Gates Interior Design

Five years into my design career it occurred to me that few people really understood what it was I did. Now I know the term ‘interior designer’ gets thrown around more than a cat toy, thanks to shows like HGTV, the internet and of course every furniture store in town now offers them up as a free gift with purchase.  So what do you do when your ready to revamp your home and you hit overwhelm and completely unsure of where to start? 
Create a checklist, do your homework, get inspired and look online at the designers in your area.
gates interior design
I also realized that the reason no one knew what an interior designer was or is, was the term had few perimeters and everyone on the planet is deemed an interior designer as long as they have a business card and a blog that says so. With little credentials, and no experience, anyone could head to vista print and have themselves a snazzy new business card, *and like magic*, a spiffy new design business. SO, with so many grey areas, how do you hire a creative professional that meets your needs, listens to your wants, and comes in on budget?
gates interior design nashville tn
Interview at least three people. You don’t always need the most experienced, most expensive option, but you do need a person that fits you and your lifestyle. The designer’s you meet may have what you need, or they may not. I tell my clients all the time, I may not be the cheapest option, but I guarantee I am the best. Each designer will be different in what they offer and how they offer it.
How do I know I am the best at what I do? …because my business card and blog say so. haha No, I know I am the best because I am good at my job, and I have 15 years of experience. I anticipate everything, and expect anything to happen, because it always does. I always under promise and over deliver.  I always focus on solutions and getting my clients results that blow them away. This goes way beyond just aesthetics of a project. This is design, logistics, and the nitty gritty; the behind-the-scenes stuff that clients never see, but trust me – we get shit done. But this comes with experience. Green peas fresh out of school may not be as expensive, but they will take longer, and often make costly mistakes if not guided with supervision. They don’t have the ability to call in favors, leverage the stakes, or think as quickly on their feet.
So, would you rather your job take 3 months or 8? Is money a deciding factor? Do you want quality or quantity? Consider your priorities, your timeline and level of quality desired. You can typically have two, but not all three. 

 So How Do You Hire An Interior Designer? Great question, read on!

how to hire an interior designer

Once you have three people in mind, ask these questions:

1). How much experience do you have?
2). Is that experience in the field of interior design? (This one is important. Many times people will feel that because they are an artist, graphic designer, party planner, wedding planner, etc. they can whip out a room just the same)
3). What is your formal education?
4) Where do I buy my products from? You, or through local stores?
5) Do you have references?
6) Are your trades insured? (this is another big one. Many Green Peas work with trades that have no experience)
7) Do you have trades that can help me with all areas of my project? If so, how long have you worked with them?
8) Do you have a body of work I can see?
10) How do you charge for your creativity?
Finding an interior designer that {fits} is like finding a pair of incredible shoes that look smart, and feel great. Once you have decided on a designer, these are 8 common questions your designer will ask you to get started, so be prepared to answer:

1) How long do you plan on staying in your present home? (this is important because it will effect the budget)
2) What type of lifestyle do you lead? ( entertain, late nights, church or book clubs, etc)
3) Do you have children, starting a family or retired?
4) What are your storage needs?
5) What furniture do you currently own that you will be repurposing?
6) Have you considered a color scheme, or have a direction in mind?
7) Do you have a style, or know what your style is?
8) How much do you want to invest? What is your budget?
9) How often do you entertain?

With a designer in your back pocket they can help guide you through the abyss of the unknown and help you make knowledgeable decisions, and prevent costly mistakes. They can help you build an interior concept that can be knocked out all at once, or done in phases. But what if hiring a designer isn’t for you? How can you achieve design success on your own? Here are five things the DIY’er can do to help them acheive success on their own:
1) Create a file, or binder with clippings, samples, color chips that organize the style and colors you are attracted to.
2 Draw a floor plan of the room or rooms you have in mind so that you have a list of things you need.
3) Keep questions in your book of things you need or are unsure of, and develop an inventory list with dimensions to keep in your book.
4) Based on your inventory sheet, develop a realistic budget to help you create a direction and plan.
5) Create a schedule, based on the above four things, on what you will be doing when. This helps keep you focused, and on track

Want more info? Here are some great articles on design:
Gates Interior Design is a lifestyle home studio. We specialize in residential interior design, with a focus on feng shui. We are style makers, tastemakers and everything in between. Our goal is to give you a home that is as unique and beautiful as you are. We are creative, talented, fun loving women that love beautiful, charming things, no matter what the budget. And we are here to help you achieve all your interior design goals and more. We can help you with colour, styling, arranging, overall concepts and much more!


Call our office for a design consultation today and let us help you change the way you live and think about your home. Contact us at [email protected] or call us at

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