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What To Expect When Engaging An Interior Designer

June 15, 2017
BOOKMARK

Renovating your home with the help of an interior designer can either be a tedious yet rewarding journey, or a total nightmare. Even though you’re prepared to part with a sizeable chunk of your savings for the service, don’t put it all on the designer. Rather, think of him or her as a partner than a supplier. Building a dream home requires work on your part as well, and these are 8 ways on how you can make the entire process smoother.

Jalan Tenteram (Block 116A) by Colourbox Interior

Interior Firm: Colourbox Interior

1. Consider designer's compatibility

Many start their renovation journey with some research online, and by asking for recommendations from family and friends. While these sources are a good starting point, remember that you’re a unique individual with your own preferences and lifestyle. An interior designer that’s highly-recommended might not be the right fit for you. For example, if a friend refers a designer because he or she can produce strong design ideas, and you’re someone who’s as opinionated on design, you should reconsider working with such an individual may sour the relationship instead.

What To Expect When Hiring An ID

2. Check if the company is legit

While there are a handful of established, trusted, and qualified interior design firms in Singapore, there are many others that are newly established or have few employees. So when you’re going about asking for consultations, do make it a standard practice to ask for the firm’s accreditations, and check what the different schemes mean. Also, don’t be lured by low-priced packages at roadshows; protect yourself by never paying until you’ve signed a contract. Good things don’t come cheap!

Tampines Street 32 by Fifth Avenue Interior

Interior Firm: Fifth Avenue Interior

Explore: CaseTrust & HDB-registered IDs – Are They Really Crucial?

3. Be patient

Don’t dismiss the interior design firm if they don’t get back to you after you’ve reached out to them. At times, they are unable to take up your project due to constraints such as the lack of manpower. If you really like their portfolio and can afford to wait, just be a little more patient as they often have multiple projects to juggle at once. But if you have a tight timeline, tell them right from the start and confirm if they are comfortable working with such a tight timeline.

Tampines North Drive 1 by Design 4 Space

Interior Firm: Design 4 Space

4. Assess how the designer communicates with you

When speaking with the interior designer, go beyond designs and prices. While these are important factors, try to also suss out their project management, communications style, and personality. This will help you get a sense of whether you are both on the same page, and if you’ll enjoy working together. If you encounter miscommunications, don’t like the way they keep pushing for pricier suggestions, or disagree with the designer’s aesthetics in the early stages, it’s best to trust your gut and pull out.

Serangoon Central by Inizio Atelier

Interior Firm: Inizio Atelier

5. Good service is a two-way street

Start your working relationship with the designers on the right note by always being nice and polite, and they will, in return, do their best to serve you. Remember that they are as busy as you are, and are often caught up in discussions or site visits that could take up hours of their schedule. While you’re a paying customer, it also pays to be more understanding of the nature of their job, and remain reasonable when things don’t go too smoothly.

Teck Whye Lane by Swiss Interior Design

Interior Firm: Swiss Interior Design

6. Pinpoint the look you want

Right from the onset, subscribe to magazines and browse interior design websites or Pinterest frequently to get a firm grasp on what tickles your fancy. Designers know that working for a client that doesn’t know what he or she wants can be a nightmare, so it’ll do both you and the designer good if you are sure about the look you’d like to achieve. If you don’t have a clear idea, you’ll waste both yours and the designer’s time during the consultation! They can’t guess the vague terms you throw at them – even “Scandinavian” has many interpretations!

Costa Rhu by Free Space Intent

Interior Firm: Free Space Intent

7. Know how you want the home to function

While new homeowners often get excited about how the space will look first, it’s almost as important to know how you’d like the space to be configured. It’s best to discuss your lifestyle with the designers so that they can suggest accordingly (this is why interior designers cost more than contractors!). But while designers can think of out-of-the-box spatial design solutions, you have to be absolutely comfortable with the proposal.

Sengkang West Avenue by Couple Abode

Interior Firm: Couple Abode

8. Honesty is the best policy

Don’t let the designer sway you if you don’t feel comfortable about certain proposals. It’s better to speak up immediately than to delay the confrontation as this enables both parties to understand each other better. Also, never shy away from touchy topics such as budget, after-sales service, hidden costs, and what is excluded from the package – different firms have different ways of charging projects, so ensure that you discuss everything thoroughly. The designer is just doing his job, but ultimately, this is your home. If you’re unsure, just ask!

The Clement Canopy by D Initial Concept

Interior Firm: D Initial Concept


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