What You Need To Know About Hiring An Interior Designer

What should you expect from the initial consultation?

“We arrange an initial phone conservation that will lead on to a face-to-face meeting. We never charge for this. It’s an opportunity for us to meet, discuss your project in more detail and ensure there is a good rapport. During this time, we also consider the aesthetic requirements, the extent of the project, budgets and timelines. After that, if both parties wish to proceed, we draw up a fee proposal, contract and deposit invoice.” – Alex

“For us, the purpose of the initial consultation is to focus on more high-level questions which will in turn influence our proposal, such as the intended use of the property and who will be living there, overall budget and any time constraints or preferences. In advance of the consultation, we ask for as much information as possible, from floorplans to ascertain the total square footage to photographs to better understand the current state of the property.” – Clara

What questions should you ask when you first meet?

“The initial consultation is usually to establish whether you will choose to work together rather than specifics of the design. So instead of asking about paint colours or fabric choices, ask your designer about their process, at what stage you will receive various bits of information from them, timeframes and how you will be invoiced. Ask whatever questions you need to ask to ensure your brief is understood and encourage a good rapport.” – Jessica 

How does an interior designer charge for their work? 

“It’s a very opaque industry, as all designers charge in different ways – it varies with their experience and demand for their services. Typically, there will be two main income streams for interior designers: the design fee and the supply of items. By comparing the headline fee, such as hourly rate, you are only getting half the picture – not to mention the fact an hourly rate means nothing until you have a full understanding about how many hours will be involved. Because each designer charges differently, it’s vital that you understand your designer’s approach. Ask them for a fee estimate which explains how and when you will be charged.” – Jessica

“After our initial meeting where we ascertain the scope of the project, we draw up a fee proposal. The fee is based on the number of hours we anticipate it will take to for us develop the design for sign off. We keep detailed time sheets across all our projects, which means we can accurately predict how long each room design/project should take. We also find that charging by the hour gives flexibility to both parties should the scope change as the project progresses. As we split trade discounts with our clients, this can go a long way in offsetting the design fee.” – Alex