Our top tips for working with an interior designer | homify

Our top tips for working with an interior designer

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Spegash Interiors Modern Living Room
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Johannesburg-based Spegash Interiors has evolved and grown to become what it is today: one of the country’s most prestigious interior design companies with a firm passion for deluxe results (and satisfied clients). One look at the firm’s portfolio will reveal a vibrant collection of projects in the commercial, residential, and retail industries. And aiding in its professionalism is Spegash Interiors’ various available services (from colour- and fabric coordination and finalising design plans to project management and electrical layout / consultation) to help turn clients’ dream designs into physical structures and spaces.  

And speaking of professional interior designers, today we are looking at some practical tips for you to keep in mind the next time you’re thinking about getting a first-rate designer in for your new kitchen / fresh new extension / home renovation project…

1. Ensure the designer matches your style

A Relaxing Lounge Spegash Interiors Living room
Spegash Interiors

A Relaxing Lounge

Spegash Interiors

Personal style is one of the things that differentiates one interior designer from another, but you have to be sure about your professional’s work and how it will influence what you’re trying to achieve with your project. 

And although many designers have no trouble transitioning between different styles for their work (i.e. switching from modern to rustic to style up a farmhouse kitchen), most do have a fundamental aesthetic that remains consistent throughout their work. 

Be sure to ask your designer about his / her design approach, but also make sure you feel comfortable enough to communicate open and honestly. 

2. Collect samples

Pictures of dining chairs you love (plus wallpaper samples, flooring materials, colour swatches… ) can help guide your designer in the right direction when it comes to your project. Thus, if you see a particular fabric that you love (or a paint chip, or a piece of furniture from a catalogue, or one of the many many images here on homify), be sure to share it with your pro – and the same goes with designs or features that you don’t like. 

3. Decide beforehand what goes (and what stays)

Don’t want to say goodbye to your shabby-chic dining table? This entire process will proceed much smoother if you share that info with your designer during the initial site visit / consultation. That way, he or she won’t waste their time and resources and can instead plan around that table (and other items) you wish to keep. 

4. Be clear about the billing procedures

A Bathroom of Royal Splendour Spegash Interiors Classic style bathroom
Spegash Interiors

A Bathroom of Royal Splendour

Spegash Interiors

Before you sign anything, make sure you know exactly how payment for this project will work. Apart from the actual design work, you may also be billed for the professional’s travel time, shopping, site visits, phone conversations, etc. Be sure to discuss what will be included in the final bill, what needs to be paid when, and how you’ll be billed for any furnishings, accents, or materials that need to be purchased for your new project. 

5. Keep an open mind

It rarely happens that a client loves 100% of everything their interior designer proposes. And seeing as you are the paying client (and you will be living / working in the designed spaces your designer is working on), you need to be completely honest about what you want and don’t want.

But also, remember that your interior designer is the professional here and that they have been trained to look at any design project through very different eyes. Thus, should anything be recommended that you feel iffy about (whether it’s a wallpaper sample or a new floor lamp), don’t rush to dismiss those new ideas without giving some time for the idea to sink in. 

6. Consider the future

Time and trend are fleeting, which means your brand-new design project won’t stay “hot” forever. Ask your interior designer if tune-up visits in the future are an option (and how billing would work). It might just mean very minor changes like swapping out some accessories or applying a fresh coat of paint, but you’ll still get the professional touch seeing as you made the wise choice and hired an expert. 

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