Why Interior Designers Need Websites

Nearly half of U.S. small businesses have websites, according to USA Today. Even before the financial crisis, small businesses and solo professionals had begun turning to the Internet to reach a global audience and to better serve their customers right next door. Experts predict that companies without a web presence will be at a disadvantage as customers in all industries now expect an online site as part of doing business.

So why should an interior designer have a website? Here are five reasons why an online presence is well worth your time.

1. World-wide exposure. Too many designers never receive the recognition they deserve because their work doesn’t reach a wide enough audience to ignite fame. With a well-designed website, your portfolio can reach millions of people all around the world-potential clients, reporters, bloggers and corporate decision-makers. That can mean increased opportunities for projects, show houses, commercial bids and interviews.

2. Qualified, 24/7 referrals. Your website transcends time zones to work while you sleep. Today’s customers are more likely than ever before to bypass the media when looking for a solution and go straight to the Internet. If you’re relying on traditional media for articles and ads to reach clients, you’re missing out on an increasingly large share of the market that relies on web searches to find what they’re looking for. If you’re not on the web, they don’t even consider you.

3. Credibility. Americans now expect to find companies on the web. Companies that lack a web presence look less professional, more limited in scope, and less stable than those with good quality websites. Even if a prospect finds you through word of mouth, they may rethink their choice if they can’t find out more about you online.

4. Competitive advantage. Your website defines you. It provides a chance to see your portfolio, read about your recent projects, view or listen to client testimonials and celebrate your show homes or awards. Without a website, you lose the chance to define yourself, and others may not define your work or speak to your capabilities as well as you would.

5. Websites are a great venue for self-expression and creativity. Just as your workspace or your business card make a statement about you, your website can make a striking visual impression on prospects. Through the design of your site, you can showcase your personality. Visitors will know right away whether you are bold or restrained, modern or traditional. A website can express who you are as a designer and allows potential clients to see what you have to offer them. With web audio and video, you can showcase your talent in whole new ways with plenty of drama and panache.

Interior designers with websites have a big advantage over those who don’t. We live in a visual world, so the more visual a website is, the better you can communicate your talents and ideas. Today it’s surprisingly affordable to build a great website. You’ll find other cost savings to having a website, including reduced costs for printing and mailing, since you can refer prospects to pictures on your site rather than having to reproduce and distribute these individually. Even better, the information on your website is easy to update, so if you change your phone number, your address or other details you don’t have to scrap a box of expensive brochures that are now out of date.

A website is living; it is constantly being viewed and can change with your needs. So let the world see through your eyes. Share your creativity and design-driven thoughts with the world. A great website will help you achieve things paper will never be able to do.

Selecting a Good Interior Design Consultant

A good interior design consultant is as important to a remodeling project as a builder is to a new home construction. If you decide to work with one, they should bring a wealth of experience and product knowledge to the table to help you with your remodeling or new home construction project.

Hiring a good designer

Good interior design consultants are more like good therapists. They don’t tell you what to do, rather they guide you through a process of selecting options that best suite your style and provides the best outcome. So how do you find a good interior design consultant? Well, the best way is through word of mouth and referrals. Talk to your friends to see if any of them recently used an interior design specialist and if they were happy with the results. Interior designer web sites can be helpful, but also visit local builders and model homes to obtain referrals. Another great source for referrals can be your local furniture store. Many can provide interior design referrals or have local designers that moonlight in the store. Your local parade of homes or builder show rooms are also good sources.

First Impressions

You should interview a few interior design consultants before you make your final selection. Be sure to review pictures of their recent work. Ask for referrals and contact their clients to see if they were happy. It’s important that you develop a good relationship with the interior design consultant. You should feel comfortable discussing your budget and its important that you feel the designer is listening to you. You should be comfortable saying no. In the end, you need to feel like there was a common goal between you and the designer.

Experience Matters

The ideal interior design consultant will have many years of experience working with builders, vendors and other suppliers. They should have depth of experience in fabric, appliances, furniture and other accessories. After listening to your desires, they should be able to take you to the showrooms, fabric stores and other vendors that will supply you with the unique products that will develop your individual style.

Selecting the right Interior Design Consultant will help ensure that when the project is finished, you love the results.

Key Steps For Finding The Perfect Interior Designer

Making the decision to hire an interior designer can sometimes be a costly affair. That’s why it makes sense to take every precaution you can in selecting the right person. Below we’re going to cover some important action points to make this whole process easier.

These are the essential basics for finding top quality interior designers to work for you:

First of all, get clear on what you want. Before contacting anyone it’s a good idea to fully consider the work you want done. You want to get a very clear idea about the exact space you want designed and the kind of specific expertise required to get it done. At this stage you don’t have to have a full technicolor picture in your mind of the exact look – that’s largely the interior designer’s purpose. Just a broad notion of what you need will do, and the kind of budget you have available for it.

Afterward, you want to pile up the magazines, trawl through websites, and amass as many interior designers onto a list as you can. And remember to ask friends, family members, and neighbours for names too.

After you’ve collated this list, it’s time to whittle it down a bit. Go onto the internet and spend some time on each designer’s website (if they have one). Start to get a feel for the kind of work they do and where their expertise lies. And think how these tie in to your own project. Work on boiling down your list to about five interior designers who seem like the closest match.

A web site can only tell you so much. So the next key step is to call your number one choice and organize to meet them in person. Aim to do this at their office, and away from the space you want worked on. At this point you’re just looking to focus more on them than the exact details of your project.

This first meeting is the time to get references from them, ask to see examples of the projects they have worked on, and ask any burning questions you have on your mind. And only once this stage of the interview is over do you really want to start discussing your project and your budget for getting it done. Use this time to figure out if the two of you will get along as well.

If the first meeting went well, then great. You might be ready to have them view the space you want designed. If not, move on to the next on your list until you find one you like. Then invite them over to see the area for themselves.

The final stage here is to have this interior designer actually come to view the space you’d like them to work on. Again, make sure they’ve listened to your needs correctly, and have a very firm understanding of the budget you’ve set aside for the project. Assuming all is well, confirm a time for them start and let the work commence.

In essence, the most important points to consider when hiring interior designers are both skill sets and finding someone you can get along with. And of course, their fees will play their part as well, but don’t make this the only deciding factor.