What to Know Before Hiring an Interior Designer or Home Decorator

May 10, 2017by Kimberly Foerst
If you love the idea of a well decorated home but lack the creativity or the eye for interior design, you would probably benefit from hiring a professional. This could be a home staging professional, interior designer or a professional home decorator.

Blue prints, planning

Before you hire anyone to tackle your project, here are five things you should know.
1. Calculate your budget. First and foremost, it is important to determine what you can realistically afford for your project and to be up front with whomever you hire. It’s also important to understand what could fit within that budget. You shouldn’t expect to get the nicest chandelier on a minimum budget. Tip: Leave a cushion of about $200 to $500 for unexpected additional expenses.
Also, while there is a cost for using a professional, oftentimes this can be offset if they can get professional discounts and pass them on for more expensive items like furniture, rugs and carpeting, window treatments, etc.
2. Know your style and how to communicate that. Talk to your interior designer about the styles that you prefer. The professional should help you communicate by asking direct questions, such as “What is it about that design style that you particularly like?” Be prepared with pictures of designs you love from magazines or from social media sites like Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram.

interior design

3. Does your professional have appropriate experience? Don’t be afraid to ask anyone you interview to see their work. Specifically, ask to see work he or she has done with a similar budget. This will make sure that you have a total understanding of what your budget will cover. Ask to see work that fits the same design style you are requesting as well. A professional who is just starting out may not have as large of a portfolio, but should at least be able to show sketches or school projects.
4. Determine a timeline. Work with the professional to come up with a timeline that works for both of you. You may want it done in just a few days, but keep in mind that your decorator will have to make a plan, as well as find and order furniture, paint, accents, home textiles and more. Then, add a few days for any structural work, spackling, sanding, painting and laying flooring or new carpeting. It’s not as quick and simple as taking down your old curtains and putting up new ones.

designed bathroom

5. You get what you pay for. If you choose to hire the professional whose estimate comes in significantly lower than anyone else’s, you risk getting someone who will not give you a personalized experience or who is unwilling to go above and beyond for your project. We don’t suggest basing your decision based on price alone, but if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Before you hire a professional to decorate your home, be sure that you have made your end goal very clear and that you have done your due diligence in searching out someone who is qualified and able to give you your dream design within the set timeline and budget.

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