It’s often helpful to put some of your ideas together using Pinterest or show pictures that you like from magazines. You might have a favourite piece of furniture or art that you want to build your scheme around. This is often a useful starting point for an interior designer to help understand your tastes - so share what inspires you.
2. I encourage anyone interested in hiring an interior designer to ensure that they use a BIID Registered Interior Designer®. This title is a way to help identify interior designers who have met the BIID’s rigorous professional standard and offers the reassurance that the designer is properly qualified and meets the BIID’s high standards of professional practice.
3. To find a registered BIID interior designer in your area, visit the ‘Find a designer’ resource on the BIID website.
4. Also ask for personal recommendations from friends or colleagues.
5. Consider your budget carefully and ask any prospective designers to explain how they cost a project. As there is no standard for charging for interior design services, we encourage all BIID members to be transparent about their fee structure; for example, whether they have an hourly rate or if there is a fixed charge for the whole project.
A professional interior designer also knows how to procure goods that are unique to the project and often at a better price point than the public is able to obtain, so have a budget in mind of how much you are willing to spend. The most important point is to have good communication between designer and client, so a clear brief should be agreed upfront and then a detailed proposal with transparent costs should follow, so all parties are clear on how and when the project will be achieved and what it will cost.
6. Consider your time frame. When would you like or need the project to be completed? Check whether this is feasible for the interior designer or consider if you need to be flexible for the right designer.
7. Ask to see examples of projects that an interior designer has completed – ask to see project photography and request client testimonials.
8. Follow them on their social media channels to understand more about their projects and design inspiration.
9. Always meet a prospective designer to make sure you can communicate well with them! It sounds simple, but it’s important that you have a good rapport with your interior designer and that they understand your requirements.
10. Be open to new ideas. An experienced interior design professional will be up to date on all the latest design trends and have a wealth of expertise, so listen to their recommendations on materials, colours, layout etc as they may suggest ideas that you haven’t previously considered.
Top image: Gilly Craft.
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Gilly Craft is President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) and formerly held the role of CPD Director for the BIID. Gilly is responsible for the strategic development of the BIID. Her key objectives are to work closely with Council, committees and other groups within the design community, nationally and internationally and continue the well-respected work of the Institute as the leading industry body for professional interior designers.