Making The Most Of Your Smart Decision To Hire An Interior Designer

So you’ve decided to hire an Interior Designer–good move! Now what? Before you start planning your “reveal” party, you’ll need a basic understanding about the process to ensure that you get the most design for your dollar and that you have a fun and fabulous experience, no matter what type of project is ahead of you.

You’ll need to learn the basics of choosing the right design professionals, establishing a budget, outlining the details of the contract, considering your lifestyle and communicating your challenges.

Choosing the Right Designer: Beyond the Portfolio

Professionally trained Interior Designers have undergone extensive training in the various elements of modern and historical design, art and architecture. They have a basic foundation of knowledge that allows them to develop concepts in a variety of styles that range from traditional, contemporary, art deco, eclectic–or a combination of several styles.

That being said, not every designer’s talent is right for every project. For yours, you’ll want to choose someone whose portfolio “speaks” to you in a positive way. As with every profession, designers tend to develop personal styles that carry over into their projects. It could be the sense of clarity and order you see in the furniture arrangements, or maybe it’s a color palette that’s used in a unique way. It could be the modern touches worked seamlessly into a roomful of antiques, or the interesting textures of the fabrics.

Referrals are the best way to find a designer, so if the home of a friend or colleague appeals to you, by all means ask them for the designer’s number! You can also visit Web sites to get a better feel for the designer’s talent and personal style. Expect to spend a bit of time on the phone discussing your project with the designer and/or completing a questionnaire that will give them a better feel for your tastes and your project prior to the kickoff meeting.

You’re looking for someone you instantly trust and respect, who communicates excitement about your project, no matter how big or small, and who trusts and respects you as well. After all, this person is transforming your most sacred and cherished space!

Establishing a Realistic Budget

Everyone has a budget, so don’t feel bad about setting yours in stone…or tile, or brick. No matter what the amount, your designer should help you get the best value and the highest quality possible. Be wary of anyone that summarily dismisses your grand ideas based on budget alone: A first-rate designer will work hard to achieve your key design goals, perhaps by spreading the job out over time or suggesting alternative solutions for your project.

A great benefit of using a professional designer is that she has access to materials unavailable to the general public, so no matter what your budget, your home will feel unique and very “you.”

Your designer will also manage the entire process, whether it involves space planning, lighting design, purchasing, ordering, selecting finishes or monitoring the construction and installation of the project elements.

Outlining Terms of the Contract

Make sure you read and sign an official contract before any money exchanges hands or work begins. In addition to the legal aspects, a contract summarizes the plans you’ve been discussing such as your budget, design fees, accountability regarding subcontractors (painters, carpet layers, etc.).

You’ve selected the designers and signed the contract – now comes the fun part!

Considering Your Lifestyle

Your home environment should complement and support the way you and your family really live – or really want to live. For example, if you’re starting a home-based business, you might turn your cluttered garage into a functional office. If your spouse loves to cook, you might knock down a wall so the under-used formal dining room becomes part of the kitchen. Many families make the mistake of letting the layout of the home dictate their activities vs. reorganizing the space to embrace their lifestyles.

To ensure that your designer understands how you live now and how you want to live, share as many details with her as you can. Also share your personal tastes so she can incorporate them into the designs. If you hate plaid, tell her now, before she gets too deep into the first draft.

To help you better prepare yourself, answer these questions before you have your first meeting with the designer:

  • Are you a creative person? In what ways does your home limit your creativity or your hobbies?
  • Do you like the present color palette? Does it need updating?
  • Are they any rooms that feel cramped or stuffy? Any rooms that feel empty, cold or unwelcoming?
  • Is adequate, well-organized storage a problem? Can you find things when you need them?
  • Are your bathrooms functional, pleasing spaces? Do you or family members have special needs (e.g. grab bars, easy-entrance shower stalls, etc.)?
  • As you walk through your rooms, jot down your favorite qualities about each. Do you like the proportions? Is there adequate ventilation and lighting throughout your house?
  • Are there any rooms that you don’t use regularly? Could any of these rooms be used for more than one function? Could any of these rooms be used for a completely different function?
  • Does your home balance open space and private areas?
  • Does the entryway do its job of setting the stage for the rest of your home by welcoming guests and making a statement about the people who live there? If you normally come into your home through the garage, does that area welcome you?

Focus on Your Challenges

A designer works best when you share your “wish list,” express your ideas, and then keep an open mind. That means communicating how you want to live in the space and then entrusting the designer to make it happen. After all, you hired this person for her experience, talent and vision!

For example, one homeowner hired a designer to help her reorganize her tiny office so she could be more productive. Instead, the designer suggested that she move her entire operation downstairs, into the den she used once every two months to watch movies. She did, tripling her space and doubling her productivity in just three months.

Contrary to TV, where designers admonish clients for questioning their plans, real-life designers understand that you’re the person who ultimately needs to love the space. They want you to be happy and want you to give your input so you’re absolutely thrilled with the results (and so you’ll recommend them to your friends)! That’s why they do so much probing upfront about your tastes and how you live, then incrementally present their ideas throughout the process.

Hiring a designer is like giving a gift to yourself! You made the smart decision to hire an Interior Designer, you’ve been smart about the planning process, and now you can rest assured that the time, money and energy you spend returns truly smart, stunning results!

Interior Design: A Luxury or a Valid Service?

The image often conjured up by the term interior design is that of having a rather ‘arty’ individual come in to throw around some unnecessarily elaborate ideas, come up with an over-decorated result, and who will select high end and expensive designer furnishings that you may prove quick to tire of, and successfully part from you a lot of your hard earned cash!

Add to this the fact that the face of interior design has been portrayed by the media as a thing of fun and frivolousness, it is little wonder that people may well consider it a luxury, and certainly a service that doesn’t lend itself to times of financial constraint when we are all pulling in our belts a little.

However there are important considerations to make when deciding to refurbish an interior that lie way beyond the colours of the walls, or the choice of furniture and soft furnishings. There is the messy bit that comes before all of that.

What the interior designer has to offer to businesses and individuals thinking of refurbishing their work and living spaces, is very different. It is valid service that can, in the long run, save time and money, as well as a lot of anguish and heartache.

When approaching a project with professionalism, the designer should always get a brief from the client outlining what they want for their room or building, in terms of use of space, the number of people using that space, and any colour schemes the client may have in mind.

The functionality of a building is obviously very important, but so are the aesthetics and other factors such as whether or not the client wishes to maintain existing furniture and features into their new scheme.

In addition to this the profession also has much more to offer. Using professional drawing skills enables the designer to produce scaled plans and accurate 3D visuals, which show the client exactly what a new room layout will look like. This encourages dialogue between client and designer and subsequently alterations can be made at the planning and drawing stage to illustrate what alternatives will look like.

Once the designer has been employed, they are there for the duration of the project and so on-going decisions can be made along the way, and obstacles that could be daunting to the novice become opportunities for the designer to tackle. Therefore on-site problems are overcome as they arise.

Another important factor to consider is the budget. Everyone has either a budget, or an idea of how much they have, or want to spend. To this end it is very important for anyone embarking on an interior refurbishment project to know this information at the outset. Both designer and client are wasting time and resources if the designer comes up with a fabulous scheme regardless of cost, the client loves the scheme, but once all the quotations are in, wham! Its way too expensive. The correct way to approach a new project is with an idea of the budget in order that the appropriate fixtures, fittings and finishes are selected, and they come within any cost constraints.

There are other, rather more tedious aspects of interior design that must be taken into account, such as health and safety, particularly when applying interior design to a commercial use, such as retail interiors, clubs, restaurants and the like.

Your interior designer should be up to date with latest HSE & CDM regulations, and also, more importantly, ensure that any building and interior installation work is carried out by contractors who abide by these legislation’s…and whom have insurance!

And finally…your interior designer should then be able to manage and oversee the project for you.

This would normally include: applying for quotations, organising timetables for work, drawing up specification lists, organising purchasing of goods and materials, on-site visits once the project has begun to ensure work is being carried out to standard and specification, and also to liaise between the client and site contractors.

In essence, this is where your interior designer should help to alleviate some of the stresses of the project, helping it to be delivered on time, and address and overcome any problems that arise on site, when they arise.

So hopefully this will help you to decide for yourself, when undertaking a refurbishment project. You will undoubtedly be taking on builders, decorators, engineers etc. and facing quite a bit of upheaval in your home or work place. You will be encountering a fair bit or stress. You will also be spending a significant amount of money. So: Is interior design a luxury or a valid service?

Residential Interior Design – A Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Everyone wants their home to be a place where they feel comfortable and which looks beautiful. That is why they call it ‘home’. In order to achieve this feeling of well being, they undertake some form of residential interior design.

The choices available to the consumer or home owner is to employ a professional or to use the resources at their disposal, decide on what they want and go it alone. Some people decide to go this way and there are online interior design courses available enabling them to fit this training into a busy schedule. Either way is fine if they are successful in creating an environment which supports their happiness and well being.

This article will attempt to briefly examine these choices of residential interior design with the end result in mind.

Home Decorating

Nowadays with the advancement of technology and an ever expanding economy, some people are fortunate enough to earn a living from home while others spend many hours at work and cannot wait to arrive home to relax. In either case, they must ‘feel’ comfortable where they live. People need to be in touch with the psychology of the design elements which they choose. Rather than decorating to impress anyone, it is important to choose the color, specific lighting, sounds, furnishings, patterns and other design elements of residential interior design that will provide security and happiness in a homeowner.

Home Design Software

There are software packages today that can do just about everything except tie your shoes. As one might expect, there is software that gives the homeowner the freedom to play the residential interior designer. They can start anywhere in the house using editable templates, customize the dimensions and move through every room in the house. Most programs have several built in features with easy to use interface to help with the design process. They can examine two and three dimensional views which offer daytime and night time walk through, cutaway and multiple camera views.

This gives the homeowner a ‘feel’ for the design but can they handle the whole project?

Home Decor

The homeowner now has the ideas but is a little hesitant about where to start in their implementation and whether the ideas will work. They have items of furniture, paintings and accessories and they are not sure whether they will fit into the room or match the color combination, fabric, proportions and style. There is major work to be done that must meet building codes. The cost of the work must all meet a budget. At what stage does the homeowner call in the professional?

Residential Interior Designers

Residential interior designers are creative, licensed, professional business people who are qualified by education, training and experience. They encourage their clients to express their own individual personalities as this is considered the most important design ingredient. They pay attention to the wants and needs of the people in the house and ensure a successful residential interior design.

Conclusion

More people are undertaking residential interior design projects. They are considering the traditional elements of design and are including the psychology of design in the planning stage. Some are utilizing software that is available and if required employing the services of a licensed interior designer. In the end, it is all a personal preference with end harmonious result of happiness and well being of the homeowner in mind.

Best Online Resource For Interior Designing

Interior designing plays a major role when it comes to beautification of a house is concern. Many people are consulting to professional designers to make sure that their house is as beautiful as they prefer to be. The only disadvantage to this is that it is a little bit costly if you hire designers for your houses. Instead of hiring this people, what you should do is be resourceful where to get ideas that you will be using. With the help of the internet there are so much thing that you can walk like a designers.

The best online resources for interior designing have various criteria with respect to what room you want to decorate. It should somehow lead them to something to do rather than giving everything out. The best online resources must contain all the necessary details. This should know what the rooms that their designs are applicable are. In a house, a good source must have kitchen interior design. This is because kitchen is one of the difficult places to decorate. However, if you succeed, for sure you will love the outcome

As online resources of interior designing, it should not limit to the house alone. Office is another place to do some decorations, thus the source must also have the information in designing offices. Office interior design should have the details what is the furniture that will match the office settings. Guide must have suggestions what are the styles and furniture should be.

If you have your own business restaurant, you want to make it sure that people will come inside. The best way to attract them is through your interior designs. Thus, online website should have the features regarding restaurants. Restaurant interior design online though is difficult to distinguish what are the decorative outlook should be look like. Together with the designs, people will really appreciate what technology can do with their design.

You can design so many things if you will base on the website. The only thing that you need is to make sure that the website gives you the knowledgeable information that you can use in your designing. If you find it hard to follow designing instructions, you may ask for assistance to make sure you are able to cover the whole details. Designing house, office, and restaurant is fats and very easy. What you will need is a little time just to apply what stated by your sources.