You’ve saved your money, you’ve bought and looked through enough magazines to start your own newsstand and NOW you’re ready!! NOW WHAT?? Don’t start pulling your hair out, it’s not as scary as it may seem at first! In the 25+ years I have been a practicing interior designer, one common thing I hear from clients is that they don’t know exactly what they want, or like. However, most people DO know what they DON’T like! To help our unsure clients define their taste, we go through photos of different styles of decor. We ask them to tell us what they DON’T like about each picture. The basis of this process is simple; while we may not be able to define what we DO like, most of us know what we don’t like. By examining these pictures, we can, by process of elimination, help our clients determine what style they DO like!
NOW…the next big question, how do I get my space to reflect my style? Do I make purchases in the hopes that my look will be complete when I’m finished? When do I start construction? OR, do I hire a designer? These are questions you should ask BEFORE you make any final decisions! In order to ensure a positive outcome, it is a good idea to hire a design professional who will develope a ‘design concept’ for your project, providing you with a clear picture of what your project will look like after completion.
Designer/Decorator, what’s the difference?
• A designer is conceptual and can see your project 'complete' before you begin! They can easily work from blueprints, perform spacial planning, have a strong understanding of architecture, floor/furniture planning, lighting, color, flow and style as well as all other aspects of delivering a fantastic finished space. A designer is familiar with construction and code, helping the client to determine what is realistically possible. A good designer will teach you, helping you understand these concepts so you are an integral part of the process. This is very important, as designing and/or decorating your home is an investment you will live with for many years. A good designer is a valuable asset for any project, whether it's color for one room or pre-construction and building of an entire house.
• A decorator will help you replicate the look of something you have already seen, as opposed to conceptualizing an individual look and function for your space, home or work. They assist with color selections, window treatments as well as fabric and furniture selection. Both decorators and designers should teach their clients about fabric, durability, functionality as well as helping the client make choices that are pleasing to the eye.
One of the reasons you hire a professional is to preclude your making mistakes. Regarding fees, it's the same as with most things: you get what you pay for. Fees and packages vary from firm to firm, be sure to request an estimate from the designer.
Questions to ask before hiring a designer or decorator:
• Do you have a portfolio of your work?
• Do you have references?
• What is your consultation fee? ('free' consultations are usually sales pitches in disguise)
• What is your fee structure?
• Do you have a broad range of design capability and experience?