Youve watched Bravo and HGTV obsessively and read enough books on interior design that youre confident you can turn your home into a design masterpiece. For the next six months, you visit auctions, furniture stores and cute little crafty shops to find the perfect additions.
The weeks drag by as you meticulously arrange furniture, accents and art while occasionally taking a quick look at some of those books for reference. In the end, you stand back and stare at your newly designed homeand hate it. It could be you just dont have an eye for decorating or were too influenced by media and not enough by your own feelings.
Whatever the reason, you break down and decide to hire a professional home designer. This could be the best or worst decision, so it takes careful planning to choose the right one.
1. Check references. There are many different types of interior designers and some like a certain style and stick to it. When looking at designers, check out other homes they have done and see if their work meshes with the kind of style you like. There is nothing worse than hiring a designer and then constantly disagreeing because your concepts are vastly different.
2. Have a budget and stick to it. Interior design of a home can be a major expense if a designer is given free reign over the checkbook. They dont look at the cheapest places to find a piece, they just look for a piece. They also have furniture and accessory providers they prefer and may not care about prices. Sit down with the designer and tell them exactly how much you have to spend and discuss what can be done for that money.
3. Approve major purchases beforehand. Once a large piece of furniture or an entire set is ordered and moved into the home, its not that easy to get out again. Furniture sellers will want to charge you for removing it, adding even more to the project, so avoid this by signing off on every major buy first.
4. Devise a plan. Have the designer visit the home and tell you about his or her ideas for each room. This lets you know that youre both on the same page and that his or her ideas mesh with yours. Sit down and chart out an outline of what its going to look like. Some interior designers consider themselves more artists than businessmen and want freedom of creativity, but youre their customer and the boss.
5. Dont be afraid to kick the designer to the curb. Before signing any contract, stipulate that there be a clause that allows you to walk away for any reason. If it just doesnt work out, the designer is being difficult or not listening to you, then you need to hire someone new before your home becomes a fun house of strange furniture. You may take a financial hit, but its better than living in a home you hate.