Hire a Professional

A Guide to Interior Design Services

Whether you're building a new home or remodeling a single room, a design project involves numerous choices and decisions.  You want someone knowledgeable and experienced to advise you and make everything come out just right.  Someone you can trust to listen to your ideas, understand your needs and help realize your dreams.  You want a professional.

A DESIGNER HAS THE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE TO CREATE THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION FOR THE HOMEOWNER

The Professional Difference

Professional interior designers can do so much more than recommend furniture, fabrics and colors.  They have a creative eye and artistic flair, but that's only the beginning.  In addition to their in-depth knowledge of products, materials and finishes, professional designers have the training and expertise to plan, schedule, execute and manage your project from start to finish.  They know and work closely with many vendors, contractors and other service providers, coordinating and orchestrating the entire design team.  Designers also provide specification and purchasing service to procure materials, furniture, accessories and art, some of which you might not be able to find on your own.

When you hire an interior designer, you get the benefit of an experienced professional who can solve problems, help you avoid costly mistakes and, most importantly, create an attractive, affordable space designed specifically to meet your lifestyle needs.

You’re Role in the Design Process

Before contacting an interior designer, take some time to think about what you want and what you need.  Consider some questions that an interior designer may ask regarding your project.

  • For whom is the space being designed?
  • What activates will take place there?
  • Home long do you plan to occupy the space?
  • When do you want to start work?  When does the job need to be completed?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you relocating or will you reside in the house during remodeling?
  • What image do you want the space to project?
  • Do you have furniture, artwork, collectibles, heirlooms or other objects that will be part of the design?

I NEED SOMEONE I CAN TRUST TO HELP ME PLAN MY NEW HOME’S INTERIOR TO MATCH MY NEW LIFE.

Selecting an Interior Design Professional

How do you know if you’ve chosen a professional designer?  In general, you want a designer with the following characteristics.

  • Is accredited as an interior designer (If required in your state, be sure the designer is licensed)
  • Has experienced in the type of project you are doing
  • Has demonstrated creativity, talent and resourcefulness
  • Is attentive, responsive and communicates well
  • Has a record of reliability and good work habits

One way to ensure you are working with a professional interior designer is if he or she is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers.  ASID member designers must meet the profession’s education and experience requirements, as well as adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional conduct.  The ASID appellation after a designer’s name indicates that he or she is an accredited designer who has passed rigorous professional scrutiny and testing.

Working With Your Designer

Working with an interior designer involves some give and take.  You will share ideas, and the designer will contribute insights and advice based on his or her talents, knowledge and experience.  You will have many details to consider and many decisions to make.  Your concept may grow and change as you undergo this process.

The key to a successful project outcome is good communication.  The more direct and specific you are, the easier it will be for the designer to successfully meet your needs about any aspect of the project.

Before authorizing the designer to begin work, take time to discuss fees, as well as other charges or expenses you may incur.  Ask for a cost estimate that should specify the scope of work and the type of fee structure the designer uses.

To avoid disappointment or surprises, follow these guidelines.

  • Minimize changes to your plan.  Each part of the design will affect the whole.  Changes or special requests can require any number of adjustments that will add time and expense to your project.
  • Consider carefully and make notes before you call your designer.  Repeated calls are inefficient, expensive and can slow down progress.
  • Stay flexible.  Decide beforehand where you are willing to compromise and where you are not.
  • Avoid open-ended requests.  Tell the designer up front what you are willing to pay in total for a particular item or service.

I NEED HELP VISUALIZING CHANGE.  I KNOW WHAT I WANT BUT NOT THE BEST WAY TO GET IT.

Among the many areas of expertise and professional designer commands are

  • Space planning and utilization, including organizational and storage needs.
  • Long-term project and lifestyle planning.
  • National, state and local building codes.
  • Safety and accessibility.
  • Ergonomics.
  • Design for people with special needs.
  • Conservation and “green” design.
  • Historic restoration.
  • Interior detailing of background elements, such as wall and ceiling designs.
  • Custom design of furniture, drapery and accessories.
  • Selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures and flooring materials.
  • Acoustics and sound transmission.
  • Audiovisual and communication technology.
  • Construction documents and specifications.

The above article is reprinted from the brochure “Hire a Professional” in 2007. Information provided by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).  For more information on selecting and working with an interior designer, visit the ASID Web site at www.asid.org.

 

Kathy Flack, ASID

We are an interior design studio buying direct from the manufacturer so all of your purchases would be enhancing the local economy.  We offer competitive prices for middle to upper-end goods.  Purchasing arrangements could be discussed if you are interested.

Remodeling a room or an entire home is a rewarding experience.  Let Flack Interior Design Associates help you realize your goals.

Return To Design Services Page