Designing a home can be exciting, yet nerve wrecking at the same time. There are several things to consider such as renovation budget, desired style, home furnishing, and the boring but highly important stuff like electrical and plumbing.
We hear you.
Therefore, we’ve come up with a checklist to help you select a good and reliable interior designer. If you are a new home owner, the number of options you have is tremendous. The first question that pops into your mind may be “should I hire an interior designer or a contractor?” It’s a common understanding that contractors provide more competitive price as compared to interior designers. This is likely to be true (most of the time) as they are paid to do different things. If your renovation involves only the basic sprucing up of existing rooms, hiring a reliable contractor will get the job done. If you require stylish design solutions, or do not have time to project manage your entire renovation which includes contractors and sub-contractors, an interior designer will be able to provide the right expertise you need.
Off to the checklist!
1) Experience & Expertise
There are many interior designers available in Singapore. From the big names to small boutique design studios like ourselves, it is no wonder home owners will sometimes get lost in the flurry of ID companies. Before you sign the contract, it is important to do your research on the experience and expertise of both the company and the actual designer who will be in charge of your home design.
Differentiate between the sales team and interior designers. Often for large ID firms, the sales person will be your first point of contact. As home renovation is a long-haul project (8 – 14 weeks), chemistry with the designers is very important. Having good rapport will help both parties communicate better, allowing your ideas, expectations, and lifestyle requirements translate into a home that excels in both form and function. An experienced interior designer will be able to propose suitable layouts for your home and share what works for your space and living needs. He/she will also advise on the best materials to use for each room, based on their availability and your budget.
2) Customers Reviews & Feedback
Interior designers will usually show their best works. Ensure that the samples shown are indeed done by the designer assisting you, and not from other designers within the same firm. After determining who your designer is, look for customer testimonials, reviews and feedback online. These may be found in the company’s website, forums, Facebook comments and reviews, or through people whom you know.
Customer reviews are crucial as you will have a better understanding of the designers’ integrity, style of managing the renovation project, and if the company provides reliable and quality service. An important factor to note is whether the designer actively listens to what the client dreams of their home, and recommend based on his expertise in the field. This two-way designer-client relationship makes the process of renovating an enjoyable and stress-free one.
3) Going the Extra Mile
As home renovation projects are personal and can sometimes be emotional, having an interior designer who will go the extra mile to eliminate hiccups through the course of renovation is a must-have. These may include on-site defects checking, choosing of material, detailed explanation of the recommended space layout and more.
At Min Design, we take customers to view existing projects as we believe a first-hand experience will help build trust between home owners and our interior designers.
Be sure to ask all the questions you have in mind before finalising your interior designer. A trustworthy interior designer will also ask you tons of questions to ensure this design collaboration result in a home of your dreams which will make your heart flutter.
4) Price and Quality
A good and trustworthy interior designer will be upfront about their fee structure. Whether the firm takes on a flat fee, cost-plus, hourly-rate or a percentage of total project cost structure, being transparent creates an environment of trust.
It is important to know what you’re paying for. The agreed scope of work which includes material specifications should be stated in the design and purchasing agreement so that both parties will not be blindsided at any juncture of the project.
As every individual has their own expectations and visions of their new home, the best interior designer for one homeowner may not be the best for another. To ensure your choice is the best one for you, tick off the above essential checklist, do the necessary research and ultimately, follow your guts and enjoy your home-building journey!