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4 things to ask yourself before committing to an ID

Let’s face the facts: Home renovations are never easy. Truth be told, the stress begins right from the start during the search and selection process for interior designers. With hundreds of companies in the market to choose from, it can be a daunting task to shortlist the most suitable one to get the job done.

First and foremost, variety is always preferred – Homeowners should not limit themselves to only 1-2 interior designers. Rather, take time to source for at least 5 – 7 different firms so that you can pick and choose which ones suit your needs best. The best way to do so is via local renovation portals such as Renonation.sg, where you’ll just have to sit back and wait as different vendors will contact you for a preliminary consultation.

After this comes the hard part; narrowing down the list to find the best firm. Should you be confronted with difficulty in doing so, simply follow these simple steps and remember that you do not have to commit to anything while you deliberate between your options:

1. Request for samples of previous projects

Humans are visual creatures, hence it is always beneficial to ask the prospective interior designer to provide examples of work they have done in the past. This serves two purposes: should you already have a certain concept for your home renovation, this will help gauge whether their design aesthetics are in line with what you have in mind. Secondly, for homeowners who may not have formulated any concrete plans, it allows them to envision what works, and what doesn’t, for their abode.

Take time to browse through their portfolio and more importantly, ask questions about each project, especially those that have a similar layout or property size as yours. This will pay dividends in determining if the interior designer is able to recreate your preferred style and vision given the space constraints.

Be aware that most interior designers do not have the habit of showcasing their catalogue when you first meet with them, so it is up to you to arrange this prior to making said appointment.

Interior Design: The Interior Lab

 

2. Check out their credentials online

It pays to be in the know, although it sometimes can be difficult to ascertain whether an interior designer is up to par based on first impressions.

As a rule of thumb, take time to do an online search on the background of interior design companies you are going to meet. For example, some homeowners look out for awards and professional accreditations (such as being CaseTrust RCMA certified) to distinguish the better from the mediocre ones in the market.

And much like hotels and restaurants, others prefer to read online reviews and client testimonials to get first-hand information about the customer service interior design companies provide. This helps to avoid getting a rude shock during the renovations – it is possible that beneath the glossy veneer of popularity lies a number of disgruntled clients!

Do note that regardless of whichever method you wish to employ to filter through your choices, it boils down to how comfortable you are with the firm’s company culture. The way an interior designer interacts with clients is a reflection of the culture and values his/her company represents, hence should you have a positive experience during your initial meeting with your prospective interior designer, it is more than likely you can count on his/her firm to deliver on their home renovation promise.

Interior Design: Lux Design

 

3. Stick to the budget

Some interior design firms may extend attractive packages and offers such as a discount off the final renovation cost in a bid to lure potential homeowners to sign with them. Our advice is to be wary of such tactics and read between the lines; while it may seem like they are representing your best interests at a reasonable price, not all are able to provide you with the quality services or products you require.

Instead, focus on which interior designer can fulfill your home renovation goals within the budget you’re willing to spend. A good interior designer should maintain open channels of communication and let you know beforehand if your renovation plans are able to match your budget, and if not, suggest more affordable alternatives.

Interior Design: I-Bridge Design

 

4. Ask yourself whether you are compatible with him/her

As you will be working closely with an interior designer over the course of at least 3 – 6 months, it is important to select the one you are most comfortable with. Unfortunately, it is far too common to hear of interior designers, in a bid to hastily secure a client, do not make any effort in truly appreciating what homeowners are asking for.

Indeed, having a trusting and amicable relationship with your interior designer is desired as it reduces chances of miscommunication and overall stress for both parties. That said, while most interior designers tend to suggest opting for common features such as track lighting, feature walls and in-built shelving, the power still lies with the homeowner to make the final call. If you feel that your interior designer is not taking what you want seriously, and instead recommends things you do not need, you should consider moving on to find another vendor.

Interior Design: JSR Design & Renovation

 


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