Making the Right Choice

Before you hire an Interior Designer consider the following questions:

1) What is the scope of the project and who is it for?
2) How long will I occupy this space?
3) What are my constraints?

Do I have time restrictions or deadline? Do I have a budget? If so, is it realistic for what I want to accomplish?
Am I giving myself enough time to get the project completed in the way I want — or can I adjust my selections or deadlines accordingly?

When choosing a Designer:

Check credentials including Licensing (or State Registration), professional affiliation, education and past training. Ask about the NCIDQ (National Design Qualification exam).

Make sure you and the Designer will have the right amount of time for each other and the project. Are you hoping to be “hands on” or do you want it “done” for you? If you are concerned, discuss how you will best communicate: phone? e-mail?

From Designer to Designer fees vary in method of compensation. Some are based on a set design fee for the entire anticipated project, perhaps based on the square footage of the spaces to be designed or on hourly rates; often compensation is a combination of fees plus commissions on products sold. Some fees are based on List prices (suggested Retail), or Net (wholesale) costs.

Make sure this is spelled out in a written Letter of Agreement.

Consider the resources available to Designers you consider hiring. Do they work with an assortment of professionals, manufacturers and vendors, as well as workmen that will make your project come together efficiently..and how does the Designer feel about working with those you have already selected? CAD (computer produced) drawings could be important to the communication between experts as well as communication between you and the Designer, so confirm that the Designer can do this for your project where needed.

Your Designer’s job is to facilitate the creation of space using his/her talents and resources.  Don’t forget that your environment should be a reflection of YOU, not a reproduction of someone else’s space.

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