5 Questions to Ask Before You Work With an Interior Designer
You’ve watched the TV shows, you’ve seen an interior designer seemingly pull magic out of a few bits of cloth and you’ve got big ideas. But when it comes to turning that Pinterest shot or magazine tear into reality, it can be hard to know where to start.
Should you call in an interior designer? If so, who? Or should you go it alone and run the risk of a project that might not work out and cost more than you’d planned?
Of course, we’re big fans of the interior designer route here at Pop & Punch but if that’s what you go for, make sure you ask these questions before you start. We’ve seen again and again that the key to creating a space you love is to listen, set expectations and work with someone who really gets where you’re coming from.
So what does an interior design consultant actually do?
Being an interior designer isn’t just about finding fabric swatches and making everything look pretty. It’s about getting to the heart of how a potential client lives and solving their problems with a solution that works brilliantly and looks and feels great.
A good designer will ask you questions to find out what you and your family really need, rather than just what you want. The goal is to create something personal and unique that both reflects who you are but functions for the way you actually live. What looks great in a magazine might not actually work at all well for your own life so be prepared to be flexible and keep an open mind.
When should I hire an interior designer?
If you’re on a set budget or strapped for time, it’s time to call in an interior designer. It might feel counterintuitive if your budget is limited but the mistakes you can make with inexperience can turn out to be very costly. If you end up buying the wrong furniture or a paint colour that’s not right, you’ll be disappointed at best or have to start all over again at worst. Investing in experience and expertise is likely to save you money in the longer term.
The other great advantage to hiring a professional is that it saves you time. Interior designers know exactly what needs to be done and the easiest, most immediate ways to go about it. Forget hours spent trawling the internet or agonising for days over design decisions. A professional designer knows just where to look to get what you need and how to make the project actually happen in a realistic time frame.
Which interior design style should I pick?
The amount of colours, styles, swatches, photos, ideas and options for your space can be completely overwhelming. At Pop & Punch we make a point of listening to what you say, reading between the lines when we need to, then working to refine the options until you have something that fits your needs and taste perfectly.
Sometimes we might try to tease you a little further out of your comfort zone to achieve a result that’s outstanding. Sometimes we might ask you to rethink an idea to make sure that everything works seamlessly when it’s finished.
We’re always looking for the wow factor but we won’t be dictated to by trends and fads if they won’t suit YOU. When it comes to a style, every person, taste and situation is different and we design accordingly.
How does an interior designer charge?
This is absolutely something you need to get clear on before you start your project. Costs are sure to vary depending on location and experience but if anything isn’t clear up front then ask until it is. It’s likely that there will be an amount to pay up front so be prepared for that and make sure that you have a written proposal of costs with exactly what’s included so that everyone knows where they stand.
Don’t be afraid to be entirely honest about your budget so that the interior designer can work within it as creatively as possible. They should be well used to making a comprehensive budget and plan before you start and be able to keep everyone on track while it happens. If there are any unexpected hurdles along the way then ask for an update from your designer and keep the communication flowing.
What’s the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?
The big difference here is that a designer will be able to identify the potential of your space and get the most from it, as well as making it look fantastic. There’s really no substitute for a trained set of eyes making a professional assessment.
Your designer should be able to understand the delicate balance between practicality and art - and explain it clearly to you with plenty of room for questions. Whilst a stylist will concentrate very heavily on aesthetics, an interior designer will see the pain points in a space and solve them with functionality and beauty.