How to Choose an Interior Design Consultant or Interior Designer
Last updated on February 17th, 2021
What types of professional interior design consultants will be the best choice for your project?
Have you heard of Interior consultants? These professional interior decorators transform your home using things you have accumulated over the years. The end result is a balanced, harmonious space that reflects the personality of the people who use it.
Many interior designers have added this service to their repertoire. Alternate terms for professional interior design consultants specializing in interior redecorating are interior redesigners, interior arrangers, interior stylists, one-day decorators, visual coordinators, or interior refiners.
What is a Certified Interior Designer? (from B&P Code Section 5800,5538)
A Certified interior design consultant or designer is a competent design professional who is qualified to design, prepare, and submit any type of nonstructural, non-seismic interior construction plans and specifications to local building departments.
Certified interior designers have demonstrated through education, experience, and examination their knowledge of the Uniform Building Code as it relates to space planning, life safety, flammability, and disabled access code issues. Most interior designers have a minimum of four-year education. Many have to Master of Interior Design degrees or other additional education in architecture or interior design.
Interior designers who have many years of experience may not have a Bachelors in Interior Design, but usually are well educated and have many years of qualified experience. All qualified interior designers will indicate that they have passed the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Certification) examination and/or are registered/ certified/ licensed in their state.
How do Interior Decorators charge for their services?
Flat Design Fee: The client pays a flat fee for the professional interior designer’s services based on the design plan, the time required, and the scope of services.
Hourly Rate: The interior decorator bills a negotiated rate per hour.
Cost Plus Method: Professional interior designers charge a set percentage on all merchandise purchased and tradesmen’s services rendered.
Mixed-Method: The client pays both a set percentage on purchases and a base design fee for an hourly rate.
Per square foot: This method is used especially in new construction.
What to ask at the first meeting:
o Ask to see the interior designer’s portfolio, but remember that the designs reflect other people’s tastes,¬ not necessarily the interior decorators, and possibly not your own.
o Ask what size projects the interior designer has worked on, where, and what was the budget range.
o Ask how the established budget will be handled, and the kind of payment schedules the interior decorator requires.
o Ask about the types of services the designer can provide.
o Ask for a list of references.
What you may be asked at the first meeting:
It is a good idea to prepare for your first meeting with a professional interior designer by creating your own folder of clippings from magazines, catalogs, and books of design ideas that appeal to you.
You may also be asked some or all of the following questions:
o For whom is the space being designed?
o What activities will take place in the space?
o How long do you plan to occupy the space?
o What is your time frame for completing the project?
o What is your budget?
o Are you relocating or remodeling?
o What image do you want to project?
o What colors, style, and effects do you like?
o What are your objectives and lifestyle needs?
o What is the approximate square footage to be designed?
If a professional interior consultant designer, or anyone, for that matter, tells you the process is easy, stress-free, and will be complete in two weeks, they’re either lying or stupid. Don’t hire that person.
Kimberly M. Stone is the owner of Adore Your Décor, an interior decorating firm specializing in interior redesigns and home staging. She also serves as the Feature Editor of http://www.MySpaceDesigners.com a resource directory for professional interior designers and for consumers looking to locate professional, innovative designers for small space, residential and/or commercial design projects. For more valuable tips on how to choose an interior designer, visit http://www.MySpaceDesigners.com.
How to Achieve the Perfect Home Interior Design with Professionals
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.