WHAT DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER DO?
Interior designers plan, envision and fit out spaces that meet the clients’ needs, focusing on human interaction and behaviour. They balance functional requirements with aesthetic considerations to achieve the mood, style or corporate image the client desires and ensures that less glamorous details (power outlets, cabling, air vents) work with the scheme to produce a cohesive end result.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
The short answer is, for their professional knowledge, experience and education.
Interior designers are educated to see the big picture, visualise the finished space and think creatively. They can also help to prevent expensive mistakes. How often have interior designers heard ‘It looked great in the showroom, but looks horrible in my home’.
Interior Designers can help with small or big projects, new builds or refurbishments and their advice and guidance is invaluable.
If having well designed spaces is a priority for you or you have a vision and no idea how to get it into reality, then hiring an interior designer is for you.
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
A good designer can help you with any elements of design, at any stage of the project. However, if you want a cohesive end result it is advisable that you hire an interior designer as early as possible, so they can advise on the best plan of attack for your project.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A ‘DESIGNER’ AND ‘DECORATOR’?
Interior Decorators focus on the furnishing and beautifying of a space that already exists, creating cosmetic changes to your interiors. Interior Designers can do this too but are also qualified with a Bachelor’s degree or higher and are trained in the technical aspects of design including space planning, knowledge of building codes, fire safety regulations, environmentally sustainable designs, accessibility standards and more. Interior Designers can completely fitout an empty space or refurbish an existing, including planning and designing all built elements.
For more information please read Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator on the blog.
WHERE DO I MEET WITH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
Generally, it’s best to meet on site so the interior designer can get a feel for the space and you can talk through all your ideas, but if that doesn’t suit, catching up at your local coffee shop is as good a place as any!
WHAT SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST MEETING WITH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
Prior to your initial meeting, your interior designer will looooove you if you have the following things prepared (but not essential):
- Your ideas
- Any drawings/sketches you have prepared
- Company style/branding guidelines
- Any existing AutoCAD files and plans (including any existing electrical, mechanical, structural & hydraulic designs)
- An idea of your budget (even if it’s pretty vague at this stage)
- An approximate timeframe for the project or ideal end date.
If you have a lovely interior designer, the initial meeting should be free of charge.
WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP IN THE DESIGN PROCESS?
The first step is to define the project. A solution can’t be worked out until the interior designer knows the problem. This might be something like ‘this office is stuck in the 80’s, I need something that reflects our company and our forward thinking.’
Following this, the interior designer will do some research, including establishing all your needs, wishes, requirements, limitations and dislikes. The interior designer will also want to chat with the end users to understand the duties and day-to-day processes. A thorough inspection of the site will also need to be carried out, which may include taking measurements and photos. The interior designer may also do additional research in relation to the site and its context that may influence the design.
The next step for the interior designer is to brainstorm and formulate preliminary design ideas. They may prepare flow diagrams, floor plan layouts, sketches and imagery to present to you for discussion and feedback. This is known as the schematic or conceptual design.
Following this, the design development phase continues which includes refining of the concept and continual development of the design between you and the interior designer. Constant collaboration is important to ensure you get your desired outcome.
HOW MUCH DO INTERIOR DESIGNERS CHARGE?
Depending on the size and scope of the project, a designer would typically give you either a fixed price quote or charge you an hourly rate. Interior Designers’ hourly rates can vary from $50 – $200. Generally, an hourly rate is going to be cheaper for you, as a fixed price needs to allow for the unknowns… but in saying that, be mindful of any extra work you ask them to do as the hours can quickly add up.
If you do hire an Interior designer on an hourly rate, feel free to ask them at any stage how many hours they’ve spend on your project, so you don’t get a shock when you get the bill. If you hire your interior designer on a fixed price quote, typically they will ask for progress payments as each phase of the design process is completed.
Please contact us for your free quote or for more pricing information.
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