions You Should Ask Your Interior Designer , but – have you given any thought as to what your designer may ask you?

Yep, your designer will have questions of their own which help them in determining not only if they are the right person or firm to help you, but it also equips them with a better understanding of the project at hand so they can bring all the needed elements to the table, such as; budget constraints, building codes, necessary documents, sub-contractors, etc.

By asking you a few basic questions, your chosen Interior Designer will be better prepared to answer your concerns, as well as compiling a plan that will ensure a successful design.

What Your Designer May Want to Know …

  1. What is the function or purpose of the space to be designed? Are you wanting a Kitchen Design? Then, of course, the main function is obvious. However, if you’d like a re-designed family room for entertaining guests versus just a place to hang out and watch T.V., then you’ll want to convey to your designer the main purpose for the room will be to entertain guests.
  2. Will your space be multi-functional? Does your office double as a Library? Maybe your studio is also your Child’s Playroom? If there is a second or third function to this space your designer will create a plan that unifies the room for all it’s uses.
  3. How much traffic will the room get? The flow of traffic to any one area is always a consideration. Perhaps you’d like to add a new Home Office, but you’d have to go through your bedroom to get there? If so, your designer may bring up concerns about the flow of traffic through your bedroom – are you sure you want potential clients checking out your comforter? However, by discussing this beforehand your designer will be able to work with you towards a solution that might work better for you.
  4. Will other rooms / spaces be affected? Your designer will want to know what other areas of your home will be affected as this will help with their overall designing process and plan. Will your Entryway need re-designed to accommodate the sitting room you are wanting to add? Those are areas that will need addressed.
  5. Will there be a need for a new Lighting Design? Lighting will need to be a concern as it’s an element that can be very room specific. Depending on the purpose of the room, you may want more ambiance lighting for the bedroom, versus fluorescent lighting that would be essential in a kitchen.
  6. What are the electrical aspects of the space? If you were wanting to create a Home Theatre, would your designer need to bring the room up to code or have additional electrical components installed? These considerations will add to the bottom line of your budget, so your designer will want to be made aware of these extra costs to figure into your budget.
  7. Are there special elements you must have? For example, you really want to incorporate an element to store all your old vinyl records, or a place to house your Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. If you have collectibles that you want showcased or hidden, letting your designer know this beforehand will allow it to be integrated at the beginning of the plan, versus trying to figure it out after the design is completed.
  8. Do you want the space expanded or contracted? Perhaps you’d really love your Dining Room re-designed, but what you really have in mind is to make it a larger space. Your designer will need to be aware of your desire to increase or decrease the space so appropriate steps can be figured in.
  9. Are you trying to achieve a particular mood for the room? Your designer will be able to tell from your chosen designing style the basic appearance you are striving for, but be sure and let them know your thoughts on the actual mood you are trying to achieve, as well. For instance, you may like the look of a Contemporary Interior Design, but the mood – or feel – you are actually trying to achieve is more of a romantic English Country Interior Design.
  10. What is your budget? This should probably be the number one thing on the list – starting with finding out how much will your Interior Designer Will Cost. It’s very easy to get carried away and exceed spending limits. By discussing your budget with your Interior Designer you will have someone else in your corner to help you plan accordingly so you can get the end results you desire.

Communication is Key

Hiring an Interior Designer can be one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make. When the designer and client know what to expect from each other from the onset, the results will be nothing short of spectacular and enjoyable. Failure to communicate should never be the reason you aren’t 100% satisfied with your finished project.