Your home is a lot like your wardrobe: It needs regular updates to avoid looking drab and dated. And if you’ve gotten behind with small updates and now need a total makeover (or just don’t feel like keeping up with design trends), then hiring interior design services may be the best way to get a transformation that will bring your house current with the times. Here are some dos and don’ts that can make choosing and working with an interior designer go as smoothly as possible:
- DO: Research Your Preferences in Advance
Before you ever start vetting designers, it can be helpful to just Google around or flip through some magazines, bookmarking or cutting out things that catch your eye. That way, when you do start looking at design portfolios, you’ll already have an idea of what you should be looking for.
- DON’T: Mix Up Interior Decorators and Designers
When you’re looking for a professional to help you with your redecorating, don’t mix up the terms “interior decorator” and “interior designer.” Only interior designers have schooling and certifications related to interior design. So unless you’re looking for nothing more than a minor facelift for your space, an interior decorator probably won’t cut it.
- DO: Take Chances on Changeable Things
If you’re hiring a professional, you should be willing to take their advice — even when that means taking a chance on something you haven’t seen before. You should, however, expect that your designer will walk you through the process to make sure you’re comfortable with the decisions you’re making. You may also want to take risks on home furnishings that are lower in cost and easier to change; it’s a lot easier to switch out some bold throw pillows when you decide you hate them than it is to get a new sectional.
- DON’T: Underestimate the Scope of a Project
It’s crucial when you’re taking on a major interior design project that you set a realistic timeline with your designer. If you have a specific deadline that you’re hoping to meet (if you’re hosting a summer event in your home, for example), then make that clear before you ever sign a contract.
- DO: Feel Free to Voice Your Opinions
Throughout the design process, it’s important that you feel free to voice your opinions; even if you don’t have a degree in interior design, it’s your house. If you can convey even abstract preferences, you designer may be able to figure out the best concrete ways to achieve those goals.
Have you been thinking of giving your living space a little lift? Share your plans in the comments!