The Best Interior Designers In Austin
The first step to pulling off the best home design renovation is hiring the perfect interior designer for the job. Your choice of interior decorator could mean the difference between a sleek and crisp renovation that will refresh your home and a mess that leaves you worse off than you began. Just like it is with any other business deal, it is very important that you interview your potential interior designer in order to gain a better understanding of the professional relationship and probable outcome of the project.
Below we will explore the three things you should look for and keep in mind when interviewing for your new interior designer.
1. Discuss Their Training
The amount of training that your interior designer has should be the very first thing you consider when evaluating them as an employee. Don’t be afraid to ask your designer for information about their certifications and schooling. Most states now require interior designers pass a rigorous exam from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) before they can legally work in the field, but many states still do not have these strict regulations in place yet. Be sure to check your state’s laws regarding these licensing requirements before you commit to a designer.
There are three types of decorators that you will come across: Certified interior designers (CIDs), interior designers, and decorators. While CIDs do have the most training in the field, they are typically used for larger and more specialized commercial projects. Designers and decorators are perfectly fine to use for residential projects.
While most reputable interior designers have gone to design school and have years of experience, many will likely have certifications that go above and beyond your average decorator. Keep in mind any special needs that you are looking for with your new space, such as disability compliance or specific lighting.
Licensed interior decorators should be well versed in:
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Building codes
- Fire-rating classifications
- 3-D modeling
- Types of lighting
The number of years your designer has been working is an important indicator as well. That being said, don’t automatically exclude newer designers, as they can have a youthful expression of style compared to the more seasoned professionals. That being said, of course the designers that have been working for many years have achieved this longevity for a reason. This is where the next point becomes important: Make sure your style and your designer’s vision are a match.
2. Be Clear on Your Style and Expectations
Make sure you and your interior designer are on the same page when it comes to style. A good interior designer will be sure to gather a complete understanding of what it is you want to achieve in your renovation as well as help you decide on areas you haven’t considered. If you want colors and patterns, let them know! If you prefer a more neutral aesthetic, make sure that is clear with your designer.
You should always ask to look over a designer’s portfolio before committing to work with them. Their portfolio should tell you all there is to know about their vision. Look for a wide variety of styles and a cohesiveness within projects. Try to look for any apparent style signatures in their portfolio and let them know if it matches your taste or not.
You should also be clear on what the budget is for your project before you get started. Many people underestimate the cost of an interior design and can quickly become overwhelmed by the increasing bill. To combat this, work with a designer who knows budget-saving alternatives and isn’t afraid to use antique or vintage items in your design.
Lastly, remember to keep an open mind. Your interior designer will likely have ideas and perspectives that you had not considered before. Don’t take any recommendations on their end as a failure to work with you, but as an opportunity to see your living space in a new and fresh way.
3. Check Out the Designer’s Reviews
Your designer will likely have easily accessible reviews online. We highly recommend you find these for yourself and read the good and the bad.
Be sure to fully read the bad reviews and determine whether they are reliable or not. Remember, people are more likely to leave comments and reviews online when they’ve experienced poor service and are less likely to go out of their way to leave positive feedback, so you should weigh that against any lower ratings you see.
If you can, see if you can reach out to people that the designer has worked for in the past and ask them about the service they received. A couple questions that you should ask are:
- Did the designer fully accomplish the project?
- Did the designer stick to budget?
- Are you happy with the final product of the renovation?
- Did the designer stick to the timeline?
- Would you work with this designer again/recommend this designer to a friend?
Be sure to also question whether you will be your designer’s main focus during the term of the project or if you will be one of many. If it is the latter, you risk your design being rushed and not meeting your standards.
Part of your review process should be to draft a thorough contract. You contract should include a time frame, a budget, and a basic style guide that your designer must follow. This can protect you from overspending and an unsatisfactory final product.
Hiring the Right Designer for You
Before you make the costly decision to go with a particular interior designer, it is important to do your research and take the proper precautions. Putting in your side of the work before jumping into a major design overhaul can save you a lot of stress – and money – in the long run. And lastly, always remember that your designer is there to be your teammate, and that their goal is that same as yours: to create the chic home of your dreams.