10 Steps in Choosing the Best Interior Design Expert

Choosing an interior designer is like choosing a partner in life. That might sound absurd for you at first, but consider this: when you’re choosing an interior design expert, you’re basically looking for the best person who will make big decisions for your home—which, in some sense, is quite similar to the same amount of responsibility delegated to life partners. Can you live with someone who will recommend painting your walls pink if you feel personally attacked by pastel colors? Can you sleep at night knowing you have a velvet-style ottoman in your living room when all you’ve wanted is a sleek leather one? We don’t think so. And we’re sure you get the point we’re trying to prove here.

When selecting an interior design expert, you’re choosing someone who will make big decisions about your home—the very place you will most likely spend decades living on. Unless you’re willing to settle for a home design that isn’t really quite to your liking or dish out some serious bucks to refurbish everything again, you should take careful steps before selecting your designer. Is it your first time to get one? These ten steps will help guide you in finding the best interior design professional for your project.

  1. Identify what you want, what you really, really want.
    Check Pinterest and other blog sites for inspiration!

Before building your pool of selections, decide first on the overall theme and look that you want for your home or condo interior design project. Many people think that this is the job of the designer, but as the homeowner, it really is up to you to have (at the very least) have an idea of what you want for your home. An interior designer’s job is to propose, guide, and execute, not to entirely call the shots about your home’s design and plans. Feel like you’re not creative enough to actually settle on a look? You don’t really need to go into details. If you’re really having a hard time, compile all the things that you like and present them to your candidates. This will at least give them an idea of what they will have to work on.

  1. Prepare your design inspirations.
    Consider this step as part of your research. Before sitting down with an interior designer, gather some photos, magazine cutouts, or even Pinterest pins of all the elements that you’d like to see in your home. Doing so will set a clear standard not only for you but also to the interior design expert you will be considering later on.
  2. Create a pool of candidates.
    Look for websites, ask for recommendations, or follow communities that house home design experts. Whatever your choice of headhunting is, make sure to fish for reviews and feedback about the home design professionals you are considering. A selection of five will suffice when making a list. More than that can be a little bit too much and just overwhelm you in the long run, especially when it’s time to consider separate portfolios.
  3. Set meetings.
    Set meetings so you can get an idea of their work ethic and personality!

Sit down with each and every candidate on your list. This is the time when you should be asking for portfolios, ask for their rates, talk about budget, and give an overview of your plans. You don’t really need to go deep about everything at this stage. Look at it like a first interview where you can get to know the people you’ve shortlisted. More than just their skills, consider the personality of the expert as well as your chemistry with them. While this may just be a home project you’ll be working on together, you’ll need to retain a good partnership with your chosen candidate to make it a successful one.

  1. Compare and shortlist.
    Once you’re done with the first wave of meetings, take the time to study the portfolios given to you and see which one fits your vision. This will take a bit of time since you will also have to consider other factors like the budget, skill set, and the personality of the professional. Make a pros and cons list if you must. Sometimes a visual guide is what you need when making a choice.
  2. Sit down for your second wave of interviews.
    Say you’ve already decided on your candidate or a shortlist of your home design experts. Set another round of interviews where you can go deeper into your discussions. This is the time where you can go in detail about what you want and don’t want, as well as your working budget and other requirements. Make sure you cover everything during your discussion and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make up possible problem scenarios and ask them what they would do in such situations. Question them about alternatives. Dig deep.
  3. Ask for a proposal or a project plan.
    The next step is to ask for a sample proposal or project plan from your candidate/s. Do note that some designers do not provide a full plan until a contract is signed and sealed—in which case you can request a partial once with at least enough information that can help you gauge how they plan to handle and execute the project. Make sure you provide your designer with all the details they will need to craft their proposal.
  4. Review.
    Make sure to take the time to review their proposals. Consider the work budget, timeline, and other important elements. Compare and contrast if you’re considering more than just one proposal.
  5. Make your final decision.
    Eventually, you’ll have decide on which designer really suits your needs!

Taking into account all the interviews and proposals you’ve had, you now have all the materials and references you’ll need to finally come to a final decision. Contact your chosen candidate and set up a meeting to finally….

  1. Sign a contract.
    Congratulations! You have now successfully chosen an interior designer for your home. Make sure to sign a contract that will cover all the specifics of the project. Remember, no contract, no payment needed yet! Everything has to be on paper before you officially start anything.

Choosing an interior design expert can be an arduous process, yes, but it’s necessary if you really want someone who provides you with great results. Remember, this isn’t just any other project we’re talking about—it’s your home, which means you need to have the best creative minds to work on it. Looking for cheap interior design experts in Manila? You can reach out to us! We’d be more than happy to recommend our personal choices!

Done With Your Build? Let’s Get Designing Next

If you want to transform your place into a potential dream home, we at IEO Inc. can make it happen. Expect us to use nothing but the best interior design techniques to spruce up your house.

Schedule a free interior design consultation to know more.