Planning on selling your home or looking to update the inside look of your current place of residence? Hiring an interior decorator or designer can pay off in the long run, especially if you have an interior decorator who’s style and vision is similar to what you desire.
Here are some things to take into consideration when looking to hire the right interior decorator:
Look up their resume, portfolio and certifications
Before you can even start working with an interior decorator, you have to find one. While there may be plenty to choose from, you want to first off make sure they are qualified to work on your home or the project you have.
Different states have specific qualifications to become a licensed interior designer. Most include passing an exam from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification that covers design, building codes and project management practices.
Take time to look over their online portfolio or when you contact them ask for a list of credentials and samples of past projects. While a good interior designer will help save you time and money on trying to find all the product samples and tools you’d need, you want to make sure you’re familiar with their background, and make sure what they specialize in can help you.
When you’re looking through who to hire, go over these three important things: Are they licensed, bonded and insured? You want to make sure you deal with interior designers/decorators that are not only talented but qualified for the job.
Have a sit-down and walk-thru with interior decorators of home
After you view the resumes of various interior designers, and their respective portfolios, narrow your search down to your top five decorators. Schedule those five people to do walkthroughs of your home to show them the actual place they will be working with. Spend as much time as needed with the interior decorator in your home so they can get an idea of your style, and it allows them to also explain their style and possible vision. Sit down and discuss your likes, dislikes and ideas—see how well each candidate listens and responds with their likes, dislikes and ideas for the project.
Establish a budget and how you’ll be charged for their services
After selecting who you will work with, the next big step is establishing your budget. Keeping in mind that change can occur throughout the project is important, because this allows you to establish a budget with some “wiggle room” in case of emergencies or unexpected obstacles.
Figuring out how the interior decorator/designer will bill you is just as equally important as setting up the budget, seeing this will take up a good portion of how you will build the budget. Interior designers and decorators typically have a few main ways they bill: flat-fee, hourly, fixed structure billing or a cost-plus billing method.
A flat-fee is a one-time fee they will charge you for the entire project. There might be additional prices for extra work, but you’re billed the flat-fee and can possibly pay in increments. Hourly billing is one of the most common, and most of the time the billing starts as soon as having the first consultation with the interior decorator. A fixed structure is combination between a flat-fee and hourly paid work. A cost-plus billing method is where a base price is set and additional fees can be added (i.e. researching paint samples, shopping for different fixtures or searching for furniture to be an addition to the redecorated room).
Once the budget and billing is figured out, the next and final step is signing the contract and starting the project. Visit and use the American Society of Interior Designers website to help you search for a person that will fit your project. The website will give you access to the designer’s ’s certifications, past project, specialization and some even list their fee structure.