Making The Most Of Your Smart Decision To Hire An Interior Designer

So you’ve decided to hire an Interior Designer–good move! Now what? Before you start planning your “reveal” party, you’ll need a basic understanding about the process to ensure that you get the most design for your dollar and that you have a fun and fabulous experience, no matter what type of project is ahead of you.

You’ll need to learn the basics of choosing the right design professionals, establishing a budget, outlining the details of the contract, considering your lifestyle and communicating your challenges.

Choosing the Right Designer: Beyond the Portfolio

Professionally trained Interior Designers have undergone extensive training in the various elements of modern and historical design, art and architecture. They have a basic foundation of knowledge that allows them to develop concepts in a variety of styles that range from traditional, contemporary, art deco, eclectic–or a combination of several styles.

That being said, not every designer’s talent is right for every project. For yours, you’ll want to choose someone whose portfolio “speaks” to you in a positive way. As with every profession, designers tend to develop personal styles that carry over into their projects. It could be the sense of clarity and order you see in the furniture arrangements, or maybe it’s a color palette that’s used in a unique way. It could be the modern touches worked seamlessly into a roomful of antiques, or the interesting textures of the fabrics.

Referrals are the best way to find a designer, so if the home of a friend or colleague appeals to you, by all means ask them for the designer’s number! You can also visit Web sites to get a better feel for the designer’s talent and personal style. Expect to spend a bit of time on the phone discussing your project with the designer and/or completing a questionnaire that will give them a better feel for your tastes and your project prior to the kickoff meeting.

You’re looking for someone you instantly trust and respect, who communicates excitement about your project, no matter how big or small, and who trusts and respects you as well. After all, this person is transforming your most sacred and cherished space!

Establishing a Realistic Budget

Everyone has a budget, so don’t feel bad about setting yours in stone…or tile, or brick. No matter what the amount, your designer should help you get the best value and the highest quality possible. Be wary of anyone that summarily dismisses your grand ideas based on budget alone: A first-rate designer will work hard to achieve your key design goals, perhaps by spreading the job out over time or suggesting alternative solutions for your project.

A great benefit of using a professional designer is that she has access to materials unavailable to the general public, so no matter what your budget, your home will feel unique and very “you.”

Your designer will also manage the entire process, whether it involves space planning, lighting design, purchasing, ordering, selecting finishes or monitoring the construction and installation of the project elements.

Outlining Terms of the Contract

Make sure you read and sign an official contract before any money exchanges hands or work begins. In addition to the legal aspects, a contract summarizes the plans you’ve been discussing such as your budget, design fees, accountability regarding subcontractors (painters, carpet layers, etc.).

You’ve selected the designers and signed the contract – now comes the fun part!

Considering Your Lifestyle

Your home environment should complement and support the way you and your family really live – or really want to live. For example, if you’re starting a home-based business, you might turn your cluttered garage into a functional office. If your spouse loves to cook, you might knock down a wall so the under-used formal dining room becomes part of the kitchen. Many families make the mistake of letting the layout of the home dictate their activities vs. reorganizing the space to embrace their lifestyles.

To ensure that your designer understands how you live now and how you want to live, share as many details with her as you can. Also share your personal tastes so she can incorporate them into the designs. If you hate plaid, tell her now, before she gets too deep into the first draft.

To help you better prepare yourself, answer these questions before you have your first meeting with the designer:

  • Are you a creative person? In what ways does your home limit your creativity or your hobbies?
  • Do you like the present color palette? Does it need updating?
  • Are they any rooms that feel cramped or stuffy? Any rooms that feel empty, cold or unwelcoming?
  • Is adequate, well-organized storage a problem? Can you find things when you need them?
  • Are your bathrooms functional, pleasing spaces? Do you or family members have special needs (e.g. grab bars, easy-entrance shower stalls, etc.)?
  • As you walk through your rooms, jot down your favorite qualities about each. Do you like the proportions? Is there adequate ventilation and lighting throughout your house?
  • Are there any rooms that you don’t use regularly? Could any of these rooms be used for more than one function? Could any of these rooms be used for a completely different function?
  • Does your home balance open space and private areas?
  • Does the entryway do its job of setting the stage for the rest of your home by welcoming guests and making a statement about the people who live there? If you normally come into your home through the garage, does that area welcome you?

Focus on Your Challenges

A designer works best when you share your “wish list,” express your ideas, and then keep an open mind. That means communicating how you want to live in the space and then entrusting the designer to make it happen. After all, you hired this person for her experience, talent and vision!

For example, one homeowner hired a designer to help her reorganize her tiny office so she could be more productive. Instead, the designer suggested that she move her entire operation downstairs, into the den she used once every two months to watch movies. She did, tripling her space and doubling her productivity in just three months.

Contrary to TV, where designers admonish clients for questioning their plans, real-life designers understand that you’re the person who ultimately needs to love the space. They want you to be happy and want you to give your input so you’re absolutely thrilled with the results (and so you’ll recommend them to your friends)! That’s why they do so much probing upfront about your tastes and how you live, then incrementally present their ideas throughout the process.

Hiring a designer is like giving a gift to yourself! You made the smart decision to hire an Interior Designer, you’ve been smart about the planning process, and now you can rest assured that the time, money and energy you spend returns truly smart, stunning results!

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Kitchen Interior Design Ideas

When it comes to finding kitchen interior design ideas, you may have come across many various photo galleries and interior design pictures to get inspired about your own kitchen theme and design.

You may have noticed that when you search on the Internet, it is sometimes so easy to find photo galleries for design ideas, while the quality of the ideas offered are not that new or interesting.

That is why this article is going to help you discover more fresh and creative ideas for your kitchen interior designs.

How to Find Your Favorite Kitchen Interior Design Pictures?

Before you search for ideas and galleries online, it is important to know the different styles and themes your kitchen style can have.

You may choose from various styles like modern, traditional, cozy, contemporary, black and white, colorful, Asian, African, Japanese, or other creative interior design ideas that can be used for your kitchen.

Knowing exactly what kind of designs you like the most, will help make your search more targeted and easier to find. Because general design photo galleries may contain hundreds of pictures, but sometimes they are too broad and not much helpful to find the perfect kitchen design you are looking for.

On the other hand, when you search for a specific style like modern kitchen interior design galleries, you are much more likely to find your favorite design that interests you the most.

So whether you enjoy modern or traditional, cozy or elegant, Japanese or European styles in decorating your home and kitchen, you can simply find many free galleries online.

No longer you need to pay thousands of dollars to a professional designer to make the choice for you. Now you can easily find the theme you like the most and decorate your home that way, saving a lot of money.

Tips for Finding Free Kitchen Design Ideas
One way is browsing through the interior design section of your local bookstore. You will easily find a section dedicated to this specific category. You can find many books and photo galleries there with many pictures you can get inspired by.

Another very useful option is searching online for free kitchen design galleries. You can easily find many free websites that offer a wide collection of remodeling and decorating tips, ideas and pictures you can use.

Simply visit Google and search for the specific style and theme you are looking for, and you are guaranteed to find many free photo galleries full of fresh ideas.

What Is Interior Design Really?

Are you constantly amazed by the stunning interior design jobs of popular designers? Do you wish that you could achieve the same effect in your own home but you’re at a loss for what you can do to make your house look like something out of a magazine? What is interior design at its core and how should you think about interior decorating when it comes time to get rid of the old and start thinking about redoing the inside of your home?

Interior design is all about creating a feeling or mood using colors and textures in the form of materials that you might find in a house such as furniture, appliance, lighting, the paint on the walls and the floor covering under your feet. If interior design wasn’t important you would be walking around on plywood floors and putting your clothes in cardboard boxes. But interior design is important to you. Even the most uncaring person on the face of the planet wants a somewhat pleasant surrounding to spend his or her spare time in, thus we have interior design.

One important element that we often forget about when it comes to interior design is that the inside of your home should reflect who you are and what is pleasant to you. Your home furnishings and the colors that you choose to surround yourself with should be pleasant for you and your family. They should say something about your taste, perhaps where you are from in the world as well as the image that you might want to project to visitors that come to spend time in your home. You could hire the most expensive interior designer in the world to plan and execute a complete makeover of your home but if there isn’t input from you, what you like and what makes you feel calm and happy then you very well might not be happy with the outcome.

For instance, let’s say you allow someone else to decorate your home. Perhaps this designer is into modern furniture and design. They fill your home with modern furniture and the color scheme is black and white. But you grew up in the country and you love that style of furniture and home decor. You would be shocked to walk into your home and find yourself surrounded by glass tables and a minimalist design with stark white walls and abstract art on the walls. This is why you should dig deep to discover what you like and why. What kind of mood are you trying to create and what message are you trying to tell about yourself?

The design of each room should actually be taken into consideration when thinking about remodeling or decorating. While it’s nice to have a general theme or style throughout your house, each room has a different function and mood and thoughts about that mood should be unique for each room. For instance, the colors or even accent colors that you would use for a formal dining room might be completely different than a bedroom. The lighting scheme and general ambiance for a living room where you entertain guests would be different than a den or study where things might be more informal. You might even want to mix and match styles in different rooms that are more private to give yourself a bit of variety in your life.

The choices are endless and the possibilities are only limited by your own imagination. Interior design is all about who you are and what makes you feel comfortable and peaceful. Get in tune with what colors, textures and styles bring out the emotions that you wish to experience in the different rooms in your house. Understand and feel those emotions when you look at photos of different homes that you like and discover how you can transfer those emotions or moods into your own interior design and you’ll be well on your way to creating the home that brings you comfort and relaxation as it was intended.