Are you considering hiring an interior decorator? If so, you must plan ahead to get maximum returns. From your budget and timeline, to your inspiration and must-haves, you must be prepared to have an in-depth conversation with your interior designer to helps him/her understand your needs.
Swati Goorha, Founder & CEO and Principal Interior Designer at Swati Goorha Designs, lists down a few points to keep in mind before you hire an interior designer.
Know Your Budget
One of the first things that you should consider before hiring an interior designer is your budget. Simply put, how much do you want to spend on this interior design project? When you speak to an interior designer, one of the first things that they will inquire about is your budget. Your budget may also determine whether you can afford full-service interior design services or if you would instead do some of the work yourself and use a virtual design service that provides you with direction and advice. Everyone has a different budget for same project. It is important to understand yours before you get started so your designer can help you stay within it. If you are unsure of setting a realistic budget, your designer can also help you develop a budget for your project.
Know Your Timeline
Your timeline is another crucial aspect that you should consider before hiring an interior designer. Do you have a few weeks, a couple of months, or a year? Is your timeline set in stone or flexible as long as you get the results you want? Do you want retail products or custom trade-only products (that often come with better price when working with a designer, but custom work takes more time to build)? Your timeline may influence some of your interior designer’s choices, and hence it is crucial that you know your timeline and ensure that your interior designer understands it as well.
Before you contact an interior designer, find what inspires you on your own. Create an inspiration folder or inspiration board using Pinterest or saving images of spaces you like. While interior designers are incredibly talented and can work miracles, they must understand what your idea of perfect space entails. You should also explain to your designer anything that you like or dislike about your current space. This will help the designer create a space that is beautiful and to your tastes and sensibilities.
Understand Which Services You Need
Interior designers usually offer several services. You can choose from full-service design, virtual design, bathroom design, single room design, and many other services. Before you contact your interior designer, you should know what services are relevant for your project. Are you searching for an interior designer who will take care of everything for you? Or do you want to be the one making decisions based on recommendations from a professional interior designer? Ask yourself these questions, so you are prepared to explain your project goals to your designer clearly. If you are not 100% sure which services you are interested in, don’t stress too much as your interior designer will help you decide.
Determine Your Must-Have vs Good-to-Have
What really matters to you in your design project? We all want everything but when it really matters, what can you not live without? It is essential for you to identify must-have vs good-to-have. Do you love to read and want a comfy, cozy reading nook, and will pay anything for it and wait for it with custom design? Do you want the look you lived and liked on your travels, or visit with family and friends, or in a movie or media, and have to have it?? If there is anything non-negotiable, you must communicate that to your interior designer.
Credentials and References
Designer and decorator are not the same. Anyone can call themselves a designer in today’s time. But do they understand the art and science of architecture and design, as well as consumer behavior? Make an effort to get information on who is a credible designer. Are the name-sake designers involved in meeting you and working with you vs just a name and work done by anyone they have hired? Do the designers have the industry affiliation, history, and testimonials that can be verified? Did you get a referral to the designer from a friend or family who has worked with the designer? Ask the designer these questions on their credential and if they will be involved on your project directly. Ask for referrals from a few past clients with a similar scale project as yours.
A designer will be working on your most personal spaces that you and your family inhabit. Are you comfortable and in a trusting relationship with your designer? It would help if you have a good personality fit with your designer. Some projects last a long time, can be 1-2 years, and you must embark on the journey working with the designer a life-stage partner. You should be comfortable in communicating and collaborating with someone who takes time to understand your personality and your project goals. Your designer will have to learn about every aspect of your life to personalize your space to fit your lifestyle. Make sure you hire a person you can trust. Once you have found the right person for the job, you have to trust them to make the best recommendations for you and let them lead you to your dream home.