An average homeowner consults at least 5 Interior Designer (IDs), before selecting the ‘best’ one to renovate their home. Some even go to the extent of consulting over twenty IDs, with the hopes that they can find the best of the best in the market.
But, given that there are tons of interior design firms out there, and new ones that spring up every other day, how do you know if you’ve really found the right ID for yourself? Here are the 5 questions you can ask yourself to find out of the ID is the right one for you.
Renovating a home is like doing a project, where your ID is your project mate. For the project to be smooth sailing, you need an ID that you can discuss things comfortably with, and someone whom you feel that can be trusted to do the best job for you.
Many of us are inexperienced with renovation, so it is natural if you have a lot of questions to ask your ID. But if you have to mince your words, be cautious or think twice whenever you want to ask the ID questions, its the first sign that you don’t feel comfortable with your ID.
Since we are not the industry expert, we have to largely depend on our ID to do the best for us. Which is why you’ll need an interior designer who knows his stuff well. This can be in terms of being able to advice you on the pros and cons of different reno materials, and things to look out for during the reno project. It is also good if you have a resourceful ID with the relevant connections in the market to recommend to you good deals for home furnishing items.
If the ID only plays the role of an instructor, who only wants you to accept what he’s given you, without sharing why its good for you, or what might be better for you, then you might want to think twice about him. Even if he has a vast knowledge on renovation, he might not be ready to share the best with you.
Many interior designers are really knowledgeable about the renovation industry. Throw them any issue or questions and they can solve it for you on the spot. But precisely because they are so well-versed in renovation, sometimes, they might get carried away and be too quick to conclude on things. For instance, the ID might have done similar projects like yours dozens of times, and might quickly assume you want the space layout to be similar to every other projects he had done before.
If you’re sensing that the ID is starting to jump into conclusion easily, you might want to ask follow-up questions on why the ID would think this way. A good ID will be able to explain to you how this decision came about and why it would be the better option for you. Or, if there’s a clarification needed, do clarify it right on the spot!
Many of us tend to have our own idea of how we want our home to look like. But sometimes, the design concepts we like may not be the best value-for-money option, or may not even be feasible for us, say, due to our tight budget or our awkward home layout. A good ID will not just inform you that these concepts are not the best ones for you, but will also advice the best reno tips and tricks to you.
An ID who gives you his first quotation, with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, is definitely not ready to explore how he can best meet your expectations.
Different interior designers have different charging practice. Since you wouldn’t want to have all the hidden costs surfacing only during renovation, it’s best to find an ID who’s upfront of the payment terms and conditions that apply to you, before making you sign the contract.
When the ID goes through the quotation with you, does he mention to you upfront on the payment terms, gives you ample time to run through the various reno fees quoted and answers all the doubts you have on the contract? If the answer is no to all of these, you might want to think twice if this ID is right for you.
Bonus Tip: Many homeowners often go for those award-winning interior designers or designers recommended by their friends and family. However, do note that what may be the best ID for others may not be the best for you. This is because different IDs specialise in different kinds of projects, in terms of design style, and type of project. So, an award-winning interior designer who is great with minimalist-themed residential project may not be the best for you, if the reno theme you are looking for is, say, an eclectic mix. Instead, ask yourself the 5 questions above to find the best ID you deserve!