Finding the right interior designer to work with you on designing your home is no easy task. You must find someone who understands you completely and shares a design rapport with you. This may not be easy! Over the years, we have found that there are some things that you should look for when you are zeroing in on your ideal interior designer. Here they are!
Your sense of style should match.
Your personal sense of style should come out in your home interior. As a layperson, you may not be very sure of what you want. Take some time to check websites that can help you to get a sense of what you are looking for. Pinterest is a great place to start, and you can create a board with ideas that interest you. When you meet your designer, show her your Pinterest board to see whether she ‘gets’ you completely. She will probably also be having her own collection of ideas which you can discuss. Take your time to brainstorm, throw around ideas and talk about what you like and don’t like in terms of form, function and finishes. try to find a designer you have chemistry with for a great fit!
Talk about what your expectations are in terms of services. Do you want her to follow the pictures you have selected, or should she sketch out her own original designs? Do you want her to select finishes and place orders on your behalf? Would you like to see samples or 3D drawings? How much is your involvement going to be? You should trust your designer to give you the best options, but it may also be hard for you to let go completely and you may feel like checking in every so often. Discuss how often you will meet and at what stages you will be required to give your approval of interior design options. If things are clear at the outset you will not have hiccups along the way!
Talk about the budget
It’s very important that you have an idea of how much your interior is going to cost. Ask your interior designer to give you a preliminary estimate, including material specifications for each room. If it’s out of sync with your thinking, let her know. Find out how much she is charging for her services, or whether her fee is included in the overall cost. Some designers charge separately for design consultancy, and then charge actuals for the interior itself. On the other hand, turnkey designers would give you a total cost including materials, labour and the cost of their services. The budget is usually the factor that will help you to narrow down the list of potential candidates.
Be willing to listen to advice
Your designer knows what she is doing, after all, this is her area of expertise! Allow her to guide you on what will work well for each space. Many designers work better when they feel they are trusted to do their job well, so do not breathe down her neck and micromanage every little detail. It’s also important that your designer should not agree to your every wish, if it is not the best option for your interior design. She should be allowed the freedom to make suggestions that go against your ideas, and you should be willing to listen to her advice. Sometimes it is fun to go against the grain and do something that is outside your comfort zone!
Put down things in writing
Once you have finalized all aspects of your interior, it’s very important that you have the contract down in black and white. It should specify responsibilities, time schedules, payment schedules and other budgetary aspects and material specifications. Both you and your designer should agree to all the clauses and sign off on the terms and conditions. Every time there is a design modification, get it noted in writing so that there is no ambiguity. There’s nothing worse than a completed interior project that has overshot the budget or time deadlines due to additions or modifications during the course of the work.
Respond to all emails on time and do not delay payments
To ensure that everything goes smoothly, you have an important part to play as well. Make sure that you do not delay approvals, and also that you answer all emails promptly. Invoices should also be paid without any delay, as your designer will not be able to meet deadlines if you do not respond on time. You will be astonished at how quickly time passes. Any delays from your side will result in corresponding delays in handing over the finished interior on time, so keep up your side of the bargain.
You’ll have to live a long time with your interior, so take your time and choose your interior designer wisely! If you need help, do get in touch with the HomeLane team!