Details, Details: Finding Your Perfect Interior Designer

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When you think about redecorating a space in your house, what do you think is most important? Room color, textile patterns, flooring materials? For most of us, these are the most significant aspects of the design space.

An interior designer is an essential part of any process when it comes to changing the look inside your home. While these experts have a specialized eye for style and design, they offer so much more value by way of ensuring that your home has efficient and harmonious flow, eye-catching architectural details and plenty of personality.

When you’re spending the time and money to upgrade a room or space in the house, leave the details to the experts. Working with an interior designer is worth its weight in gold when you see the final product. However, there are some tips to keep in mind throughout the entire process to ensure you find an interior designer who matches your aesthetic and budget. Here are some crucial considerations to make before hiring an interior designer.

Do they match your aesthetic?
When you look around your space, there are plenty of aspects that reflect your personal style or lifestyle, whether that means needing ample flow because you entertain frequently or wanting a cozy and welcoming space for family movie night. Not only does the interior designer need to complement your design aesthetic, but they must also take into consideration your lifestyle when planning a room or space. Even minute details such as where electrical outlets are placed can be a very important aspect of interior design. Some designers can easily switch between design styles effortlessly, but they have a signature touch in many of their projects. Look for an interior designer who matches your personal style. If you’re looking for cabin-chic interior design, hiring someone who specializes in mid-century masterpieces is likely going to make it more difficult for both of you to reach agreement throughout the process.

Be willing to have an open mind.
While you likely know what you want in your space, you’re hiring an interior designer for their trained eye and expertise. They are very knowledgeable when it comes to creating flow and making sure each area of a room is fully utilized. Your interior designer could even have some amazing suggestions after seeing your space that you might not have thought of, which would help create a cohesive and welcoming space. The bottom line: know what you want, but be open to changes if it benefits your lifestyle and overall room design.

Be aware of the costs.
Depending on the interior designer you choose, rates might be factored a variety of ways. Some designers prefer to work via hourly rates and, depending on experience or demand, could charge anywhere from $50 to $500 an hour. Flat rates are also common for designers to charge on a per project basis. If this is the case, make sure you fully understand what is included in this fee.

Some interior designers also request a retainer fee before getting started, or they work on a cost-plus basis, which means they purchase everything at a discounted or wholesale rate and charge you the retail price. This might be best if you are simply re-doing the look of décor, but always make sure your interior designer is up front with all the costs to avoid any discrepancies or disagreements. This also goes for understanding what the project costs are and what you want done within a space. It’s important to create a realistic budget for your vision; a luxury kitchen redesign might end up costing thousands of dollars more than you anticipated, so it’s better to know at the front end rather than when you’re halfway through the demolition!

Don’t rush into hiring a designer.
Although you want to get on with the renovation and back to your daily routine, do your homework before you hire. When your collaboration is approached the right way, an interior designer can save you time, money and a lot of stress if you know and like who you are working with on the project.

One of the best ways to find an interior designer is to ask for referrals or check out some interior design magazines to see what type of work you like and then visit websites for location and rates. These online portfolios are essential to see if you like their work! The type of design you want for your space might also mean finding a designer who specializes in that area, such as full renovations, kitchen or bath redesign, or simply a little update to the textiles and furniture in a space.

Changing the look and feel of a space does wonders for breathing new energy into a house, and an interior designer is one key figure in bringing your vision to life! ■

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