Five years ago 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 you’re ready to revamp your home, (you’re hitting overwhelm) and you’re completely unsure of where to start? Think about hiring an interior designer. If you need recommendations in your area, contact us – we have a bevy of awesome friends nationwide!
Ok let’s get started!
1) Get Organized
- checklist – what you want to do
- do your homework – What you think you need
- get inspired – What do you like? What do you want to accomplish?
- look online at the designers in your area or contact us for recommendations
I also realized that the reason no one truly knew what an interior designer did, 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 the interwebs, start a blog and have a snazzy new design business in minutes.
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
2) 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. Each designer will be different in what they offer and how they offer it.
[Tweet "Interior design is making the best use of available space."]
How do I know I am the best at what I do? …because my business card and blog say so. Kidding aside, 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 and its always about 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, or those without formal education 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.
OK, OK, So How Do You Hire An Interior Designer then? Great question, read on!
- Would you rather your job take 3 months or 8 months?
- 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.
I have three people in mind, now what?
Once you have a few designers in mind that you think are a good fit for you, set up a time to speak with them over the phone or over Skype. This will give you the opportunity to ask them questions, and tell them about your project. Here is an excellent list of questions to ask a potential designer:
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?
9) How do you charge for your creativity?
Dining Room, Governors Club from Gates Interior Design.
[Tweet "Finding an interior designer that fits is like finding a pair of incredible shoes that feel amazing."]
Once you have decided on a designer, these are 9 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