Should You? DIY Or Hire a Designer For Your Interior Design Challenge

So, you decide to redecorate your home, what is the next step:

“DIY or engage a professional designer?”

Well, first you have to ask yourself a few questions:

Do you have any knowledge? Have you been studying the TV programs on HGTV and others? . Have you been buying decorating books by the dozen? Do you have the time? Are you game? If you answer NO to any or all of the above then perhaps you should hire an interior designer? However, if you answered YES and you have the time, why not use that opportunity?

Don’t be afraid, there are countless Web sites available to help you out.  Take the challenge. You can always re-paint, and return accents, and some places exchange furniture.

Hiring a professional interior designer will prevent from having to pay “unexpected costs” like; the wrong color, the unsuitable piece of furniture, the “no-style” decorations and/or the out of place accents. But, it will not stop the fee you are going to pay the designer, and these can be costly. Can you afford to pay out the cost of a designer at an estimated $35-$100+ per hour. Yes, then you will have to inform the decorator what colors you like, show them your home –  so they can get a good idea of your style, go over some pictures (the decorator should have brought along some samples or catalogs) of designs and styles. The designer should ask personal questions related to; children, anyone with disabilities, hobbies, favorite colors, entertainment preferences, favorite music, cultural background etc. The designer will use the information gathered in your first meeting to put up together some ideas for the next meeting.

The Next Meeting:  That’s when he (or she) will show you plans, sketches, wallpaper samples, color samples, fabric samples, (a color board) and so on.

However, Stop!     Yes, You can do this yourself! Just ask yourself all the above questions and make notes of your answers, visit Home stores and gather samples of paint/stain you like, go to fabric places and get swatches of fabric, yes, you can mix together – stripes, plaids, checks, floral, be bold (most of the stores have qualified assistants that will help you) – get catalogs and cut out furniture you like and accent pieces, drapes or other window treatments and paste them on a poster board. Hang this from your wall and leave it there for at least 3-5 days, look at it at different times of the day (the colors of paint, fabric etc., will change varying on the light). What you don’t like, replace with another. If you make your color board up first – the chance of any mistakes are going to be limited.

You can never do too much planning when it comes to decorating and/or DIY. You need to make sure you know what colors you want to use, window treatments, furniture, stain on the wood and even cabinets. Once you have these together, the accents will be easier for you to choose.

So You Can Save Money – and have fun.

7 Questions to Ask an Interior Designer Before Hiring Them

Before you hire an interior designer to help decorate or redesign a room in your home it is important that you know something about the person who is providing you their professional advice. Do you like their style? Do they listen to your design ideas as well? Do they have experience with a portfolio of past jobs that you can look at and study? There are several questions you can ask a professional designer but following are 7 of the most important questions or things to know before hiring an interior designer for your next project.

1. In today’s digital world, there’s a never-ending supply of before and after photos. Ask to view their web site before you meet.

2. While a designer should be able to create the home you’re dreaming of, some designers specialize in certain design styles. Ask what their favorite design style is and make sure your tastes are compatible.

3. Referrals, referrals, referrals! Talk to clients who’ve actually worked with the designer. Rather than just making a phone call, ask if you can see the client’s home with or without the designer. Most happy clients would gladly show you their successful project. If visiting in person isn’t an option, at least ask the client about their overall job satisfaction. Would they use the designer again? What did they like most and least about working with the designer?

4. If you can’t tour a client’s home, the designer’s home is the next best thing. If a tour cannot be provided ask them to look at their portfolio of work either online or a physical book of images.

5. Ask the designer how they charge for their services. Many designers charge a percentage of the total costs. Given supplier discounts to the trade, the discounts usually pay the client back for all and often more than the designer’s fee, saving the client money.

6. Time line. Get an idea about when the work would begin and be completed by. Make sure that goals and budget are clearly defined.

7. Are you compatible with the designer? This is a person you’ll spend a fair amount of time with. While they don’t have to become your best friend, it’s important that you consider this person to be a good listener, reliable, knowledgeable and professional.

If the interior designer you are considering hiring meets all your requirements then you have a good match. Keeping this list of questions handy will be helpful in your search and may even save you money by hiring the right designer for the job.

Why Do You Buy Interior Design Leads?

I recently spoke with an interior designer who purchases interior design leads to maintain a stable client base. She has a lot of word of mouth clients but she feels it is still necessary for her to develop new clients outside of her current network.

Upon further discussion about the quality of her leads I discovered that there was an underlying problem she was having. Even though the leads were fresh she was finding that when she called on them they were less than happy to hear from her. In some cases they would be upset and ask to be removed from “the list”.

The leads that she was buying were unfortunately of very low quality. This is not uncommon as some lead sources will recycle their lead database by selling a lead to multiple buyers or re-introducing old leads into the system. In her case what was happening was her leads were enticed by a free gift in order to fill out a lead form. Not really a high quality lead.

When you decide to take control of your lead source by in effect being your own lead source you receive many long term advantages:

1) You completely control where your interior design leads come from.

2) Your brand is not adversely affected by leads being introduced to your company for the first time when you call them instead of through the lead creation process itself. Creating brand awareness before you even call.

3) Eventually, if you follow the proper guidelines of keyword research, target market research and list management you will have very low cost and often free group of people waiting to buy from you.

4) Most importantly, your brands image will grow as you ad more and more content to the web. This is the only way to ensure you create more value for the search engines every time you invest in your website traffic.

Remember, when you buy leads you are simply buying names of people who may be interested in interior design services. When you create your own leads by developing and maintaining an effective lead funnel you grow your brand and develop a following. Always provide value to your list of potential clients. When you bring an offer forward they will be eager to bite.