Finding Interior Designers For Your Home – Where Do You Start?
Finding interior designers who tick all the boxes can be difficult to come by. The relationship with an interior designer is unavoidably intimidate. You’re letting the person you choose wander through the most private ideas that you have for your most private spaces and so ensuring that you are working with the right person is absolutely key to getting results that you’re happy with. Before you go ahead and rush into a project, make sure you take some time on finding interior designers who will work for you.
Step 1 – How do you function?
It’s important to find a designer who will work with you, not against you, and that means identifying someone with a similar work style to you. Are you a meticulous planner who will want to be consulted on every single style detail or do you prefer to agree the creative and then be involved at stages later down the line? Identify your style so that you can match it to others.
Step 2 – What do you want?
It can be tempting to throw a few vague words at a designer and then assume that their great reputation for creativity will do the rest. However, many a project has ended up being contentious as a result of this kind of approach. What type of project is this that you’re staffing, what is the scale, the budget, the length of time involved? What kind of a finish are you looking for and do you have any specific needs, such as using only ethical materials and sustainably made furniture? Work out the scope of your project and then find someone who understands it and – preferably – has done something similar previously.
Step 3 – How qualified are they?
Are you looking for someone with a portfolio of examples or do you want a designer with specific qualifications – or both. While much of choosing a designer will be on the basis of their creative skills, and how that matches with you, bear in mind the need for academic qualifications in areas such as 3D modelling, building regulations, lighting, space planning and health & safety. The more ambitious your project is, the more likely you will need someone who is able to bring an architect’s or builder’s eye to your interiors, as well as just the creative touch.
Step 4 – Interview and take references
Given the personal nature of the relationship with your interior designer, it’s key to meet them and see if you actually get on with them. Trust your judgement when you meet the designer – do they seem interested and enthusiastic, full of ideas and raring to go or do they simply look like they want another pay-cheque. Ask for referees you can speak to – at least 5 recent projects – and take the time to question them about the designer’s ability to deliver on time and on budget, how they handled problems and whether the client was happy with the final result.
Step 5 – Document it all
When you have your chosen designer then make sure you document everything – timelines, fees, penalties for late delivery, what the finished product should look like and how any disputes will be dealt with. A professional designer should be able to produce paperwork that sets out all your expectations and how they should be met.