Choosing an interior designer to remodel your entire home or part of it is a difficult task. As a client and beneficiary, you want everything to be perfect. After all, you’ll have to live for a long time with the results so there’s no room for mistakes. That being said, it’s up to you to find the right person or company for the job and in order to do that a series of steps need to be followed.
Step one: identify your style
Before you even begin interviewing interior designers, you need to know what your style is. Take time to check some websites that can help in case you’re a little fuzzy on the details. It’s important to know your personal style so you can hire the right person for the job. Many designers have their signature style, although the really good ones should be able to adapt to your own preferences.
Step two: take a look at some portfolios
Let’s assume you know what you’re looking for and you’ve identified a few designers that match your style. Try to find out more about them and take a look at their portfolios. See what they’ve created and try to imagine yourself living in those spaces.
Step three: set a budget
It’s very important to know your budget before you start the remodel. Some designers charge a fixed fee for their services, others charge an hourly rate. This can also a factor that helps you decide between several candidates and to narrow down your choices.
Step four: meet with designers
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to just a few names, it’s time to meet face to face. Most designers don’t charge for these sessions but it would be good to ask about that over the phone just in case.
Step five: ask a lot of questions
During this meeting session, ask a bunch of yourself about clients you could contact for referrals, experience, qualifications, the services the designer will provide, the costs, the duration of the project and anything else you can think of. Think of specifics and put everything down on paper so you don’t forget anything.
Step six: have an open mind
It’s very rare for a client to love everything about a designer. Even if your styles are about the same, you may not click when it comes to certain details. Keep an open mind and don’t dismiss the designer’s suggestions without giving the idea a chance. But make sure he or she is not trying to force you into following those suggestions just because it’s simpler and more comfortable that way.
Step seven: compare notes
After meeting with all the designers on your list, compare notes. Compare the estimates they’ve given you and make a list of pros and cons. Keep in mind that going with the cheaper option is not always the best choice.
Step eight: sign a contract
Once you’ve decided who you want to work with, make the call and let the designer know about your choice. Before any work is done and before you pay anything, make sure you sign a contrast. It should specify responsibilities, a timeline, budgetary limits and all the important aspects.
Step nine: make a plan
Now that you’re all part of a team, you can put together a plan of attack. Where will you start from? If several rooms need to be redesigned, you need to be practical about it. What are the materials you need to buy in the first phase? Select them with the help of your designer. What are the pieces you’d like to keep? Maybe you have an old chair or table you’d like to include in the design. Plus several other details.
Step ten: Modify your schedule
Depending on your existing work schedule and the plan you’ve chosen together with your designer, you’ll have to adapt your lifestyle and schedule in case you need to be home for certain parts of the projects, etc.