How to Choose the Best Interior Decorator for Any Project

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Even the most hardcore DIY-ers need a little help sometimes! Hiring an interior decorator will help you save more time, money and headaches on any project you have in the works. An interior designer will develop the best color scheme, paint finishes, fixture and lighting concepts to improve the general look, feel and flow of a living space.

A good designer does more than planning how to decorate a space. He or she should hunt down product samples, conduct research and device ways to avoid messy missteps that come with decorating a space. A good decorator should supervise and organize all things related to putting together the final design of a space. So what are the factors you have to consider when it comes to choosing the best interior designer for your project? Consider these tips:

Understanding Common Billing Methods

The three most common billing methods are free, hourly and flat-fee. Decorators that offer free services are typically those who represent a manufacturer to push for certain products. Hiring a decorator that offer free services won’t offer 100% free service. At some point, you will pay for something.

A decorator who charges by the hour is the safest bet but the results will depend on the level of the decorator’s expertise and service. The best thing about the hourly rate is that you can opt-out of the agreement any time. Finally, a flat-free decorator will present a total rate of service, which you will pay in full before the job is completed. This means regardless if you are happy with the service or not, you will pay for the entire job.

Screen the Candidates

Once you’ve listed down potential candidates, get in touch with them and let them know about the project. After a brief chat, invite each candidate in person to discuss the project. Let the decorator know about your likes, dislikes, and your expectations. Show the decorator the living space and explain how you want to start the project. A good contractor must throw in several ideas based on a client’s likes and dislikes.

Listen to the input of the contractor as well. At this point, he should give you an idea how much wall space a window treatment needs or the required window height and so on. If there’s any alternation needed for a space, your decorator should let you know about it.

Management Skills

Your decorator should provide you with a list of all the materials needed and do his own research regarding plumbing, fabric samples and so on. He can suggest certain brands according to durability, ease of cleaning, warranty, etc. A good decorator should also warn you about questionable practices that can affect the life and functionality of a certain fixture. Once all choices are made, the decorator must coordinate with various contractor or companies to put together the whole design.

For a clear, concise plan, we recommend arranging a meeting with the decorator, contractor or architect, designer and yourself. During the meeting, delegate responsibilities and make sure everyone is coordinating with each other until the project is completed.

Dealing with Tension

Sometimes, design choices can affect the total cost and appearance of a living space. That’s why tension between architect and interior decorator is common. To diffuse tension, make sure every person has a clearly defined role in the project. Make sure everyone do their jobs and responsibilities. Meet with all players weekly if you have to. Be sure the tasks and duties are clear so there’s no confusion at all.


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