Things You Need to Know When Hiring an Interior Designer

Everyone deserves to love the home they live in. Sadly, a lot of people are unhappy with the space they have created for themselves, and often are not sure why. This is where an Interior Designer plays a valuable role, as liaison between you and your home.

After you have made the decision to hire a Designer, finding the right one may seem like a daunting task. Start by asking asking your friends or relatives if they have someone to recommend. If you have seen a room or home with a design that you really liked, find out who the designer was. Searching online is also a good place to start. Most designers have a web site where you can instantly see their previous work and get a feel for how they design. The local ASID chapter can help facilitate this. Start out with 2 or 3 choices and schedule consultations. This is a good time to view the portfolios and most importantly, see if it “feels” like a good fit. By this I mean, use your intuition. You could potentially be working with this person for an extended period of time, while it’s not necessary that you become friends, you still want to be heard when it comes to expressing your thoughts and desires for creating a better space.

Some questions to ask the Designer during this process are:
o Describe your design style.
o Are you open to my ideas and wishes during the creative process?
o What aspect of design is of most importance to you (i.e. lighting, color scheme etc.)
o How do you structure your fee?
o Do you have a list of previous clients that I can talk to?
o Most Designers won’t give away too many ideas during this part of the process, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask for an impromptu idea or two to see if you’re on the same page.
o Your instincts can play a big role at this stage, so be sure to listen to them!

When you have made your decision, you should receive a contract with the scope of work, timeline and fees involved. Be sure to read it thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t quite understand. This is the time to work out any concerns and to ask questions. If the Designer is honest and has integrity, she/he will be very forthcoming with her/his answers.

Just remember that this should be a fun process! With the right prep work beforehand, you and your Interior Designer can have a productive and creative relationship.

How To Solve Any Interior Design Problems That May Arise

The beauty of interior design for many people is solving any problems that a job may throw up, some of which can be planned for and others which throw themselves up during the job itself. Interior designers have to always expect the unexpected when involved in a job; these are things that interior designers plan and train for. But what about those of us that are not trained in interior design but want to try their hand at an interior design job within their home? How can we approach problems that may arise and what are the best solutions for these problems?

For those of us that are not trained in interior design a job may need doing at home that we would love to have a go at but do not really know where to start, but all is not lost. There are that many reference books, magazines and television programs available today that ideas and problems can be addressed in one form or another. The inter web has many forums and web sites that can be fantastically helpful, these are places where you can post a problem in the form of a question and in turn you will hopefully have some helpful soul post a reply and answer to your problem. The real beauty of these forums is that they are places where like minded people go to socialize and help other people with their interior design problems.

Magazines are also a helpful resource, not only to help with any problems that you may encounter but also to give ideas that may help you avoid a problem. Sometimes a problem can be easily avoided by simply side stepping it completely and replacing the idea with another more manageable solution. Interior design magazines are also helpful as they offer you the chance to actually see many ideas in picture form, ideas that you may have in your head might look completely different in the flesh so it is always an idea to try to seek out any pictorial help available.

Most people are good at some part of the interior design process but interior design covers many different aspects, design, color identification, architectural design as well as placement. But a true interior designer is fully trained in all aspects of this of their profession, the trick to master if you intend carrying out a task yourself is to identify what part of the job you feel most comfortable with and what you feel you may be best at, this way you can narrow down the fields where you may need help and again, where possible, side step any problems that may arise.

If you can for see a problem that may arise and you do not feel comfortable in solving it yourself or the answers that you have been give do not feel right then why not go to speak to an expert. In many cases a local builder’s merchant or plumber’s merchant will be able to offer help and advice or even a product that will solve a problem. For instance, if you are dealing with a bathroom remodeling task and you have hit upon a problem with baths then by consulting the plumber’s merchant or a plumber they may be able to advise you on the best baths design to go for helping you to overcome the problem.

There are many avenues of help available to enable you to complete your interior design tasks it is just a case of approaching each task slowly as they lay ahead of you and take each one step by step. Do not be afraid to ask for help when needed and do not be too proud to accept help when offered. This way you should be able to complete any task with the minimum amount of heart ache.

5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment

For many homeowners deciding on a theme or style for the interior of their home seems about as simple as splitting an atom or negotiating peace in the Middle East. Daunted by an overload of magazines, web-sites, books and television shows each presenting dazzlingly photographed interiors filled with chic, stylish and wildly desirable objects and each slapping an editorial spin on what this look will be called; is it any wonder that most homes languish in an unfocused design haze far longer than necessary?

To cut through the clutter and the confusion here are 5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment:

1. Understand the Architectural Style in which you will be living. Maybe your home is a California Bungalow or a New England Cape. Maybe your condominium building is heavily influenced by Mediterranean Architecture or is a symphony of modern glass and concrete. Regardless of what’s going on around you to intelligently parse out what will happen inside your home you should have a grasp of your homes’ architectural styling.

2. Have an opinion on what will happen inside your home. Good design is not for wimps and great design actually necessitates a home’s owner to have well formed opinions about what they want to live with every day. So do your homework. Visit a Designer Show House, tour model homes or spend a Saturday afternoon flipping through pages of design and architecture books and get in touch with what makes you smile. You don’t need to identify every element in the room on the page you just need to know that looking at it makes you smile. While the smile is still fresh on your face place a post-it-note on that page and we’ll come back to it shortly.

3. Play nicely with those who share the same address. Few things are as tedious as are constantly bickering couples. On the best of days finding harmony amid life’s madness can be a challenge. Please don’t add decorating discord to the list of topics on which you and your spouse joust. No one ever wins these bouts; in fact everyone within earshot actually loses. So think in terms of mutually beneficial negotiations as you hash through the thoughts and ideas shared by your life-partner and seek ways to weave together the single best idea each one brings to the table. Melding two design ideas under one roof is neither revolutionary nor improbable. In fact, it’s been done for decades with happy relationships as a delightful by-product.

4. Create visible reminders of the agreed upon direction (s) for your home. If “Big-City Modern with a touch of French Empire” is what’s been agreed upon then make it the law of the land by memorializing the decision with a pin-board and shared idea-page. Own the decision which is the result of your hard-fought negotiations by establishing visual markers. This way those in your spheres of influence can hold you to your choice and support you as you together create your new home.

5. Don’t hesitate to call in professional reinforcements. There are times, both in the negotiation phase and in the shopping phase, when outside help can be priceless. Learn who the pros are in your area who you can call for that bit of non-partisan back-side kicking. And don’t be shy about dialing their number. Writing a check for an hour or two of design consultation can mean the difference between a good room and a great room. You’re worth it being great so do what’s necessary. You won’t regret the call.

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