When it’s time to turn your dream home into reality, an interior designer can help bring your vision to life. With the guidance of a professional, you can create a home that reflects your personality and showcases your unique style, all while keeping your home’s layout as functional as possible. But remember, finding the right professional to take on your project can make all the difference in the quality of the results. That’s why it is so important to vet candidates properly before hiring.
So, how can you tell if an interior designer is a right fit for your project needs? Some key things to look for when hiring a designer include experience, personal style, access to quality materials, and previous client reviews. Let’s dive into more detail below!
#1 Experience and Knowledge
While some states require interior designers to obtain certification or licensing, most states allow designers to practice unregulated; this means that almost anyone can call themselves an interior designer whether or not they have formal training or schooling. For this reason, it can be challenging to determine whether or not an interior designer possesses adequate knowledge and experience in their field before sitting down for a consultation.
During an initial consultation, you have the opportunity to share details of your project and ask questions. For example, asking your interior designer if they have ever attended a formal design school or worked as part of a more prominent design firm may be worthwhile. Additionally, it’s wise to ask for details or portfolios on projects they have completed similar to yours.
If your interior design project requires any special considerations–such as a preference for sustainable materials or the need for wheelchair accessibility–the initial consultation with a designer is the perfect chance to find out whether or not they have experience in these specialized practices. Speaking with an interior designer also lets you get more familiar with their design aesthetic and how it compares to your style.
#2 Design Style
Over years of practice, most interior designers develop a unique, signature aesthetic. Understanding how interior designers naturally express themselves can ensure you hire someone capable of recreating the look and feel you want for your home.
In addition to having a signature look, some interior designers are more comfortable working with some aesthetics more so than others. For example, someone who can create elegant modern, and contemporary interior designs may not feel confident putting together a neo-Gothic or traditional style home. Therefore, expressing what you want concerning style is essential during your initial consultation. It can be helpful to bring pictures of aesthetics you do and do not like to show your desired outcome.
#3 Reseller’s Permit
One of the main benefits of working with an interior designer is the trade discount they can pass on to clients when purchasing furniture and decor. If you plan on putting designer furniture in your home interior design, you’ll want to be sure that the interior designer you work with has a valid reseller’s permit. This permit allows them to buy furniture for your home at a discounted price, saving you a good deal of money overall.
With their reseller’s permit, interior designers can access some of the best quality and most unique furniture and decor pieces that laymen outside the industry cannot obtain. In addition, you may ask your designer which furniture and decor lines they have worked with to learn more about the brands and designers with whom they have already established connections.
#4 Client Reviews
Reading the reviews of past clients is one way to learn more about an interior designer’s potential strengths and weaknesses. You can find these reviews and testimonials on your designer’s website or third-party websites. Remember that testimonials featured on the designer’s homepage have likely been curated to show the most positive feedback. In contrast, third-party reviews may provide a well-rounded sampling of opinions.
While clients are typically motivated to leave reviews after negative experiences, those who have been successfully satisfied or continued working with a designer may not take the time to publish their experience. For this reason, it is essential to take the information learned from reading reviews with a grain of salt.
If you have difficulty locating reviews of a particular interior designer’s work, consider asking them during a consultation if it would be possible to get some references from them. In some cases, designers may be able to provide the phone numbers or email addresses of previous clients who can speak on their behalf. You can ask these clients about the designer’s professionalism, work habits, general availability, ability to stay within a budget, and more.
For designers who have not completed many projects, you may be able to speak to a previous employer in the industry or professors from their design school who know about the interior designer’s work ethic and capabilities.
#5 Contract Structure
Before hiring an interior designer, review their contract in depth. An interior designer’s contract reveals all of the terms and conditions under which they intend to complete your project, including how fees will be structured, when bills must be paid, and the extent of services they will provide you. No matter who you decide to hire for your interior design project, it is vital to obtain a contractual agreement to ensure that you both can agree on how their services will be provided. As with any legal agreement, if you have questions about an interior designer’s contract, ask them before deciding to sign it.
Start Designing the Home of Your Dreams
Hiring an interior designer can be a wise investment for your home, so spend time and effort evaluating each candidate before agreeing to hire someone! We hope you found this blog helpful, and if you are looking to redesign your home in the Charleston area, our team at The Anderson Studio is here to help. Find inspiration by viewing our portfolio. Or, contact our team today to start imagining your new exciting project.