How to Hire an Interior Designer
The world of interior design in Australia is slowly becoming de-mystified. More people are seeing the benefits a designer can provide, not just because of his or her trained eye, but in creating a home that's going to support your lifestyle, in a way you never could have imagined, with a lot less hassle than doing it yourself.
Although interior design is becoming more mainstream, I thought I'd provide some advice on getting from your "Dream Home" Pinterest board to engaging a designer and bringing it into reality!
Decide what you want
Figuring out what you want to accomplish is the most important step of beginning any project. But when hiring a designer, you don't have to be that specific (in my opinion). For example, I had some lovely clients who had recently moved into a much larger home and had a few rooms that they just didn't know what to do with. The brief was basically for me to make the best use of those rooms, given their lifestyle and preferences.
Other clients have been much more detailed in their requests to me, which is fine too. Point is -- have an idea of why you're hiring a designer in the first place.
Research potential designers
During this process, I'd recommend first speaking to any friends and family who've hired a designer. They'll be able to give you vital feedback about their experience with that designer, and how the designer works. This is important because there are varying levels of service designers provide -- some just help with finishes and furniture selections, others (like me) manage the entire process for you from hiring trades and builders, to purchasing furniture to getting curtains installed. You may not need this level of service so it's good to know what's out there.
Also try flicking through your favourite interiors and home magazines for styles you like. Often a designer's name will be attached to the images.
Meet the designers
For me, it is essential that my client and I get along really well, on a personal level. If you're taking the step of inviting someone to spend a lot of time in your home, you want to make sure you like them! It can be a long-term relationship and things are just so much better when you know that you can enjoy the process and also sort out any issues easily and peacefully. Importantly, the better a designer gets to know you and your family, the better they'll be able to design the space in the best way for you.
My recommendation would be to at least have a chat on the phone to the designers you're thinking about hiring. Better still would be to get the designers to come and do a consultation in your home. At this stage I would also ask the designers to break down the process they'll take to complete your project and whether they have a contract. Also make it clear about any furniture or architectural features you want to keep and change. Although most designers charge for this initial consult, it's worth getting it right as it can be a costly mistake when it's wrong!
By this stage you should be pretty excited! Following meeting the designers, you should be able to decide who the most suitable designer for you and your project is. Once the contract is signed, and expectations have been set on both sides, you can rest assured that the spaces you dreamed of on Pinterest and Instagram are on their way to fruition, and in the hands of an experienced design professional.
If you'd like to find out if we'd be a good match for you and your project, we'd love to hear from you.