Questions to ask an interior designer

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Although it may be tempting to do the conversion of your home by yourself to save some money, hiring an interior designer for some much needed advice is a good idea. Experts in interior design will help to ensure that your project runs smoothly, and that the final result is a guarantee of the highest level of quality. While design professionals are trained to guide you through the process of project preparation, we suggest that you prepare a set of questions to ask before you meet with them. To make life easier for you, we've prepared a short guide which entails all the important issues that you should address in order to clarify the different facets of your project, and of course, that facilitate the dialogue between you and your interior designer.

Plan & schedule

The first thing you should talk with your designer about is not the project itself, but rather, the scope. Indeed, it is very important to quickly identify the different factors outside the project that will impact it. What time period are you willing to allocate to the project? When would you be expected to start and/or complete the work? What level of involvement do you have in the project and what level of responsibility are you willing to allocate to the various professionals? Other factors can affect the course of the project. For example, if you already live in the area being renovated, the schedule will be completely different than if the work is to be completed before you move in. In terms of timing, an organised and detailed schedule is of utmost importance before any work is commenced. 

Style & personality

Although each designer has their own style, remember  that you are the customer and the end result should resemble your personality. Why? Because this is a collaboration, not a solitary project! Take the time to understand the style of designer by looking at their portfolio, and allow them the opportunity to get to know you and your needs. Interior decorators are essentially walking encyclopedias, and very often trained in art history and design fundamentals. They will find furnitures, colours and accessories that appeal to you. You don't necessarily need to choose the latest design style, choose one that suits you and gives your home individuality. You might be surprised at the result!

Ergonomics & organisation

Contemporary townhouse: modern Kitchen by Kitchen Architecture
Kitchen Architecture

Contemporary townhouse

Kitchen Architecture

A key reason to engage an interior designer is to use their skills to design ergonomic spaces that match your lifestyle. Ask yourself these important questions: What is your daily routine? How do you live in your spaces? What is your lifestyle? A designer can therefore mould your spaces into your daily routine. This will allow you to have a home that is suited to your needs and will facilitate all your weekly chores. Believe us, there is nothing more enjoyable than cooking in a space where everything you need is at arms reach and can be stored with ease. 

Security

Some of us dream of a minimalist floating staircase in our homes, or a huge fireplace that dominates the middle of our living rooms. While these ideas seem easy to execute in design magazines, you have to be careful. Simple details are much more complex than we think, and if they are not well made, they could change your dreams into nightmares. Interior architects and other design professionals have training to help you understand the complexity inherent in each project. The main thing is, don't be afraid to voice your dreams and concerns! They will be able to understand your vision and translate it into a realistic result and, above all, will help you make a safe choice. 

Budget & needs

The budget is certainly the decisive factor in each project, and the bane of every owner and tenant during renovation. It will indeed be an undeniable influence on the duration of the project, and the quality of the final result. It is important to be honest with your interior designer from the start of the project. How much are you willing to invest? Is it a fixed amount or flexible? What are your priorities? The designer will help you make sense of this mess. They will also be able to help you find an interesting alternative to that beautiful but overpriced Italian chair, or that unique chandelier that you saw in a hotel in Morocco. With an interior designer, you will be blessed with a tailor made solution that is individual to your home. Do not hesitate to use their services!

Have you ever hired an interior designer? Tell us about your experience.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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