When approaching an interior design project there are a few important things to consider before you get straight into it. The most important question obviously is, do you need to hire an interior designer? And the answer to that question is, yes you do.Maybe not for full project management but definitely for a design consultation, to bounce ideas off each other and for a bit of guidance from a professional.
So once you have decided on bringing a designer in on your project, there is a few things you need to consider before getting to the hiring stage. There are 5 important factors that I would advice everyone to make concrete decisions on prior to meeting with a designer. This will give you an element of control over your project and will ensure that you communicate the correct information to your designer. Designers love a prepared client, a client who has planned the project out in terms of budget and timescale helps makes the design process run smoothly.
This is the single most important factor to consider before starting any design project. Always sit down either by yourself or with your partner and agree on a budget before bringing a designer into the room. Always think about how much you can actually spend and not how much you would like to spend. I know it might sounds a bit difficult to do this, because how can you possibly know how much your designer is going to spend on your room? An experienced and skilled interior designer will always be able to work within your budget. We know how to make your dream come to life all within the budget you give us. Always remember that. A good designer will stick to your budget and will never make you go over it without a valid reason.
One other piece of advice I offer to clients is to always have an amount of money ready as contingency for hidden surprises that might come up during the project. Accidentally drilling through a water pipe or hidden delivery charges can all come with hefty bills. The general rule of thumb that I apply for clients who have no contingency within their budget, is to deduce 10% of their budget and set it aside. If, after all the major building work has been done, that 10% or some of it still remains then it get pumped back into the project and can go towards accessories and more.
Timing is a big one. Always take into consideration the scale of your project and how long you would ideally like for it to take to be fully complete. And more importantly how far into the future are you anticipating that your project will begin. Once you have your time scale figured out the next question to consider is how long do you want your interior designer to work for you. This is important because some designers have one set price for a project and some have fixed rates for each week or month they are on the project. This is something to definitely take into consideration when picking a designer, especially if you want keep within the budget.
Some clients like to start on a blank canvas when it comes to design styles. Some prefer the designer to point them into the direction of a design style. I personally love it when clients have their own design style figured out. Try to research a little into what your personal tastes are and what your preferred design style is. Do you want this room to follow the style of other rooms in your home or is this room the first step into a complete design style overhaul? Always look into colours and have a shortlist of colours that. you would like to explore more.
Type Of Designer
The next thing you need to consider is what kind of interior designer you would like and what kind of service are you after. You have an option of picking an in house interior designer or an online interior designer, the latter offers a virtual design service. Again your budget will be a factor which will influence this decision.
Some designers, like myself, offer a variety of different design packages to cater to your very specific needs. It all comes down to how involved you want your designer to be in the project. Would you like someone to offer just the design service, or someone who has mid level management over the project, or someone who offers full all inclusive project management service.
This last one is the fun one, the one everyone loves doing. And that is to collect as much inspiration as you can. This one links back to figuring out your design style. Keep a log of all the rooms and interiors that fit into your vision. A Pinterest board is the perfect way to do this and you can share your board with your designer very easily and they can add to it as well. Having some inspiration on hand with you during your meeting with your designer can help you communicate your ideas and vision to your designer clearly and efficiently.
Like with all projects, an interior design project requires a lot of planning and a lot of work. A few little steps like the ones above can really make your project get off the ground running. By all having all this information ready for your designer, you are cutting down time and getting to the design process a lot quicker.
If you do not know if you should hire an interior designer or not, then check out my previous article, 5 Reasons Why You Need An Interior Designer. That should help you make up your mind. For more information and details on the design packages I offer please check out S&F Interiors.