Whether you have decided to downsize, upgrade or have just started out on a new venture, you will be thinking about what that all entails.
In-between the when, where, and why’s, you will begin to think about how you intend getting your desired intention to fruition.
Here are a few tips (and things to consider) that can help you on your journey to create that perfect space!
Deciding Whether to Go the ‘DIY Route’ or Hiring an Interior Designer
The DIY Route can be fun and exciting but does take a lot of patience and tenacity to complete the job.
You could, however, save a lot of money doing it all yourself by renovating furniture, covering couches with new throw-overs, or revamping cushions and changing a potted plant here and there.
The oldest trick in the book would be to look at hordes of pictures and then try and recreate that design.
If you find that you feel as though you don’t have that creative spark, or maybe just not the patience for it, it is probably best you find yourself an Interior Designer.
This will most certainly be the cheapest route to follow because you’ll get it done right the first time!
For more information on cost, check out our article: Interior Designer Cost: Fees & Prices (Examples Explained)
Finding an Affordable Interior Designer
Interior Designers can charge anywhere between $50-$450 per hour, while a single room can cost anywhere from $1000-$12000 – so it would definitely be advisable to first have an honest look at your finances.
After that, it is important to decide what you can realistically afford before going through the tiring exercise of finding an Interior Designer. Especially if, after everything is said and done, the designer you like doesn’t fit into your budget!
Finding a designer comes down to asking important questions for yourself like, “How much do I have to spend?” and “What is the most important focus of my project that I want to be done?”. Once you know that, you can be firm about your budget with a potential hire.
Once you’ve started looking for an interior designer, navigating the industry comes down to who you know or where you look.
If you know friends or family – even coworkers – who have hired a personal designer or contractor for this sort of work, ask them questions!
If, however, you’re completely new to this, check out personal and professional websites that designers use to showcase their own work. From there you can contact them about rates, availability and personal experiences.
You can usually find many interior designers online through their portfolios in this manner.
Finally, if you need a little extra help, try websites like Houzz.com and Decorilla.com. These are popular lists and profiles of popular, affordable and professional interior designers on the market right now. Be careful, though, and always try to speak to the designer directly before making a hire.
Check Interior Designers Legal Requirements & Qualifications
Finally, before you hire someone, check out the legal requirements of your state or city.
Always do a check that all the legal requirements are being met, as certain states in the U.S. are required to have a license to work as an Interior Designer.
Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico require your designer to be licensed or work for someone who is licensed.
Do you fit your state’s requirements? Find out!
What Will this Cost & How to Pay For It?
Once you have ascertained how much you can afford and found an Interior Designer that matches your style and budget, you will now be thinking about how you will go about paying for all these changes.
As mentioned before, a single room can cost upwards of $1000 in interior designer costs, furniture, accents, paint, etc.
Paying for a remodel or redesign with savings – or a little at a time – would save much more money in the long run, but can take time. This would prevent you from having to take out loans or charge your credit cards until the project is done.
Consider using useful tools like management or finance apps, estimate price values and cross-compare prices between manufacturers before you begin.
Have a plan!
Most of all, speak to your designer and discuss the best way to meet your budget goals!
Finding Online Interior Designers
If you are on a tight budget, finding a designer who will work remotely with you might be a better idea!
Online interior designers won’t be able to meet you in person at your home or space and will charge between $100-$1000. However, they can still provide many of the same services with great results!
You will ultimately still be the one sourcing, buying and placing items in your home, taking care of meeting contractors and operating for the designer when other contractors or artists are present, but you will be getting that useful advice and style that a designer provides!
Read Testimonials of Prospective Interior Designers
Before you hire online, you want to be sure to read up on their experiences, former clients and see any portfolios they have to offer.
See what other people have to say about their experience with the Interior Designer, as well as the overall satisfaction with their final results.
In the end, you want to feel that you can connect and relate to the person you will be working with to create and produce your vision to perfection.
Advantages of Virtual Reality Apps
Furthermore, if you want to get an idea of what your space could look like as a remodeled, redecorated space, try out a VR (virtual reality) app!
Freshome.com, for example, offers up a list of ten free, online virtual reality room apps and tools to help you get an idea of your space, and what it would look like redesigned.
Using apps and tools like this helps you make decisions early – which saves you time and money. Rather than go through the remodeling processes and deciding you don’t like it as much as you thought, you can see your space the way it will look, and decide before you’ve even bought the paint!
Truly, the future is now!
If you have decided to go the DIY route, you will possibly need a Contractor or two to help with the projects you are not qualified to do such as Plumbing and Electrical jobs.
Your one-stop-shop would be porch.com. They do just about anything you need. If they can’t do it, they will find someone who can and provide you with their quote!
The nifty thing about them is that they have an online assistant, so you can type your questions and receive your answers without even having to dial a number!
There are many ways to hire a contractor – online, through a phonebook, through family and friends – but if you’re looking for great help fast, porch.com and places like Angie’s List are a great resource to get reviews fast!
How do I find the Right Interior Designer for a Small Space?
Start by reviewing images of areas of similar size until you find one that you can resonate with. Seeing how others have done their space will help you decide which direction you’d like to go in.
Once you decide how you want your space to be, you can pick and choose the designer that is right for you!
The next best option would be the Online Interior Designer – this prevents spending more than necessary on a small space. However, if your space is the focal point of your home or entryway, you may need a bit more consideration about who you want to hire.
How Do I find an Interior Designer for my Airbnb Apartment?
First, you will want to make sure you have the entire legal requirements for your area in place – like registering your Airbnb and getting permits and licenses.
You would then need to make sure your Interior Designer is proficient with ensuring that the area you intend to house your guests is safe and that all requirements are met. An Interior Designer that pays attention to the finer details is highly recommended!
Everything from the bed, pillows, sheets, and towels will need to be of high quality, not only for your guests’ comfort but also for wear and tear purposes. You will be washing those items way more than the average, so spend a bit more to save in the long run.
Furthermore, your Airbnb status will depend on that space, so hiring someone experienced is a must!
You can find these designers on Airbnb forums, on their personal portfolios and websites, or in job sites we’ve mentioned before like Houzz.com and Decorilla.com!
What About Interior Designers for Tiny Houses & Space Optimization?
Look through portfolios! You definitely want to find an Interior Designer that has a lot of experience in tiny houses before you hire them. Sometimes even the ‘Experts’ can get it wrong on TinyTV, so make sure you’re getting it right!
Criteria to keep an eye out for would be things like how they deal with storage issues or how they present proper lightning to areas where you would need it most (for reading, cooking, work or makeup). What you are looking for is to create the perception of a mini-mansion with clever uses for any space available.
Scour those portfolios and make 100% sure that their vision matches yours. This is a much tinier space to get wrong. Take a look at the overall appearances of their designs – do their designs look cluttered, or open and fresh?
Finding designers through family, friends or coworkers who have gone tiny and have used designers is probably the better bet. However, if you must turn to the internet, make sure you are meeting with or speaking to your designer upfront!
How do I find Interior Designers for Restaurants and Hotels?
Decide whether you want your professional space to look. You could go with designs that are contemporary, modern and cutting-edge. You may also try the ‘Boutique’ style of using your own preferences in color, furniture, and textures to create a cozy and homey feel.
Either way, you will still need to make sure that the Interior Designer you choose has the experience (with reputable references) to incorporate all the Rules, Regulations and Safety Requirements needed to operate your business without any unnecessary incidents in the future.
For hotels and restaurants, you’ll need style and function to get the job done! Find interior designers on their personal websites who have an emphasis on professional, functional spaces!
How do I find the Right Interior Designer for Office Space?
“Aesthetically appealing” and “efficiently functional” are key elements in deciding the layout of your office space as most of your day is spent here:
- Will there be any meetings held in your office? (seating)
- Will you be seeing clients in your office? (comfort)
- Will you need to keep a filing system on hand? (ease of accessibility)
- Will you be spending long hours behind your computer? (good lighting and ventilation)
Make sure your interior designer also agrees with your vision and surprises you with their own take on it! Don’t be afraid to let them run with it, but make sure the integrity of your business remains intact!
How do I find an Interior Designer for My New Practice?
When you decide to redesign a medical practice, consider your patients’ entire experience when coming to you for their appointment. From the entrance and receiving counter, to ease of access to comfortable seating and all the way to the consulting rooms must be an experience of professionalism mixed with tranquility.
You might be looking to create a whole separate room for matters of finance, where your patients can sit in private to discuss prices of procedures/options and payment plans.
If this sounds like you, hiring a professional designer is a must. Especially one who has done this in the medical field before!
This comes down to portfolios and personal websites once more. You won’t want to hire from a job board for this sort of project. As you meet and interview interior designers, you want to make sure you’re asking them incredibly specific questions.
This is your business and requires a special touch!
How do I find Interior Designers in my Local Area?
There are a couple of ways to find an Interior Designer in your area.
Besides having a look at your local advertisements or the local directory, here are a few sites you can search:
- Thumbtrack – https://www.taskrabbit.com
- Bloomchase – https://www.bloomchase.com
- TaskRabbit – https://www.taskrabbit.com
There are many Interior Designers out there that will suit your personality and flare. All you need is to know what you are looking for.
Do your due diligence on making a list of guidelines of what you want to accomplish, and of any specific ideas you want to address before contacting an Interior Designer.
Time is money, so narrow down and be specific about your needs, wants and must-haves.
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.