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6 Things To Consider When Hiring an Interior Decorator

If you're planning on redecorating your home, you have one of two options: either you can manage the entire project on your own, or you can hire a skilled and experienced interior designer for the job. Chances are, you have some ideas and a vision of how you want your home spaces to look, but can you put them into practice? The fact is that managing an interior decoration project is challenging and time-consuming. Do you really want to take that on?

In contrast, when you hire a professional for the job, you can rest assured that they will handle all the aspects of design and planning well. They have the training, skill and experience to work with clients and create spaces that will be both functional and attractive. Their solutions bring in a new perspective which will give you the beautiful and functional home you've been dreaming about.

Most interior designers also handle aspects of the job such as sourcing products and materials, dealing with contractors and tradespeople; project management and supervision of the construction and installation of various features etc. In short, they provide end-to-end services, taking the burden off your shoulders.

Sounds good? Of course - but it’s vital that you pick the right designer. Here are some things to consider if you’re hiring an interior decorator:

1. Discuss Budget First

Loft InteriorOnce you've identified an interior designer you want to work with, you need to set a budget you can both work with. Every designer is going to want to pick the very best features in terms of quality and build, and when high-grade materials are used in the work, the finished product is almost always great. However, there are certain things that have the potential to send your interior designing budget skyrocketing, and this is one of them!

If you don't want to get a nasty shock when you're presented with your bill, it’s important to discuss your budget with the interior designer in the first consultation you have with them. If they can't work within your budget, you either need to re-think the budget or look for a different designer.

A skilled interior designer will always take the time and effort to understand what your requirements are and will then provide solutions that fit into your budget.

It's also a really good idea to ask how they work out their pricing. Is it the cost price of the materials, plus payment for their own time etc? This one really makes sense.

However, some take the cost price, then add a fixed percentage onto that, in payment for their time etc. If this is the case, it is in their best interests to push up the materials costs, ad they then get a large payment, so be careful if being suggested this option.

2. Discuss Your Preferences

An interior designer is a professional, but also a person with their own ideas and preferences. If you give them free rein to do what they like, you may soon realise that your home is less what you want it to look like and more like what they want! You may love minimalism and they've gone for a Baroque feel - oh dear!

The main job of a designer is to give form to their client’s ideas even as they add valuable design inputs of their own, so you need to make sure that the designer’s tastes and preferences don’t overpower your own. Discuss in detail how you want your home to look; show them pictures and discuss what your colour and décor preferences are, the type of fabrics you prefer and the style you want reflected in the interior spaces of your home.

This will ensure they are aligned and in tune with your preferences and are able and willing to provide you bespoke solutions. Look at the interior designer’s portfolio and consider working with one that has a wider repertoire of styles. This will indicate the designer will be more accommodating and welcoming of your preferences and would be able to create spaces that are a reflection of your lifestyle.

3. Make your Old Furniture Work in the New Design

Vintage ChairWhatever the extent to which you're having your home transformed, it’s likely there will be certain décor or furniture pieces you'd like to keep. These could be items that have sentimental value, antiques or something you find particularly appealing or like to use. Every homeowner will have items they have collected over the years and like to use or place around the house to lend it personal touch. In fact, you may even want to redesign one or more of your rooms around these vintage items.

Make sure your designer is aware of this - you don't want to find your great-grandmother's antique chairs in a skip! Ask them how they plan to incorporate these pieces into the new design theme and concept. Most good designers will provide design solutions that include all the older items you want to retain. The designer you hire should be able to help you create your dream home, not theirs.

4. Alfresco and Garden Design

If you have alfresco spaces and a garden on your property, you probably want the design and theme of the indoor spaces to seamlessly flow into the outdoor areas as well. If you are getting these areas redesigned too, make sure you check with the designer that they're able to handle this aspect of the project.

While they may not be able to provide garden design plans, they should be able to work closely with your landscape designer or contractor to ensure that design cohesiveness is maintained in these spaces. These two professionals should be able to work in tandem to create a whole that looks very put-together and adds to the aesthetics and value of your property.

5. Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

Lighting is an inseparable aspect of interior and landscape design. Regardless of how stunningly a space has been designed, the only way to showcase its beauty in the evening and night time is to have the right type of lighting. Poorly-planned lighting features will only impact the beauty of the interiors of your home. If you like certain lighting elements such as chandeliers, you should run this by your designer.

Specialty lighting fixtures such as these don’t always fit into every interior design concept. If your designer suggests that fittings like a chandelier don’t fit in well with the overall décor and design they are recommending, you should have a candid discussion with them; let them know there are certain accent pieces you would like to include in your home space.

There will be times when you may have to compromise on design perfection to include items and décor you particularly like. A skilled, experienced and artistic interior designer will always understand this and ensure that your styling shines through even in the solutions they provide. Creating a comfortable and family-friendly home sometimes means you have to cut back on character and style.

6. Communication and Being In Sync Matters

Look for an interior designer who is willing to work with you on your ideas and one who you can sync with. After all, your interior designing project will run for a certain period of time and you need to ensure the person you hire is friendly, professional and competent enough to handle the work.

The person should be communicative and transparent in their dealings with you. They should be accommodative and willing to discuss things in detail to help ensure you have a home you would love to live in. If you feel comfortable while discussing designs and plans with the person and find that they are proactive in their approach, you can consider hiring the person.

Hiring the services of an interior decorator is an excellent choice, especially if you are short on time, or feel you need some creative and professional input for your project. Follow these pointers we just discussed to make sure you hire the right person - and enjoy your stunning new look home!