If you’ve never worked with an interior designer before, you may not understand exactly what to expect. Let me share with you how the interior design process works. In short, you are investing in professional (sometimes intangible) services – people hire designers for their talent, industry knowledge, acquired experience, and the established relationships they have with preferred vendors and subcontractors.
Here are four items to review before starting work with your dream interior designer:
- A professional interior designer has been specifically educated in this field.
- Be informed about whom you hire.
- Have everything in a written contract.
- Check references.
If you are interviewing several designers, you will find that no two designers work in the same way and that fee structures vary greatly. It is acceptable in this industry to charge by the hour, per square foot, per project, or on markup of goods sold, such as furnishings and fabric.
Most people do not understand how much actual time it takes for client/vendor/subcontractor meetings, researching and sourcing products and materials, putting together a comprehensive design plan for the space, the actual purchasing/installation of all products and materials, the coordination of all outside parties involved, not to mention, the follow-up and endless paper trail that goes along with every job. There really is a lot more to any given project than you may recognize. Yes, it’s a stimulating, exciting career, but it is a lot of work, too.
Communication between the designer and the client is crucial. As your design advocate, it is my responsibility to provide you the information you require and clarify details until you are comfortable with the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and understand who is responsible for what.
Understand your roles and responsibilities when you sign the contract.