Interior decorating is a specialized field and involves improving the aesthetics of a room through the clever use of color, texture, and accessories. In some instances, the interior designing can be done by you without the need for professional help. But when involved in larger projects, especially when you are doing the whole house or decorating the entire interior, it might be wiser to seek the help of an expert. The size of your project, your budget, and the kind of interior designer you want are all factors to be considered before forging ahead. You should also do some independent research before approaching an interior decorator so you know what they are talking about.
In order to be considered a certified interior decorator, it is essential for that person to be licensed by the particular state where they intend to work. So, you can check credentials on government websites before deciding on the right interior decorator for you or you can do your own research if you do not want to rely on any bureaucratic website.
Before you go for your meeting with the interior decorator, have a list of your questions and concerns ready. Also, put together all your requirements in terms of the interior decoration you need done. This should include the decoration style you want—contemporary, casual, or traditional—the time frame in which you want the work completed, and any visual aids you may have to put across your requirements so you can build a steady foundation.
1.Enquire About Experience and Credentials
A quality and devoted interior decorator must be able to answer all your queries and put your mind at ease.
Find out if the interior decorator is appropriately licensed by the state and has sufficient experience in the field. Look at their portfolio to get an idea of projects that have been completed. You can also seek referrals to check up on before committing to anything. See if the person has worked on projects similar to yours with respect to size and budget. Find out how many years of experience the person has in the field.
2.Ask About Rates
There are different types of pricing methods adopted by interior decorators. Some charge a flat design fee while others charge on an hourly basis. Hourly rates can range anywhere between $50 and $300; some may offer a free first consultation. Cost plus method and mixed method are also commonly used by decorators for billing. The former involves charging a set percentage on all merchandise purchased and services rendered by tradesmen. In the latter method, you will have to pay a fixed percentage on purchases along with an hourly rate which is agreed upon in advance. The ‘per square foot’ method of charging is usually reserved only for new buildings. Also ask about any extra costs that might be incurred during the period of work.
3.Availability for Meetings and Discussions
Ask the decorator if they will be available to discuss any concerns you may have during the course of the project. Also enquire about possibilities of incorporating any changes and fine tuning in the plan. A knowledgeable decorator is likely to offer you choices in design before starting the actual work.
4.Find out About Guarantees and Insurance
The right interior decorator should be able to offer a guarantee for their estimate. This will primarily address labor and material and fixed fees for services. Most reputed interior decorators will also have insurance to cover any problems that might arise during the implementation of the project such as unprecedented delays or any damages that may have occurred.
5.Enquire About Other Professionals or Partners Involved
Ask the interior decorator about any other professionals who will be working on the project or if there will be an associate or partner who will be assisting. Ask upfront about any fees that they might have to be paid and whether this will be an additional cost to you. It is best to be upfront about any of the costs involved in this. This will enable you to plan ahead and budget. You do not want any surprises, this will not be wise. This is the time get something in writing or at least take notes yourself.
Finally, it is your instincts that matter. A quality and devoted interior decorator must be able to answer all your queries and put your mind at ease. So, if you find that you are on the same wavelength as your interior decorator, feel comfortable with them, and is within your budget, then go right ahead and sign a contract. It is always advisable to have everything down in writing before either party commits.