Decorating a house can be a scary task, even if you're a seasoned DIYer. Most people would love the help of a skilled professional, but many misconceptions about what interior designers do — and what they cost — prevent people from seeking guidance.
As a client, you want everything to be perfect because you’ll have to live with the results so there’s no room for mistakes.
That being said, it’s up to you to find the right interior design service, person/company for the job. Here are 3 steps to get the best results and be the perfect decorating client when working with a designer.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
Figure out what you need
Are you looking to fully furnish your new home? Revamp and refresh a single room? Staging up an investment property? Once you have that figured out, you can make better decisions that align with your needs.
Identify your style
You can't choose the right designer unless you know what your style is. Take the time to do a google or pinterest search to get some ideas. Do you like minimal and cozy or bold and eclectic? What styles stand out to you? Many designers have their signature style, but the really good ones should be able to adapt to your own preferences.
Set a budget
It’s very important to know your budget before you start the process of looking to hire a designer. You need to set a realistic budget that is comfortable and feasible for you. Consider all the general fees involved. How much are you willing and able to spend on furniture and accessories? Some designers charge a fixed fee for their services, others charge an hourly rate or a percentage. This can also a factor that helps you decide between several candidates and to narrow down your choices.
Once you know what you need, what you're looking for and how much you're willing to spend, you can start doing some research on who to hire. Search for designers and narrow down your results. Try to find out more about them and take a look at their portfolios. Do you like their work? It may help to try to imagine yourself living in those spaces.
Step 2: Determine What Service Works Best For You
Most people don’t know that there are three basic ways decorators and designers can work with clients. Choosing the right service for you will help you achieve the best results.
Here at our firm, we do all 3:
What: This is the maximum service level and leaves all the work to the pro. When you hire a designer at this level, you are hiring a project manager to oversee everything, including sourcing, ordering, inspecting, managing installation and dealing with the inevitable problems that crop up.
Who: It’s ideal for busy people who don’t have the time to run around town looking for a bargain or a one-of-kind piece to complete their project.
What: This is a virtual design option. Because it's done online you are not limited to only choosing local designers. You are still working with a professional designer and have their guidance to source items for your home, but the process is different. Everything is done online through email or video calls, and the timeline is usually quicker because most retail items are in stock and ready to ship right away.
Who: It’s ideal for people that know what they like but just need some help figuring out what looks good and pulling it all together for a cohesive look. You have the time to be involved with the process and order the items online yourself, but you need the guidance of a professional to make final decisions. Keep in mind you will do all of the heavy lifting...literally.
What: This is an hourly design service for projects that do not require a full project package. This option would work well for selecting window treatments, paint colors and material selections, miscellaneous interior design advice, small scale design direction, and more.
Who: It’s ideal for people that may have a long "To-Do List" and need guidance and advise on a variety of items from colour schemes to a couple hours shopping confidently online and anything in between.
Whether you're designing a single room or a whole house, the maximum service means the least work for you.
Step 3: Have An Open Mind
Even if your styles are about the same, it’s very rare for you to love everything about a designer. At the end of the day you have to trust your designer. They can show you renderings and mood boards but you still will not really know how your space is going to look until it's done. Keep an open mind and don’t dismiss the designer’s suggestions without giving the idea a chance. Trust that they are going to help you achieve the goal that you hired them for in the first place. Because if you could do it yourself you would have done it already.