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Interior Design Services

How to work with an Interior Designer
Excerpted from "Haven" Designer Chat

We've all come face-to-face with decorating dilemmas; that's when an interior designer can come in handy. But don't think that a professional will break the bank. You can get as much—or as little—advice as you need. You can get professional advice about wall coverings, furniture arrangements, lighting, flooring . . . The services of a designer will save you money in the long run.

Before making an appointment, there are several questions to ask:

  • What do you charge. How much time does that cover? Is all of your time spent in my home working with me? (Prices will vary from location to location. In a large city, typical fees could range from $1,000 for two hours to $3,500 for a day. Be honest about what you can afford.)
  • How much is an extra hour or a follow-up appointment?
  • Will you refer me to upholsterers, carpenters, etc.?
  • Will you send a write-up of your ideas or will I need to take notes?
  • What advance preparation should I do before your visit?
  • If a contract is involved, read the fine print!

Tips before meeting with your designer

  • Know what you like: spend time gathering magazine photographs: sort them into things you love and things you don't.
  • Have three or four specific questions ready before meeting and put them in order of priority so you can get to the things most important to you first.
  • Decide if you're hiring the designer for advice or to help shop or both.
  • Hold the first meeting at your home.
  • During the meeting, ask where you should invest "seriuos" money; your designer will help establish priorities and a timetable based on your needs and budget, i.e. built-in bookshelves or store-purchased?