|How To: Find an Interior Designer
Go to the Pros for Interior-Design Help | Here’s How to Get Started
If you’re worried that your design eye might be a little, um…strained, fear not. Finding an interior designer is fairly easy, and the cost doesn’t have to be prohibitive.
Use these tips to get your search for your ideal interior designer here:
1: Do Your Research Get interior-designer referrals from friends and family. You can’t pay for word-of-mouth advertising because it’s honest and more importantly, straight for the source. See an interior you like? Ask your friend or family what the thought process was behind it. Don’t be bashful, they’ll be flattered you ask – and if they didn’t hire someone that means they did it themselves – so ask them for tips! If you run into a dead end, go online or peruse the Yellow Pages.
2: Ask the Right Questions Ask design candidates basic questions like: Do you specialize in log homes? Are you a member of the American Society of Interior Designers or another professional association? These simple, straightforward and non-offensive questions can whittle your list down in no time. And they’ll help refine your search to those who are truly qualified.
3: Get to know the Interior Designer Find out how a prospective interior designer works and what services he or she offers. This is particularly important because not all designers provide the same level of service—some are strictly fabrics and wallpaper, while others get involved in architectural changes in a home. Compare the list of what they have to offer against your list of what exactly you need. It seems kind of obvious, but it’s easy to get distracted by unwanted services and ideas. Remember, it’s your home here, they’ll just be helping to realize your design dream.
Tip from a Pro: In order to make sure you and a designer are on the same decorative page, take advantage of your initial consultation—which many designers provide for free—to find out what to expect and express your needs.
“It’s very important to find a designer who understands your home and your family’s lifestyle,” says veteran interior designer Susan Welch Heeny of Decorating Studio LLC. “Above all, be straightforward. You and you have to live in it every day—so you need to make sure the designer is someone who listens to you.”