How to Hire an Interior Designer

You’ve decided to hire an Interior Designer. Great news! This is a worthwhile, long term investment.  I like to think of an interior designer as you would of a good electrician or plumber – not a luxury, but a necessity in order to get a job done well. Red Adair once said that; “if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” It certainly gives you food for thought.

So where do you go from here? The process of finding the right interior designer can seem a bit daunting, but my checklist and pointers will help give you some clarity and focus when making that all-important decision.

Getting started

First things first; start your research by looking at each designer’s portfolio and making a shortlist based on the styles you like. Take your time. Some designers have a definite look or style, which can be a great reason to go with them, or not. A portfolio with a wider selection of styles can highlight versatility and show that the designer can work on a range of property styles and projects. This is something you should focus on more if you want something unique to you.

It’s the chemistry

Understandably, one of the biggest concerns is that the designer will create a home that’s not ‘me’ and ‘not to my taste’. A good designer will always start with an understanding of your style preferences.

Design can be very subjective, so it’s important you have a designer that understands you, but also isn’t afraid to push the boundaries a bit. After all, this is probably one of the reasons you hired a professional and is where they can really add value.

Finally, don’t forget that you will spend a lot of time with the designer during the renovation process, so it’s really important the chemistry works and you get on.

Money, money, money

There are Interior Designers out there for all budgets, even if you don’t have the kind of spend for shops on the Kings Road. Decide how much you have to spend and then have that conversation with the designer. By making it clear what your budget is from the outset, means the designer has a framework and can be realistic about what can be achieved within that price range.

Project timeframe

I’m not going to sugar coat this, but good design takes time. Patience is crucial. Completing a house renovation project to a high spec is a slow process, but well worth it. A committed designer will always say this. Be sceptical of anybody who says it can be done in a matter of a couple of weeks.

Credentials

You’re paying for a service, so don’t be afraid to check the designer’s credentials. Ask if you can talk to previous clients and if they have any testimonials they could send you. If a previous client is open to the idea, then visiting a completed project is an important way of witnessing the designer’s quality of work.  

The budget

There are many ways to pay for a designer and charging would depend on the type of project.   Short-term consultancy could be charged by the hour or flat fee, whereas renovation work may charge on a per room basis or a total project fee based on the scale of work and complexity of spaces involved.

…and relax

I hope these pointers will inspire your search and reduce any doubts or concerns you may have had about hiring an interior designer. The key thing is to relax and enjoy the process. Remember you are adding long term value to your property, which can only be a good thing, right?

Bye for now...

Elena