Frequently Asked Questions About Working With An Interior Designer
Have you ever thought about hiring an interior designer but then dropped the idea because you weren’t sure how they might help you? There are a lot of clients who are unsure of what an interior designer does, how much interior design costs, and whether it’s beneficial to hire someone to help you design your home. To help clear the air, I have answered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about working with an interior designer.
1. How much do you charge?
This is usually the first question I receive.
If you are building, purchasing, or remodeling your home – you already know that your home is your largest investment. Creating the best possible space that works for you and your family is of utmost importance to make the most of that investment. It is imperative that you protect your investment by hiring an interior design “advocate”, saving you time, money and headaches on your projects while advising you on how to enhance the value and resale value of your home. This is all in addition to creating unique, custom interiors for you.
Your investment for my services is based on either an hourly consultation fee or occasionally a full project fee depending upon your specific needs. To read more about my services, please click here.
2. Is there a contract?
I have a simple Letter of Agreement that is signed by both of us. Included in the agreement are the hourly consultation and mileage fees, purchasing options and basic conditions of our agreement. If warranted, this simple Letter of Agreement goes along with the project specifications for full project pricing.
3. What guarantees do you provide?
My firm is backed by a team of some of the region’s leading contractors, drapery fabricators, window fashion specialists, painters, upholsterers, flooring experts, electricians, plumbers and other professionals. I have worked with many of these contractors for more than thirty years and continue to make clients extremely happy with the final outcomes of their dream spaces.
4. How long will my project take?
Each project’s specification and scale are unique just as you are unique. While I have a general idea of the timing, much of that depends upon how quickly you make decisions based on the options given to you.
While it is fun to watch all of the HGTV series, you must not expect that your project will be completed overnight or by next week as is often portrayed. More time and energy and people are involved in those projects behind the scenes over a longer period of time than is implied.
5. I’ve never worked with a designer before- what should I expect and how do I work with you?
Be prepared to enjoy this experience and relationship! Once we determine that we both feel comfortable with each other through our conversation and a complete understanding of your project, a Letter of Agreement will be presented and signed by all decision makers. Together, we will discuss the project goals in detail and set up a follow up meeting to review design concept. What you can expect from me as your designer:
· I create a proposed design concept that will include as warranted: plan drawings, paint/wallcovering options, surfaces and materials, cabinetry, furnishings, fabrics and accessories. Often, there is more than one option available for your selection.
· Then I will present the design concept and subsequently obtain design concept approval from all decision makers with any revisions as needed.
· I meet with contractors and subcontractors as necessary for initial budgets
· We will have follow up meetings to review any revisions and budget changes
· The next stage is Design Development which includes refinement of the concept and final selections of all items required for the completion of your project.
· We will conduct final meetings to review additional revisions and budget changes, specifications and construction documents as required
· I will assist with review of final bids and selections of team depending upon project scope
· Then it’s time to prepare for project beginning and creation of your dream!
6. Can I use some of my favorite pieces of furniture or accessories in the design?
Absolutely! It is great fun to incorporate your special pieces into your final design!
7. Do I have to make purchases through you?
You do not have to make purchases through me, however, there are times when some items are only available to the trade. In those cases, you can purchase them through me at my cost-plus advantage pricing.
8. Why do I need an interior designer if I already have an architect or home builder/designer?
An architect or home builder/designer considers the exterior and general interior rooms you specify. I have rarely seen an architect or home builder designer spend time with you in your home listening to and seeing how you live. They do not consider how your own furnishings and your normal living patterns will impact the spaces that they have created. For instance, the location of interior doors, windows and focal points like fireplaces all impact the location of your furniture. Sometimes those locations can interrupt the natural traffic flow from one room to the next or block a view of the outside. An interior designer will have discussed in depth your preferences for your living spaces with you and will have inventoried and measured any furnishings you want to use in your new space. Furniture plans for each room will clarify whether all of those locations will work best for you or whether there needs to be any modification to the architectural plans that will save you time and revisions charges.
If you have any more questions about working with an interior designer, get in touch with Donna J. Barr. As an award-winning designer, known for my extraordinary customer service and unique interiors, I offer services ranging from project management and space planning to kitchen and bath design and furniture selection that will help you save time, money and stress. To view my portfolio, please click here, or contact me by clicking here.