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How to Hire and Work With an Interior Designer

img_2507_f-1.jpgMany homeowners are turning to professional help when it comes to creating homes that reflect their own tastes and comforts. In fact, a growing number of them are finding that interior design can be a smart investment, particularly when they are looking to create an environment and select furnishings that will reflect their individual lifestyle. Interior designers are trained in the aesthetic and functional elements of designing spaces and are experienced at creatively resolving issues that lead to practical and beautiful interiors. As professionals, interior designers have access to design centers and showrooms that sell the highest-quality, customizable furniture, fabrics and designs.

In order to find an interior designer, ask friends for referrals of designers they have worked with on successful projects and check local resources to provide referrals. Browsing the websites of local designers can also help narrow the search. Once you have found designers you are interested in interviewing contact them and set up a time to meet. Before the Interviews, prepare notes about your goals for your space. Take some time to think about the space and the end result you desire. What activities will take place in the space? What image are you looking to create? For whom is the space being designed? Do you want to keep the space “as is” or do you plan to remodel? Start a file of visual images from magazines, books and photographs that reflect your aesthetic and functional needs.

Stock-pillows-1During the interview, ask the designer about his or her educational background, professional credentials and licensing. Request a review of their portfolio to see samples of previous work and ask for referrals you can contact. Ask about other services and established relationships the designer can offer such as referrals to painters, custom drapery makers, carpenters, etc. Discuss your anticipated time frame and budget and the designer’s availability during that time. Designers work with a variety of fee structures that are based on several variables such as the complexity of the job, its location and the designer. Discuss the fee structure used by each designer during their interview in order to find a structure that suits your needs. In the end choose the designer who has both the professional experience you are seeking and with whom you feel you can most easily develop a comfortable rapport.

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