Finding a capable designer – good interior design consultants are like good therapists. They don’t tell you what to do, rather they guide you through a process of selecting options that best suite your style and provides the best outcome. So how do you find a acceptable only interior design consultant? Well, the best way is through word of mouth and referrals. Talk to your friends to see if any of them recently used an interior design specialist and if they would re-use the designer for another project. Interior designer web sites can be helpful, but also visit local builders and model homes to obtain referrals. Another great source for referrals can be your local furniture store. Many furniture store retailers provide interior design referrals or have local designers that moonlight in the evening. Your local parade of homes or builder show rooms are also good sources.
Due diligence – You should interview a few interior design consultants before making your final selection. Be sure to review their portfolio of recent projects. Ask each designer about his/her education, training, professional affiliations and other credentials. Ask for referrals and contact their prior clients to assess their level of satisfaction. It’s important that you develop a good relationship with your interior design consultant. Be prepared to show multiple photographs of what you desire. This will help you communicate your desires and help you determine if the designer’s style aligns with what you are envisioning.
Attentive listening – Many interior designers will appear to be listening, but then politely ignore your suggestions. This can be good and bad. It’s good when the designer is very good at what they do, have taken the time to understand your design intentions and then choose to discards the suggestions that do not fit with their overall design plan you have previously approved. It’s bad when an inexperienced designer ignores your suggestions and then ultimately you are not happy with the end results. An experienced designer will create a delicate balance between the two. It is important that you feel the designer is listening to you. You should also feel comfortable discussing your budget and feel comfortable saying no. In the end, you need to feel like there was a common goal between you and the designer.
Experience wins – The ideal interior design consultant will have more than 10 of experience working with builders, vendors and other suppliers. They should have expertise in fabric, appliances, furniture and other accessories. After listening to your desires, they should be able to take you to the showrooms, fabric stores and other vendors that will supply you with products that will develop and complement your individual style.