Five Steps To Find The Perfect Interior Designer
After reading six reasons why you should hire an interior designer, you might be thinking about finding a designer that is suitable for you and your project. The designer you choose to work with should understand your tastes and preferences and know how to apply their expertise to your vision and make it a reality.
A good designer will listen to what you want and provide you with the best solution. So how do you choose which interior designer to hire? Here are five steps to finding the ideal designer for your Denver home remodel?
1. ASK AROUND
Ask friends and family who they’ve worked with and who they recommend. If you don’t have someone close to you with a good recommendation, you’ll often get one by asking your Realtor. The only downside of asking around is that people tend to give you a reference based on limited information. So, turning to the internet is the best way to see a wider spectrum of designers and styles.
2. HOUZZ DIRECTORY
Houzz is an online platform for interior designers, and their pro directory is a great place to look for talent. It’s a one-stop-shop to check the designer’s credentials (certifications. etc.), portfolio, their ideas, their work, and their ranking in comparison to other designers in your area. While browsing Houzz, you can compare portfolios, budgets, narrow your search to room types, and even find design inspiration if you don’t know where to start.
Denver’s Houzz pro directory can be found here.
Look at the designs and reviews of the top designers on this site. Once a few designers interest you, take your time to explore their portfolio. See if the designer’s work is versatile. A good designer can adapt their aesthetic to the needs of their clients. Consider what kind of color palettes they use, the textures and patterns they apply to the furniture, the fabrics they work with, can they help you select art? Think of all your needs and try to get a sense of which designer can best meet them.
3. REVIEWS AND REPUTATION
Online reviews are a great way to find out what other customers are saying about your potential designer. If you found your candidates on Houzz, you can always get additional customer feedback on Yelp or by googling the design studio’s name.
Try to find a designer whose clients have commended them for commitment, quality, and collaboration as these qualities are essential for getting your end product and ultimate satisfaction.
4. HAVE A CONVERSATION
After you’ve compared portfolios, read reviews, checked credentials, etc., you’re ready to talk to the designer. Before meeting the designer in person, schedule a call. It’s an effective way to gauge how you connect with the person. The first call is when you and your designer discuss your needs, share ideas, identify what you want to renovate (full home or partial remodel), and your budget. At the end of the conversation, if you feel the designer has understood what you want and can give it to you in the budget you have, set an in-person meeting, preferably in your space.
Make sure that there is a match in terms of the scope of the project. For example, we do work with clients in both decorating and remodeling, but many studios only focus on one of the two. Our decorating projects primarily focus on colors, materials, window treatments, flooring, and new furnishings. Whereas, our remodeling projects are often gut remodels with significant structural changes. We love both types of projects- but not all designers do. So, make sure that the designer that you are considering is both willing and enthusiastic to take on your project.
5. MEET THE DESIGNER
The first meeting is the most important. It’s where the relationship is established, so it’s important for both parties to have an open and honest conversation. Do a little research before the meeting. If you have a certain style in mind or have been inspired by some of the designer’s work, keep sample images and references to show them. This will give the designer a clear idea of how to execute your vision.
In addition to aesthetics, talk in detail about the budget. When you show the designer samples of what you want, they will be able to tell you if it can be done in your budget or, if it’s out of budget, a good designer will help find budget-friendly solutions.
Other important criteria to talk about are timelines (how long the project will take), who will be the general contractor (when you go beyond decorating), and the terms of the contract. Only sign the contract when you have complete clarity and are 100% sure you found the designer that’s perfect for you. Don’t let social pressure push you into signing prematurely – an honest professional will respect your need to be fully committed before you sign your name on the line.
Given that you are on our Denver interior design blog, you are likely considering hiring us for your decorating or remodeling needs. My team and I are always looking for a new design challenge, so we look forward to discussing your project with you.
Call me today at 720.735.7533 to start the conversation.