You Can Now Decorate Your Home Using An Online Interior Designer

The new thing in home decorating and designing is taking it to the internet! That’s right, e-decorating, room-design online or virtual-room design, no matter the name, the results are the same. You can get your master bedroom or the whole house, redecorated online now!

Maybe because of the DIY spin on things from magazines and television shows, this new craze of online interior decorating has become the hot new trend. With the ability to order what you need online for that new swanky bedroom or handsome study, why not employ an online interior decorator too?

Doesn’t that lose some of its appeal though? Surely you’re lacking that one-on-one, personal touch? Perhaps; but this is the way the world has gone, with everything from buying groceries to changing your driver’s license. There are advantages to online interior decorating too:

Budget and Style
In person or online, the designer can still provide a consultation. It becomes less expensive for both the customer and the designer as the travel-cost and time is eliminated. The more costs you can eliminate, the easier on the budget.

Skype has brought a whole new visual element to us and interior designers now consider this and the web-cam as their tools-of-trade.

Inventory, Measuring and Photography
Gone are the days of the interior designer having to be there in person to take measurements and photos. Your advisor will guide you on how to measure for curtains, paint, wallpaper and more, again via the web-cam and Skype.

Customers can send photos of the room, along with the measurements via email, and the interior designer comes back with further questions and even orders the items needed for direct delivery to the customer.

Concept of Design
Nothing has changed here. Whether in person or online, your professional designer will still talk with you, look through the photos you send and pull together the concept you are looking for.

By guiding customers through the process of measuring rooms and space, they will share websites with the customer to view color palettes and product recommendations instead of doing so in person.

Buying and Installing
Where the on-site interior designer will implement and coordinate buying and installing the items needed for your remodeling or renovation, they are often using sources that aren’t available to the public.

The online designer has two options; firstly, they make all the purchases themselves, have it delivered direct and arrange any contractor needed for the installation, or secondly, they will guide the customer through the process of buying products more cheaply from online-retailers leaving the customer to employ their own contractors.

Time Whilst the online architect puts the job in motion by making the purchases and setting up the installation process, the time frame is left in the customer’s hands. They can set their own pace in setting up the installation schedule that best suits their budget and time-frame.

Pricing
Customers could expect to pay an upfront retainer fee if they employ the services of an on-site interior architect, plus either an hourly or flat rate and the total cost can be prohibitive.
An online interior designer normally has a flat rate fee and is much less expensive.

For the person who desires the designer feel and look in their home or office but doesn’t have an open-ended budget, the online interior designer is the way to go. The customer may have to do some of the legwork themselves, but they’ll be getting the same experienced guidance that they would with an on-site professional.

Finding a Good Interior Designer

Finding a good interior designer is just as critical to the success of a property renovation project as the quality of the tradesman that complete the various construction works. Should you decide to work with one, the designer would provide a great deal of experience in space planning and product knowledge to your renovation.

At this stage you might be wondering how to go about finding a good interior designer. The best way is always through friends or referrals. Speak to your friends and neighbours to see if any of them have employed an interior designer recently, and ask if they would recommend using the company. Alternatively, since many companies now have web presence, an online search should bring up a variety of interior designers in your area. Many will offer a no obligation consultation to discuss your needs and visions for your project; this is a great way to decide which designer you feel most comfortable with – you should be looking for a designer that has a lot of experience and would guide you through the various processes instead of telling you what to do. This way, you ensure the end result is personalised to your requirements.

Other methods of finding a designer include visiting model homes in the area and obtaining referrals, or asking for suggestions from local building companies. In addition, many furniture retailers provide interior design referrals.

Several interior designers should be interviewed before making your final decision. Make certain you ask for information of their recent projects, and check which trade organisations they are affiliated with. It is important to develop a good relationship with whoever you choose to help with your property renovation as this will make it easier to articulate your needs and desires for your project. A great way of discussing your style with the designer is to find photographs of furniture and installations that appeal to you.

It is important to understand that a good interior designer will have a lot of experience in product specifications and space planning, and it is always beneficial to listen to every suggestion they make and then form your own opinion on the matter. In the end, it is important to feel like both you and the designer are working toward a common goal, which should feature your satisfaction at the top of the list.

Ideally, the design company you choose should have many years experience working with builders, distributers, and other product suppliers. This should both ensure that your renovation is completed to a high standard and that you benefit from the trade prices offered by all major distributers to those in the construction industry. The interior designer should be able to take you to showrooms and fabric stores when necessary, and to share with you their experience in products, fabrics, appliances, furniture, and other equipment.

Choosing the right interior design consultant will ensure that you will love the results of your home improvement project for many years to come. In addition, should you move house, your renovation should be reflected in a much increased home sale price.

Making The Most Of Your Smart Decision To Hire An Interior Designer

So you’ve decided to hire an Interior Designer–good move! Now what? Before you start planning your “reveal” party, you’ll need a basic understanding about the process to ensure that you get the most design for your dollar and that you have a fun and fabulous experience, no matter what type of project is ahead of you.

You’ll need to learn the basics of choosing the right design professionals, establishing a budget, outlining the details of the contract, considering your lifestyle and communicating your challenges.

Choosing the Right Designer: Beyond the Portfolio

Professionally trained Interior Designers have undergone extensive training in the various elements of modern and historical design, art and architecture. They have a basic foundation of knowledge that allows them to develop concepts in a variety of styles that range from traditional, contemporary, art deco, eclectic–or a combination of several styles.

That being said, not every designer’s talent is right for every project. For yours, you’ll want to choose someone whose portfolio “speaks” to you in a positive way. As with every profession, designers tend to develop personal styles that carry over into their projects. It could be the sense of clarity and order you see in the furniture arrangements, or maybe it’s a color palette that’s used in a unique way. It could be the modern touches worked seamlessly into a roomful of antiques, or the interesting textures of the fabrics.

Referrals are the best way to find a designer, so if the home of a friend or colleague appeals to you, by all means ask them for the designer’s number! You can also visit Web sites to get a better feel for the designer’s talent and personal style. Expect to spend a bit of time on the phone discussing your project with the designer and/or completing a questionnaire that will give them a better feel for your tastes and your project prior to the kickoff meeting.

You’re looking for someone you instantly trust and respect, who communicates excitement about your project, no matter how big or small, and who trusts and respects you as well. After all, this person is transforming your most sacred and cherished space!

Establishing a Realistic Budget

Everyone has a budget, so don’t feel bad about setting yours in stone…or tile, or brick. No matter what the amount, your designer should help you get the best value and the highest quality possible. Be wary of anyone that summarily dismisses your grand ideas based on budget alone: A first-rate designer will work hard to achieve your key design goals, perhaps by spreading the job out over time or suggesting alternative solutions for your project.

A great benefit of using a professional designer is that she has access to materials unavailable to the general public, so no matter what your budget, your home will feel unique and very “you.”

Your designer will also manage the entire process, whether it involves space planning, lighting design, purchasing, ordering, selecting finishes or monitoring the construction and installation of the project elements.

Outlining Terms of the Contract

Make sure you read and sign an official contract before any money exchanges hands or work begins. In addition to the legal aspects, a contract summarizes the plans you’ve been discussing such as your budget, design fees, accountability regarding subcontractors (painters, carpet layers, etc.).

You’ve selected the designers and signed the contract – now comes the fun part!

Considering Your Lifestyle

Your home environment should complement and support the way you and your family really live – or really want to live. For example, if you’re starting a home-based business, you might turn your cluttered garage into a functional office. If your spouse loves to cook, you might knock down a wall so the under-used formal dining room becomes part of the kitchen. Many families make the mistake of letting the layout of the home dictate their activities vs. reorganizing the space to embrace their lifestyles.

To ensure that your designer understands how you live now and how you want to live, share as many details with her as you can. Also share your personal tastes so she can incorporate them into the designs. If you hate plaid, tell her now, before she gets too deep into the first draft.

To help you better prepare yourself, answer these questions before you have your first meeting with the designer:

  • Are you a creative person? In what ways does your home limit your creativity or your hobbies?
  • Do you like the present color palette? Does it need updating?
  • Are they any rooms that feel cramped or stuffy? Any rooms that feel empty, cold or unwelcoming?
  • Is adequate, well-organized storage a problem? Can you find things when you need them?
  • Are your bathrooms functional, pleasing spaces? Do you or family members have special needs (e.g. grab bars, easy-entrance shower stalls, etc.)?
  • As you walk through your rooms, jot down your favorite qualities about each. Do you like the proportions? Is there adequate ventilation and lighting throughout your house?
  • Are there any rooms that you don’t use regularly? Could any of these rooms be used for more than one function? Could any of these rooms be used for a completely different function?
  • Does your home balance open space and private areas?
  • Does the entryway do its job of setting the stage for the rest of your home by welcoming guests and making a statement about the people who live there? If you normally come into your home through the garage, does that area welcome you?

Focus on Your Challenges

A designer works best when you share your “wish list,” express your ideas, and then keep an open mind. That means communicating how you want to live in the space and then entrusting the designer to make it happen. After all, you hired this person for her experience, talent and vision!

For example, one homeowner hired a designer to help her reorganize her tiny office so she could be more productive. Instead, the designer suggested that she move her entire operation downstairs, into the den she used once every two months to watch movies. She did, tripling her space and doubling her productivity in just three months.

Contrary to TV, where designers admonish clients for questioning their plans, real-life designers understand that you’re the person who ultimately needs to love the space. They want you to be happy and want you to give your input so you’re absolutely thrilled with the results (and so you’ll recommend them to your friends)! That’s why they do so much probing upfront about your tastes and how you live, then incrementally present their ideas throughout the process.

Hiring a designer is like giving a gift to yourself! You made the smart decision to hire an Interior Designer, you’ve been smart about the planning process, and now you can rest assured that the time, money and energy you spend returns truly smart, stunning results!