Should You Hire an Interior Designer?

Home, Home & Family
on February 28, 2015
Dreaming and planning the future

Hiring an interior designer not only can be fun, it also can give you a professional end result that you will love. If you’re spending the money to redecorate or build, the advice of those in the know will help you use your money wisely. Be sure to hire a designer with a good reputation, client-oriented service and an aesthetic that you admire. The best way to learn how to hire an interior designer is to get a list of candidates and ask questions.

Are you licensed? Interior designers are responsible for planning the space and furnishing the interiors of homes, buildings and commercial space. Because of this responsibility, interior designers should be licensed in the state that they work. Professional societies also exist for interior designers and consumers that can provide you with useful information, including referrals. The American Society of Interior Designers and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification will have further information.

Do you have references? The No. 1 question to ask up front is about client references. Get a list of clients that the interior designer has worked with in the past. Call those numbers, and ask the references about their experience working with the designer. If possible, visit the job and see the work for yourself, or ask for photographs of the project.

How do you bill? All designers are a little bit different in their billing policies. Some designers will bill on a per-project basis, while others will issue an hourly rate, according to Fox Business. Some designers will ask for a retainer fee that could be a substantial portion of your overall fee. If your designer is doing the material and furnishing purchases, you should note that you would be required to front the money for these purchases. Very few designers will buy things for your project with their own cash.

Do you work in my budget and project scale? Some designers are boutique interior design professionals that work on small projects frequently while others are only big project designers that work with builders, architects and high-end clients. If your project is small, an interior designer that works with large projects typically may be less inclined to put your project at the top of his or her priority list. Conversely, if the designer is more comfortable with small jobs of a room at a time, a large job may overwhelm the designer’s resources and cause you problems. Before you discuss your project, find out what the interior designer in question is comfortable with.

Do you have contractor relationships? A designer with good contractor relationships is a gem. As a single job, your powers of persuasion are less than those of a designer who can potentially offer the contractor years of work. Find a designer who has a close working relationship with the types of contractors you will require.

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