Hiring an interior designer is an investment in your life and home.
Whether you’ve worked with a designer before or if this is your first time, it’s always a good idea to be prepared before you contact an interior designer for your consultation. Here is the homework that I recommend you complete before you have a meeting with an interior designer.
DETERMINE YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIES
We have the tendency as humans to carry a lot around in our heads, endless tasks, wants, needs and to-do lists. When it comes to home projects, it’s very important to get these things out of our head and on paper. This is what I recommend my clients do.
1. Get a special notebook and carve out a few hours for yourself on a weekend–maybe pour yourself a glass of wine while you’re at it!
2. Dedicate a good 15-30 minutes in each space in your home and jot down your wish list for every room. Let yourself dream! Try not to think about money at this point. Get all your ideas and annoyances out on paper.
3. Transfer your ideas to a spreadsheet or other method that works for you. I like these printables from The New Classics Shop.
4. Now, ask yourself this question, “In 12 months from today, if you had a magic wand, what three things would you change to increase your quality of life?”
GET CLEAR ON YOUR INVESTMENT
Yes, I said investment and not budget. Hiring an interior designer is an investment in your life and home.
How much do you want to invest in the project? Do you have money already set aside? Do you have a budget in mind? A lot of clients find it hard to pin down a number if you don’t know the cost of something.
If you’re struggling with coming up with a number here are a few inside tips.
1. If your room doesn’t require construction or renovation most designers will charge anywhere from $5000 to $10000 for a full-service room design. This is for design fees only, and doesn’t include the cost of furnishings.
2. What are the cost of furnishings? Some designers have a minimum furnishings allowance, while others work within what you want to spend. I love how this article helps you determine the cost of furnishings for your space.
If I am designing a room that doesn’t require any construction, I work within your furnishings investment level. A strong cornerstone to my business is to incorporate vintage and thrifted furnishings. Sometimes this can assist in keeping the investment level lower, depending on where and what we are sourcing. However, this isn't a rule of thumb, as some treasures are worth the investment!
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
You may not know this, but you have preconceived notions and expectations already developed about working with an interior designer. This can come from TV, (HGTV has taught us that things are fast and affordable and luxurious!) or from previous experience in hiring out creative work. Whether these are positive or negative, it's very important that you and your designer talk through your expectations.