Building or renovating your dream home is a huge investment of both your time and money, bringing the best/right team together is critical to its success.

Designing or redesigning a home is an extensive and intense process. It is thus imperative that you find someone who is skilled, professional, highly communicative, active problem-solvers and would be dedicated to your project. Your home also needs to be beautiful, so the designer’s style needs to gel with yours. Here we have pulled together our key ideas to help you select the right interior designer for you.

Credentials and Experience/Previous Work.

Some questions to seek answers to in your preliminary search:

• Do they have a degree or certificate? From where did they acquire it?

• How long they been in the industry?  

• Where did they work with prior to starting their own company? How long have they had their own company?

• Who have they worked/collaborated with?

• What projects have they worked on?

• What do they specialise in?

You need to know these facts before making your selection. It’s not so imperative what they have done in the past – especially whilst working for others (their former places of employment may not reflect how their style has evolved). Remember also that designers are always working to a brief that responds to their different client’s specific projects. As such, the aesthetics of their finished projects may not be indicative of what they can do for you. Chat to your designers about what they can do with you in the future.

Fit

Designing and building is a huge process. You will spend a decent amount of time working with them during your project, so I seriously recommend choosing someone you click with. Your designer needs to understand you, your style, and daily routines. A great designer with a banging portfolio is worth zero brownie points if they cannot connect with you and your family, or be able to interpret your needs.

With fit, look at:

• Personality. Do they understand you and your vision?

• Can they problem solve?

• Vibe. Are you comfortable around them?

• Trust. Do you feel they are trustworthy?

Looking at their past work and website will also help you determine if they’re a good fit in terms of style and experience.

References

If you can, seek references. Have a chat to a few people they have worked with before. Ask around where possible and appropriate.

Things to ask:

• How was the process of working with this designer?

• How did they go with delivering on their promises?

• How did their work track against time?

• Where did they exceed expectations?

• What were their key fallibilities?

Budget

Believe me on this: interior designers and decorators vary in skills and style as much as they do with their design fees!

Some budget tips:

• Allow a portion of your renovation/build budget for this service. Investing in a quality design team to oversee the project will pay dividends back later. You’ll avoid rookie errors, keep the building on time and enjoy a fine finished product.

• When negotiating, be upfront with your figures when meeting people. You want to find the right fit for you, so always ask if your figure is realistic so that you can both be in agreeance that the scope and budget are aligned/viable. 

•In the early chats be straight up in asking your designer how they charge and what they deliver for that amount. This way you can compare against other designers.  Always read the fee proposal thoroughly so you know what you’re comparing. Depending on the scale of the job, it could be hourly or a fixed fee per design phase

Clear communication about budgets and expectations helps avoid headaches later in the process.

Shop around

I always recommend that potential clients meet with a few designers so they can do a proper compare. Compare fit, price, experience and enthusiasm. Take note of your designer’s customer service. A wise person evaluates all of their options before making a purchase, and it’s especially important when it comes to interior designers. They are, after all, in charge of designing the only home you may be living in!

Importantly, I’ll stress this again: make sure you get along with them! Remember, it’s not necessarily about the work that they have produced so far, but their ability to understand you and your brief and create the home you love

 

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