You have finally made up your mind to hire an interior designer for your home project and scheduled an appointment for them to come. Now all you have to do is just relax and anticipate the meeting that will open your eyes to a whole new world you didn’t know existed.
Most people who hire a designer for the first time don’t really have any idea what to expect. An interior designer is able to advise you on specifics, but to get the results you want it is important that you prepare yourself first. There is plenty to do and the time you spend doing that homework will be worth it. So definitely take some time to think about what you can afford, what you want, what you need, and what is most important to you and the entire process will run much more efficiently and it will be fun for you and your interior designer.
First of all, decide what your budget is going to be so that your expenses are something you can live with. Making a preliminary budget will help you come to terms with how much your design plan is likely to cost. Think about the cost of each room: dining room, living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, appliances, soft furnishings, accessories, art, lighting, etc. Don’t underestimate how much things cost. Do some research and check prices. It’s better to be realistic with your budget than be surprised when the acutual projected cost is presented.
Next question you need to answer is when will you be ready to start, what is your timeframe to complete the project and what are the deadlines that have to be met. Will you or someone you delegate (project manager) be on hand while work is being done?
Spend some time considering the look, style and options that you want. To help you with this, look through design magazines that you feel best represent your tastes and in addition search the internet extensively. There are literally dozens of websites which act as online inspiration galleries like achica, Houzz and Homify for example. Look at the overall feeling of the room, colours that appeal to you, patterns you like, fabrics that look wonderful, window treatment styles, furniture shapes and styles. Tear out pages or tag the photographs and ads of styles that appeal to you most. The Internet is also full of great ways to inspire you. Search on Pinterest, which creates inspiration boards on a visual social network and check out the online versions of popular interior design magazines.
Save all the information from magazines and internet that you find in a folder or scrapbook in addition to saving any swatches of fabric, paint colour cards, furniture catalogs or brochures, pictures of appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures, cabinet and door hardware, flooring materials, etc. All this will help the designer better understand your tastes and preferences.
Next step would be to plan your space. Write what you want from certain rooms and the look you wish to create. Study the good and bad points of the household. Mention the items you would like to keep and those that you don’t.
When you first meet your interior designer, provide them with the floor plans of the project. If you don’t have them, measure and map out the rooms accurately. Always measure the dimensions, including the height of each room and the windows and door openings on your plan.
Decide what you want the interior designer to do. Whether you want for them to create or reproduce a look or style for your house or improve the use and efficiency of space. Will it include selection of furnishings, accessories, appliances, etc.? Will it include designing a lighting plan, selecting and integrating audiovisual, security and other technologies into the design? Will you expect them to recommend contractors and manage the project?
When you hire an interior designer you get the benefit of an experienced professional who can solve problems, help you avoid costly mistakes and, most importantly, create a space designed to meet your needs, desires and dreams. At the end, if you’ve gone to the trouble to find an interior designer that you feel you can work with, then let them work their magic.