When it comes to choosing wallpaper, colour schemes, lighting and flooring, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You want your home to reflect who you are, but life is busy and there’s barely enough time to relax, let alone stay on top of the latest design trends. That’s where an interior designer or decorator in Leeds comes in.
While it might seem that they do the same thing, interior designers and decorators focus on different aspects of your home, plus they’re trained differently.
These are the people who focus on how you creatively use your space and deal with the actual design of your building’s interior. They’re the people who you’d speak to when you want to change your home layout, with minor renovations like changing a wall, working out where to put a chimney or fireplace or adding windows or skylights, for example. If there are any planning permission issues, they might also work closely with a Leeds-based interior architect.
They’re all about how things look. With a keen eye for different styles and themes, they’re the people who know how to fuse function with aesthetics to add style, mood and ambience to your home. Decorators know how to find the best finishes and décor touches for your home. They also know what works and what doesn’t with every style of home.
-- Set a budget and schedule that you both agree to
-- Choose local designers and decorators as they know what materials works best in Leeds
-- Keep costs down by using locally sourced materials and goods (unless you’d like to splash out on something special and ship it in)
-- Designers may advise on decoration, but decorators don’t advise on construction matters
Interior designers will first try to understand your lifestyle and functional needs before designing the best layout for your room. Often working with architects, they’ll draw up floor plans and layout drawings and build scale models, while advising on safety standards, building and planning permissions.
Interior decorators want to know about your needs, tastes and expectations. They’ll then use computer aided design (CAD) software to produce sketches, concepts and plans that reflect the look and feel of the space, for approval and feedback. They’ll look at things like lighting, colour schemes, technical issues and health and safety and environmental regulations, and provide samples of paint, fabrics, wallpaper, furnishings, art and flooring. Most importantly they’ll keep a close eye to make sure the project is within budget and on schedule.
Some interior designers specialise in particular space designs, so that will affect your choice. Where smaller firms or individual designers will focus on specific categories, you’ll find that larger companies will deal with many.
Whoever you choose, it’s always a good idea to find someone local. That way they’re able to visit the site regularly; they’re also more likely to have good local building contacts and a clear understanding of Leeds’ building regulations and other local conditions.
Ask to see a portfolio of other work they’ve done and make sure you’re clear about your taste and expectations to avoid any misunderstandings later. To make it even easier, you can simply scroll through Homify’s directory of interior designers and decorators, have a closer look at previous commissions and read up about current trends and styles for inspiration.
The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) says there are no set fees for decorators or designer. That said, most contractors will bill on a flat-fee (per room or a fixed lump sum), hourly, daily or a percentage calculated on the overall cost of your project.
Interior designers - are required to understand the technical side of interior structure, so will have completed formal courses and be affiliated to the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). While there isn’t one course or institution only, you could look for:
1. An Interior Design, Interior Architecture or Spatial Design course completed at a UK government-recognised university or college or validated by a college or recognised university.
2. A certificate or diploma accredited by the British Accreditation Council, the Open and Long Distance Learning Quality Council, or another official accrediting UK body. An accreditation by The Society of British and International Design (SBID) is one such highly regarded body that accredits professional interior designers.
3. The title of BIID-registered interior designer®, which was launched in 2016. The standard adopted is that of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI). Vigorous selection criteria are used, including at least six years’ study and professional experience.
Interior decorators - don’t need any professional qualifications, but it would be good to see that they’ve completed some sort of interior decorating course. Most importantly though, they must have great client references and a good portfolio that shows their best work.
Using something visual (like your personal Homify Idea book, magazine pages, online printouts, images on your tablet) to give you a starting point. If your first meeting is at their office, take pictures of your property and individual rooms. Be sure to let them know about the current state of your home, while making sure you have a budget limit in mind.
Your designer should advise you on planning permission regulations and may work with an architect to ensure the paperwork is done. As a guide though, you will usually need planning permission for walls (adding, removing or changing in certain instances), chimneys, fireplaces, staircases and walls around staircases.
Interior Designer and decorators − Find Interior Designers and decorators in Leeds