How to find the right Interior Designer for you09 October 2020
Step 1 - Identify your style
Before you start searching for interior designers, you should have at least an idea of what your own personal style is. I would suggest scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, apart from gaining great ideas, it’s good to remember it might not always be possible with your own space, a good designer will be able to adapt and translate it artistically and it's a great way to start for discussion
Ask yourself - What do you like? What don’t you like? Whilst it’s good to keep an open mind, it’s important to know what your ideal outcome is, so you can hire the right designer for the project. Many designers have a signature style or an area of expertise but they should be able to adapt to your own preferences. Don’t be fooled by the “sales person” we have all experienced the fabulous hype only to be disappointed by the lack of service we receive, so ask, are you the designer I will working with?
Remember a project can last up to 2 years, so you need to be confident and comfortable with your chosen designer & bear in mind the size of the practice as it’s important to find the balance that’s right for your project. An experienced designer will have a great connection to other professionals, so be sure to ask...
Step 2 - Set yourself a budget
Once you have discovered your personal style preferences and have an idea of what the project entails, it is a good idea to set yourself a budget. Will this be a complete design overhaul or will it be a micro project?
It’s very important to know your budget from the get-go as different designers work in different ways. Some will charge by the hour, some may charge per room and others may charge a fixed fee for their services, so bear this in mind when browsing through designer profiles. An experienced designer will work up the budget with you, so you can get a sense of cost, but be realistic, this is very much a process & will involve your emotional investment, so try to be relaxed about the numbers, if you are thinking interior designers, you are already of an elevated position and whilst value for money is always important, the right person is always worth the investment, after all, your home is a direct reflection of you and your chosen lifestyle & a well organised artistic designer will charge accordingly to their worth.
Step 3 - Take a look at some design portfolios
You’ve decided on your style or design theme and have allocated a budget for the project - now it’s time to take a look at some portfolios and create a short list of interior designers! When looking for an interior designer you should try to remain open-minded. Have a look at their portfolio and see what they have created. Does your style and expectations match up? Could you see yourself living in one of their creations? How about their profile, does their passion and enthusiasm strike a chord with you? Lots to consider and well worth the time...
Step 4 - Chat to potential designers
The next step is to arrange a call or meeting with any potential designers who made your short list. This is a great way to really get a feel for someone’s personality, hear about their work and discuss your project. You will also get the opportunity to ask lots of questions. This will play a key part in the decision-making process!
One thing to ask yourself is; do you want to be involved in the process, or are you happy for them to take the reigns? Try to find out more about the person’s background, their portfolio of work and how they manage their design projects, clients you can contact for referrals, any qualifications they have, their costings and the expected duration of the project. Just like a potential partner, once you find the right designer, you will know.
Step 5 - The brief
Once you have decided on which designer is right for you, you will need to sit down with them and deliver a brief specification of your needs and wants. Use Instagram and Pinterest, they are a fabulous way to communicate. This is an opportunity for the designer to really get a feel for your personality and style, get to know your home and ask any questions they have about the project.
Step 6 - The Proposal
Following the briefing stage, the designer will create an initial proposal for the project. Here they will sketch or map out their ideas and explain their vision to you. It is quite rare that you will agree and be on board with every single idea that is presented to you, so try to keep an open mind and remind yourself why you have engaged this designer. Artistic people by their nature are sensitive and will only want the best for you, by interpreting the brief artistically as well as ergonomically & practically. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss ideas, make amendments, remove anything you are not happy with and really hone in on a shared vision, just be gentle...
Step 7 - Sign a contract
Before you pay anything and before any work commences, make sure you sign a contract with your designer. This should specify responsibilities, the budget, a timeline and any other important aspects, it’s important and makes sense and provides a point of reference
Step 8 - Make a plan
After the contract is signed, you should make a clear action plan with your designer. This will outline things such as your starting point and running order of areas to redesign, which pieces to keep and which to sell/donate/throw away, any items or materials you need to buy during the first phase. Make a solid plan and make sure that it works for both parties in terms of their current lifestyle and responsibilities.
Step 9 - Let the fun begin!
That’s the planning phase out of the way, now it’s time to let the fun begin! If you have successfully completed steps one through eight in an honest, open-minded, collaborative and clear way, then step nine should be a piece of cake. So sit back, relax and be ready to meet the home of your dreams! Stay connected and stay confident your designer will deliver and when you wobble as all clients do, just return to their portfolio and remember why you engaged them
So there you have it, our top tips on how to find the right interior designer for you. At April Hamilton we pride ourselves on innovative design and meticulous attention to detail. Get in touch to find out how we can help bring your vision to life!