Let's assume you have already decided you need an interior designer.
Have you noticed how many names appear with"Mr. Google”?!
What’s most important? A nice website ? Good recommendations? Inexpensive price?
How can I be sure I picked the right person that will most benefit me and will not cause damage???
Let me tell you what I think:
1. Most Importantly– Bear in mind that you need to feel comfortable working with the designer. At this stage it makes no difference if they built 800 square meters villas or did work for all the neighbors, most importantly you need to feel a good vibe with the designer you selected. You are going to spend a lot of time with this person, on the phone, via emails, whatsapp, meetings and shopping. They will know things about you that even your closest friends never thought of asking. It is a long standing and intensive relationship and it is clear that you only do such a thing with someone you feel comfortable with!
2. Recommendations– Of course we will request recommendations but what do we want to hear? You want to hear the words: confidence, professionalism, know-how, sensitivity, understanding, fun! For example: We felt confident with the designer, we felt confident with the decisions we reached based on the designer’s recommendations. We knew we could count on him/her. We felt the designer had an abundance of professionalism and knew how to talk with the various professionals. We felt he/she was sensitive to our hesitations, our needs, our thoughts and even our extreme mood swings during construction. We felt that we were understood, that he/she flowed with us, we were being led. We feel that it is fun to live in our home! It is fun to invite people over to our home!
3. View previous work– What are you going to find? You are going to find a home its owner thinks is beautiful. But do you think the same? Not necessarily. Is it your dream home? Definitely not! So why look? Check if you feel comfortable in this home even if it isn't your taste. Is the design dramatic or functional? Is it a home to live in or just one to fit the magazines? Do details integrate and dovetail? Was attention given to the smallest of details?
Here's one funny story: I came to a meeting with new clients whom I've never met before but who've visited the home of a client of mine. I knocked on the door and when she opened she said, "I knew you will be just on time!" "Haa?!?" I said, "But you don't even know me!" "True, but I've seen the home you designed and everything is so precise that it was clear to me that you are a very pedant person in every aspect of your life."
Buy the way, I will save you time and effort: it is enough viewing pictures of projects to get that same sense.
4. Qualifications– Did you know that in order to be an architect you need the proper certificate (and of course you need to check that your architect actually has one), but to be an interior designer all you need is a nice sign on your front door? Sounds unreal? Well yes, but that's reality. Would you take your son to be operated by a physician, talented as he might be, that did not graduate from medical school? Most probably not. Same in this case, your interior designer must be educated. Checkout what training he or she has (just as a course in PowerPoint doesn't make you into a profound lecturer, a course in AutoCAD doesn't make you a qualified designer). Search for a designer that brings with her diverse education – interior design requires many view points on life. Be aware that this is a dynamic and developing field. You need a designer who still invests great effort in studying and learning even after 20 years of experience.
5. By the way, if we are talking about experience – How many years of experience does your designer have? And what type of experience? You were give his or her name and told "…they are super talented. They did the bla-bla chain of stores and the Prime Minister's home", etc. But, is that what you are looking for? Don't fall for the size or name, check if the designer's experience is relevant to your needs. If you have a small apartment, who cares if the designer did huge villas? And what about designers who are just starting out as professionals? We know that every designer started somewhere? There are many talented, beginner designers with great motivation. You might be going for your lifetime deal or lifetime mistake. How do you know? Make sure your designer apprenticed before taking upon herself responsibility for your project. In other words, that he or she worked under an experienced designer for at least one year, or is accompanied or mentored by a senior designer in his or her current projects. This gives them the required experience and indicates that your designer is aware of the responsibility. One who comes out of school and starts with their own private projects is not courageous but rater neglectful. Your lives depend on them and they must be aware of this responsibility.
6. Flexibility– Flexibility in thinking enables creation. Flexibility in working enables to fit the process to your needs. It is extremely important to work with someone flexible that allows you to express yourself and contradict yourself after. One that doesn't totally deny ideas just because they are not common. One who lets you to make mistakes and allows you to make changes without letting you feel bad about it! A good designer is a genuine companion ¬– one who cares about your home as if it is theirs (and from my experience, even more than if it was her own). Look for that person, find him and you are set. Even if they are more expensive than others, think about the time and money you will invest in this project and you will understand that you want it to come out just right.
7. And now to the part everyone wants to know– The price. Of course we prefer to pay the least, correct? We would prefer to have more to spend on a larger kitchen or more expensive tiles. Design is not a tangible product and therefore, we find it difficult to pay for. But if we stop for a second we would understand that its value is greater than all other purchases we will make. Proper and correct design will lead us to good purchases, increase the value of our purchases and save on unnecessary expenses caused by mistakes and lack of experience. So how much should we pay? Check out carefully what you get from your designer. For complete planning and design it is reasonable to pay 5%-10% of the cost of construction or renovations. This ratio varies from small to large projects. If it is a smaller job such as just a living room or kitchen renovation, then it will be something around 10%-20% of the cost of the project. If you are offered a low price, don't just jump on it! Check what you receive. No one is a sucker, and if he is one, then he is probably frustrated. You don't need this in your home …
There are many good designers who create wonders.
I hope my tips will help you find the one most suitable for you!
Creating spaces people want to live in