Getting an interior designer to help you do up your home is a fantastic idea and a worthwhile investment that can save you both time and money, especially if you have a complex project with lots of different elements such as new kitchen, bathrooms and are re orientating the use of certain rooms or spaces. A good interior designer will help you bring your dream home to life, work with you to maximise your budget and act as your mouthpiece with the architect and contractor ensuring the end result matches your expectations and creates a fabulous home for you and your family. Each interior designer will have their own way but here is a standard way the process usually works.
The first place to start is finding the right designer for you and a great place to do so are design magazines and social media. You can also use the BIID website or the HouseandGardens directory…. needless to say word of mouth is probably the best way to find your dream designer. Always ask for references and to see their portfolio– if you can visit one of their completed interiors even better.
If you are worried about fees and costs don’t hide from this and be upfront when you are first speaking with them. Different designers charge in different ways, and it is extremely important that you are fully aware before you start to work together what you will get and how much it will cost. Signing a clear and robust contract at the beginning which protects both you and the designer is paramount to an happy project outcome for both parties.
Once you have signed the fun (and sometimes hard work!) can begin. The first part of the process is to create a core concept for your interior scheme that becomes the bible for the project, the stronger the concept the better the end result. There are often hundreds of decisions that need to be made day to day on a project and having a strong concept to refer back to ensures that the end result has consistency and flow.
Once the interior concept is agreed usually in the form of a moodboard the designer will start to source the specific furniture, furnishings and art whilst putting together costings and programmes. This is an exciting part of the project and once you have decided on your fabrics and furniture, and have agreed the budget, the deposit is paid and orders are placed. Things can be added in as the project progresses but you have to be mindful that late additions can add to project timings. Its best to nut out as much of the project as possible at inception.
A huge part of an interior designers expertise is knowing when to get the right trades in to ensure the project comes together in a seamless manner- I usually approach it walls, floors, lighting, furnishings, furniture, art & accessories. Once installed the project should be snagged, a final snag list signed and agreed on and a time set to complete this. Then the champagne is popped and the family moves in – ready to start living in their dream interior.
If you are looking for an interior designer for your project please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Taken from my Ask The Expert Column in The Times from March 2017