Have you been browsing interior design magazines, pinning images on Pinterest, and searching for dream interior designs on Instagram for your new home? Before you start your home renovations, you’ll need to engage with an interior designer. After your “shopping” is done, you’ll naturally narrow down to one or two potential designers.
Then it is time to meet your preferred interior designer!
Some may feel a little bit nervous and jittery (especially you are doing this for the very first time). Some of you may have the misconception that you can dump your ideas, and the interior designers will magically make everything right.
To ensure you and your interior designer start right, you need to do a bit of prep before your first meet.
Be sure to have:
- A printed floor plan of your home
- Layout of the existing electrical and power units
- A budget for the project
- The target completion date of the renovations
- Your expectations and objective of each space
Do not waste precious time during your first meeting. Be sure to get the above prepped!
However, you must be mindful of what your interior designer can deliver before you sign the contract. It is crucial to protect both parties and prevent disappointments.
Here are some questions you should ask:
Can I see your past work based on the design theme I am looking at?
You probably have scanned through the work of the interior design company you are interested to engage. Although you may generally like their designs, it may not be done by the interior designer will be speaking to. Therefore, do ask to have a look at their portfolio. Ask about the types of designs he likes or are comfortable to work with. Although interior designers are supposed to conjure your ideal home, they do have their preferences and strengths in a certain area.
What happens if I don’t like the design you have created?
Art is subjective, and though you might agree to have it look a certain way before the 3D rendering comes out, it might not be what you want once you see the ‘real’ thing. Ask if it is possible to make changes and if it is chargeable. Your designer may not charge for minor changes, but they may bill you if you are looking to change the direction of your initial design.
It also helps if you can show the designer more examples of what you want. We are pretty sure you’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to building your dream home.
Can you walk me through the whole design and renovation process?
Even if you have worked with interior designers before, each studio runs its process differently. Remember to ask about the processes and structures thoroughly. Have it printed in black and white, so both parties are clear on the project guideline.
What is my involvement throughout the renovation process?
Your interior designer will be in charge throughout the whole process. However, they might need you to have a look and give feedback at certain key stages of the process. Do communicate your expectations when it comes to your involvement.
Can you work within my budget?
Let’s be realistic here. Sometimes our budget can put the interior designer in a tight spot. If your budget is final and cannot be compromised, remember to let your interior designer know. Sometimes, they might try to upsell a design that will cost you a little bit more. Remember that you are the client, and you have to know how much you are willing to spend. At the same time, you need to get clarification from your designer to see if what we want is achievable with the budget set.
You could also suggest using your existing furniture for your new home, but please notify your designers before the design draft starts.
Is there a warranty on the fixtures?
Some interior design firms offer a warranty on their workmanship, but that is not a cause for rejoicing. Always go through the details of the warranty so you won’t be disappointed later. If you are unclear about the terms and conditions stated, don’t assume, always ask. For example, if the kitchen cabinet has a five-year warranty, it may mean only the hardware but not everything else. Always ask!
Now that you are prepared to meet your interior designer, we wish you all the best and may you move into your dream home soon!
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