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An interior designer can be the magic ingredient that makes your decorating vision fall into place. But how do you go about choosing one?

Whether you are moving in to a new home or freshening up outdated decor, an interior designer can be your best friend. Here are some insider tips to choosing the right one. You may think interior designers only work with the rich and famous, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Restyling your home, particularly if structural changes are involved, is a costly investment, so mistakes are expensive and frustrating. A professional can help bring your vision to life and work to a deadline, while squeezing every drop of value from your budget.

You can hire an interior designer to develop and execute an entire project, or simply bring one in to help you with smaller jobs like decorating advice, paint colour selection, window treatments, fabric sourcing, furniture shopping or space planning.

Know your style.

It’s important to know your personal style so you can hire the right person for the job. Many designers have a signature style, but the really good ones should be able to adapt to your own preferences and inspire you.

Do your research.

Ask friends, estate agencies or local letting companies for recommendations. Utilise professional organisations like the British Institute of Interior Designers (BIID), and search for local firms on the web or in magazines. Once you know what you’re looking for and you’ve identified a few designers that match your style, find out more about them and take a look at their portfolios. See what they have already created and try to imagine yourself living in those spaces.

Know your budget.

Try to work out and communicate your budget from the start. I think people are distrustful of telling their designer what they want to spend, but it is much easier to know from the start as I can then work within that guide and make sure we use expensive elements in the most economical way. The cheapest quote is not always the best; a good designer will be worth their fee, saving you money and time in the long run. If you live out of county, you really need an experienced designer and project manager that can manage everything on your behalf and liaise with you every step of the way.

Get to know each other.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to just a few names, it’s time to meet face to face. Visit their offices and meet the team – it’s a great way to find out if you will all be able to get along and work together! Most designers don’t charge for these sessions but ask about that over the phone, just in case.

Ask lots of questions.

Ask about clients you could contact for referrals. Find out how big the team is and if they have the resources to be able to work on several big projects at the same time. What qualifications do they have? Are they professionally certified? Do they have experience working on projects similar to yours, and can they tell you what they did and why? Ask about costs, deadlines, the duration of the project and find out what services the designer will provide. Think of specifics and put everything down on paper so you don’t forget anything.

Trust the chemistry.

Go with someone you have total confidence in and whose taste you trust. You need sound advice, total discretion and a highly personal service geared around your needs and your property. “Our clients know the money they’ve invested in using us above another designer was worth the results. It isn’t just about our design skills; it’s about how we seamlessly deliver our services and how our process makes our clients feel from their very first point of contact. They might never completely understand what it takes to create a beautiful and functional interior, nor do they care; but they do value what we do, and most of all, they value the result!” explains Elaine.

If you’ve got a project you would like to discuss please contact us. We would be very happy to meet you in one of our showrooms or arrange a home visit to see your property first hand.