4 Important things to consider while hiring an Interior Designer @TheRoyaleIndia

4 Important things to consider while hiring an Interior Designer

September 28, 2014 206 0 0

Be it Home, Office, or Home-Office, the manner in which we set up the interiors play a subtle but major role in how we conduct our activities. A well lit (preferably natural), congestion-free, organized set up is a welcome note to conduct our activities. However, we only have the functional aspects of our premises in our thoughts. In order to see this take shape in our Home, Office, or Home-Office, we need an expert’s advice to come up with optimum way to set things up. Someone who understands your requirements and someone who can convey it – a liaison with the architects, contractors and rest of the build-team. With a good interior designer on board, it can be a time and money saving experience.

Now, the search for an interior designer has officially begun. References that come by word of mouth carry a lot of value. This is proof that past work is completed, and client is impressed enough to recommend to others. Should you be in a situation, where none is recommended, then let us do a reverse search. When a store, house, cafe’s interior’s impress you, request the person in charge to share information about the interior designer. Trade magazines or design institute websites can also be used to find an appropriate designer.

At the end of your research you would have a list of designers with you. Now it’s time to sort the right one that suits your needs. Here are some pointers that can help you get started.

UNDERSTAND YOUR REQUIREMENT

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Some designers are good at renovation or rebuilding jobs, some have expertise in working on a completely new project and some might be able to style your bath, kitchen or offices magnificently. It is always recommended to be ready with a list of your requirements and why you need the renovations to be done? Such a list will give clarity to the designer and help understand the overall picture. Reading through the home decor magazines is a good start. When you are able to convey exactly is it that you want, and be able to explain it to the designer, he/she can help you with their expert advice. Keep an open mind to evaluate, review and possibly accept new ideas and concepts. While working with a designer make full use of their expertise and creativity, for they are here to help.

KNOW YOUR DESIGNER WELL

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A good designer will listen to your ideas, needs, and then finalize the designs with your consent. He should be a person you feel you can trust and hand over your project to. Always ask to see their portfolios and credentials. Call up past clients, even better, if they happen to be local, visit them to get a feel of the designer’s work live. All of these ideally strengthen your trust and confidence on the chosen designer before actually embarking on a design-journey together.

PRIORATIZE YOUR FINANCES

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Interior designers take care of budget, planning, design, and execution of a project. And, for this, they bill you for their consultation as well. Make sure your budget includes the services of an interior designer. Most designers have a website, and offer free quote as well. Use the list prepared earlier and request quote from multiple designers. This will give you a fair idea about their responsiveness, budgeting, and interpersonal skills. Some go a step further, and share expert opinion on your requirements along with the quote. Evaluate each designer, their past work, client referrals, responsiveness to your query, and budgeting concerns to shortlist the designers. Last, but not the least, sit one-on-one with the designer before making the final choice. This is to determine, how receptive he/she is to your requirements, how effective are they in convincing you over the design constrains, their out-of-the box thinking, etc.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR

It is now time to discuss payment terms and conditions. Some charge by the hour, some as flat fee per project, some charge as per each item on the list. Most of them request an upfront fee which could range from 10% – 25% of the entire project. Work out the math with your budgetary constraints, negotiate if needed. Fall back on your friends and associates who have hired the services of an interior designer to get an idea about cost of hiring one.

Be sure to discuss the sourcing of resources for your design project. It is assumed that the interior designer takes care of sub contractors, materials and purchases, labor wages etc. However, it is a good practice to discuss this, rather than simply assuming. Be sure to request the services they offer/do not offer in writing. This is to ensure that you are not taken by surprise over any unexpected surge in billing. This would also be a good time to ask, how the designer deals with last minute changes on the requirements. Minor enhancements would be okay, but major changes are unlikely to be included in the original quote. Which is also the reason most designers share a sketch / plans involved with the design project. Just ask, if the designer does not mention these documents.

To Seal the Deal, sign up an agreement/contract with the designer which explicitly details all the work that needs to be done. This is a documented evidence of the design requirement placed by you, and the designer’s commitment to perform them for you over the mutually agreed time and cost. This document is to protect the interest of both parties.

In a nut-shell

  1. Consult friends, family, acquaintances that have used an interior designer’s services.

  2. Use Google and collect information available on the public domain.

  3. Prepare detailed document on the changes you want implemented on this design project.

  4. Share this document and obtain quote from multiple designers.

  5. Request to see samples of past work.

  6. Talk to past clients to get direct feedback on the work & performance.

  7. Discuss budget, planning and execution.

  8. Agree on the changes and service fee for the designer.

  9. Draft up an agreement/contract to include the requirements, services expected, payment agreed upon, and payment schedule.

  10. Both parties sign the contract, and design project is set in motion.

These tips might appear to be terribly time consuming in your already packed schedule. But nevertheless, it is necessary to avoid getting yourself burnt out, had you been doing the project by yourself, on a physical and monetary level. All said and done, it requires careful research and planning before you decide to hand over your interior design project over to someone else. Because, once you do, you would want to sit back and see your ideas take shape, rather than worry about a nail here and a tear there.

Tags: choosing an interior designer, home decor, interior designingCategories: Home Decor