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!

Web-based Interior Design – Is it Right For You?

You want a new look for your home. You’re pressed for time, and the idea of scheduling meetings with an interior designer feels like more than you want to take on right now. You’ve visited the stores, looked at hundreds of sofas. You have dozens of paint chips taped to your wall. You’ve moved your furniture around in every possible configuration, and something still is not right about the layout. You’ve talked with the design staff at the local furniture store, but don’t want to be obligated to buy something in that store, just to get their design advice. You love to shop online, you network online, why not get your interior design help online?

Many homeowners are turning to the internet to engage interior design services. Instead of amassing files of clipped photos and magazine pages to share with your interior designer when you meet again in a week or two, internet links and photos can be shared instantly online. Now the design process is truly collaborative! Interior designers are finding that more and more of their client interactions have moved to emailing, and sourcing products online, so the move into virtual interior design services is a natural one for many design professionals.

Which services are right for web-based interior design?

Design concept – An web-based designer can work with you to develop an overall concept for your rooms. Working from your preferences, photographs, and the exchange of ideas, a virtual design board can be customized for you. A detailed shopping list is the companion to the design board so that you can shop at your own convenience, armed with information.

Furniture layout – An experienced designer can present you with a detailed layout for each room. The layout should include measurements for all furniture already in place, furniture you’ll need to purchase, and source links for items needed.. The layout should be easy to understand, and address the functions of the room.

Color schemes – While it would seem difficult to provide color assistance via the internet, without your designer seeing the colors in your space, wonderful color schemes can be easily created for your by your virtual designer. The most successful color consultations take the homeowner’s own preferences into account when selecting a final palette. A virtual design can provide you with a basic palette, with one or two alternatives, so that you can choose one that works best in your space, and feel confident that the scheme is just right.

Accessorizing – A web-based interior designer has access to thousands of items to accessorize your home. As interior designers, we view hundreds of decor options weekly, so that you don’t have to. Virtual designers can provide you with photos and purchase information for the perfect accessories to tie your interior design together.

Real Estate staging – A web-based interior designer can work from your photos to create a game plan to get your house sale-ready. Because 80% of homebuyers first find their home online, the concept of working from photos on the internet makes perfect sense.

Web-based interior design is perfect for anyone ready to make a change in their home. Busy people appreciate the convenience of working with a designer without having to work around a typical office schedule, and tech types love the way they can collaborate online. If you’re ready to try a new approach to a beautiful home, then web-based interior design is right for you.

Latest Interior Design Trends to Beautify Your House

Living in a beautiful house is a dream many of us cherish for long. However, only a few among us take steps in the right direction and realize the goal of beautifying the home. Those who do look for latest interior design trends so that the spaces can start looking charming and inspired corners are transformed completely. Such home owners want neighbors and relatives to take note of the interior designing work and thus, search for ideas in magazines, on the web and on TV etc. They also make sure the interior design trends fit well into the trends of the modern times and meet societal ethos.

Let’s look at some of features of latest interior design trends –

Latest trend don’t fade out soon

Latest trends in interior designing won’t change soon as they’re quite unlike those in the fashion and tech industries. Rather, they stay in there and gradually get to people and grow on people across societies. They will be in vogue for years and you can find houses accepting them and assimilating their virtues in a slow manner.

They blend traditional and modern ideas together

Latest interior design trends are not any unique discovery or concept; rather, they are a coming together of the merits of the traditional and modern ideas. For example, the use of wooden materials is growing across modern structures and it’s like going back to the classical touch. And home owners now prefer small yet cozy spaces which was norm during the 60s and 70s.

Greater use of natural materials and colors

It’s true that home owners today do a greater use of natural materials and colors in beautifying the interiors of their house. In fact, hand-crafted items are also a fad these days among people aspiring for beautiful home interiors. Similarly, the use of modern geometry and colorful texture is on the up in interior designing. Not to forger, the use of glass or other see-through objectives is rising up steadily for transforming the interiors.

A touch of nature in design

Calm and cosy atmosphere is the latest desire for home owners when they design the interiors of the house. They want the spaces to get a cleaner and greener look at the cost of flashy ornamentation and gaudy enhancements. Using greener and natural materials or options to bring in a touch of nature is surely the latest trend with interior designing. This is why wood and green carpets are used more these days in interiors.

Hand-crafted items more in demand

Let’s admit it straightway – people want classy look and feel. They can vintage furniture and accessories, preferably hand-crafted ones to grace the interiors. The focus is to lend the interior a dash of artistic craftsmanship through the use of items hand-crafted with perfection. So, you can feel the difference with the way customized furniture are used these days.

More natural light, less dark shades

As per latest interior design trends, the focus is shifted to more natural lights and less dark shades. So, only those objects and materials are used that bring in more light and take out dark shades. Similarly, home owners today prefer bold patterns, objects with smooth edges, accessories with soft edges and bright primary colors.