An interior design project is a major financial decision. Like all financial decisions, an interior design project is something that you should think over very carefully before signing a contract.
As a leading interior design firm in Bangladesh, Tilottoma is the right institution to inform you of how you should go about choosing an interior designer.
Consumer protection is guaranteed under the ‘right to life’, the most important right enshrined in Article 32 of the Constitution of Bangladesh. While consumers can always file legal complaints in courts to protect their rights, it is always better if a court case is not needed at all.
Making the right choice, being informed of all the critical pieces of information, knowing how to arrive at the correct decision, being aware of the entire decision making process can go a long way towards protecting your rights from step one itself without any need of undergoing a legal process.
And this is true of the interior designer choosing process.
If you know the decision making process, you should be able to choose an interior designer who can meet your design expectations from day one, making your interior design project the hassle-free experience that it should be.
Since you, the consumer, are not expected to be an expert in interior design, we at Tilottoma have broken our recommendations into 7 steps, which should be easy for you to follow.
Here are the 7 steps you should follow to choose an interior designer.
#1 – Decide a maximum amount you can spend
Most designers and experts will tell you that deciding the budget comes later, after you’ve selected a style or met with a designer.
And that’s correct.
However, you must decide a maximum amount beyond which you cannot spend at the very first step.
This is to make sure that whatever happens – timetable overruns, any alterations you may want during the project – you are not handed a bill you were not expecting and will face difficulty in paying.
#2 – Choose a design style
Do you just want a neat and clean living/working space? Does functionality come over aesthetics?
Or would you rather have a specific design style?
If you do want a design style, what is it?
For inspiration, look at interior design websites, journals and Pinterest boards.
Remember, your home should be an extension of your self; so make sure your chosen style reflects who you are. You may be thinking, why think of a style before even meeting with any designers? It will become apparent immediately.
Pro tip: Take photocopies of whichever designs or styles you found inspiring. Trust me, it will prove beneficial.
#3 – Go through designer portfolios
Every designer has their own forte. Some are good at contemporary design. Others are good at vintage design. Some may be better at ergonomics-based design rather than aesthetics-based. In some cases, you might just identify with the design style of a particular designer. Whatever it be, you need to go through designer portfolios.
#4 – Shortlist designers
Like I said, you can make 2 kinds of choices
- Some are designers whose portfolios match the style you want
- Some may be designers whose work you just seem to identify with
Carefully studio portfolios and select designers.
Pro tip: Shortlist 3 designers.
In my experience dealing with clients, speaking with one or two designers does not really give you an idea of what’s out there. Speaking with 4 or more designers can confuse you. 3 is the sweet spot. So shortlist 3 designers.
#5 – Meet with your shortlisted designers
First things first, this is just an initial consultation; so in my opinion there is no justification for any designer to charge for this. However, every designer is different, so please confirm this matter right when you book a time slot for the consultation.
With that covered, it’s time to meet your chosen designers.
Pro tip: Carry photocopies of both the designs you liked in step 2 as well as the design projects of the designer in question that you liked for reference.
The most important things to clarify during this meeting are
- Whether you plan on remaining actively involved in the design process or will you give the designer a free hand
- Their idea for the design
- A tentative timetable and budget
- Client references
- Whether their design is environment-friendly
Always remember to take notes of every detail.
#6 – Compare notes
Having met with your shortlisted designers, compare notes. Always remember to keep an open mind. It may be you don’t completely like any one of the designers. That’s how real life is. Choose your best fit. But do make sure that you’re convinced completely of the design plan and proposal.
Budget-wise, remember the cheapest option may not be the best one.
Pro tip: Remember I told you to decide on a maximum expenditure? Make sure that the budget is within 60 to 70% of that, to leave you some room for cost overruns.
#7 – Time to sign!
Once you’ve decided, meet up with him or her and draw up a contract.
For the other designers you met but didn’t go with, you can consider sending them an email explaining why you didn’t go with them. It eliminates hard feelings.
Time to get started on your design project. Good luck!