Choosing An Interior Designer

Choosing An Interior Designer

How to choose an interior designer? What are the benefits? How much will it cost? And much more..

Karen Tennant


How To Choose An Interior Designer?

Can you give any advice about choosing an interior designer?

  • Photos
    "Ask to see photos of their work - that will give you a very good indication of what kind of work they've done."

  • Experience
    "Ask how long they've been established and what type of work they do. With regards to qualifications, there's no single standard design qualification in Ireland - the usual one is the Rhodec diploma in Interior Design. Some interior designers have a diploma or degree in Fine Arts."

  • Listen To What They Are Asking You?
    "Listen to what they are asking you. An interior designer should be building a complete picture of your objectives."

  • Fee Structure
    "Find out how they charge before you start. Interior designers can be creative, rather than financially astute. And that can be a problem for the client, if they're being charged by the hour. It's important to get a written quotation before work starts."

  • Rapport
    "The designer will be working to your individual requirements and preferences. So, it's very important to have a good relationship and good communication with your interior designer."

Why Is An Interior Designer Useful?

Why is an interior designer useful?

"An interior designer will help you avoid expensive mistakes. It costs the same amount to get a room right as to get it wrong. A lot of our customers are redecorating their home because they're not happy with the first attempt. And a good interior designer should be able to work to your budget.

"Anyone who's ever done up a room will know how hard it is to actually finish the job. An interior designer has the skill and the contacts to turn around a job. So, the client has the luxury of enjoying a completed room."

Convenience. Your interior designer is also your shopper. We know what's out there and we bring it to you. So, you don't have to run all over Dublin.

"I think good value is an important aspect. An interior designer works closely with the suppliers and tradespeople in that area. So, he or she will have in-depth knowledge of what can be sourced from where and what's good value."

"An interior designer has experience with respect to the practical aspects of your furnishings. For example, if you are getting new wardrobes, we can work with the client and carpenter to bash out all the details and make it a very good overall job."

"An interior designer has skill of bringing balance to a scheme. For example, choosing furniture in a showroom that will look to scale at home can be difficult because we're relying to some extent on our perception of the size of our rooms. Getting that balance in colours and scale right can save a lot of time and money. "

How Much Will It Cost?

How much will do interior designer fees cost?

"In my case, I charge an initial small call-out fee for the first consultation. After that, there's no further consultation fees. There's a price for the supplied furnishings - it's the same as buying from a shop. The total cost is listed in the quotation."

What's The Design Process?

What's the design process with an interior designer?

"In my case, I first speak to a prospective client on the phone. This allows me to gather the relevant information so that I come to the initial consultation prepared and with suitable samples. First, I concentrate on the basics like walls, floors, sofas and curtains. I leave samples with the clients so they can live with them day and night under all lights and circumstances. We'll tweak and change the samples until the client is happy with the result." Then we work on the accessories. This allows clients to add their own personality. It's important that that room doesn't look like the interior designer's room. It should look like the client's room."

What Happens After The Design Process?

What happens after the design process?

"Once the design and samples have been decided, I can suggest decorators who have worked with me over the years. Alternatively, the client can use their own decorator. I see the work through in every sense of the word from beginning to end."

What Should Client Bring To Design Process?

What should the client bring to the design process?

"Their own design preferences. One of the best ways to communicate this is to look through a few magazines and cut out photos or images which appeal to you."

"Some idea of budget. The reason I ask about budget is that I can tell them if it's realistic or not. For people who don't have even a rough figure, I suggest that I will budget for midrange materials and furnishings".

"Before meeting the interior designer, the decision makers should have a good discussion about what they each want. And if they have very contrasting views, they should talk about any compromises regarding style and function."

I need to know what they want to use the room for and what stage of life they're at now.

Is there any furniture or items that we're working around. For example, a mahogany table that's going to be kept.

What's Popular in Dublin?

What's popular in Dublin?

"People are looking for the very clean, minimalist look too. It can be done well once the practical end is looked after. For a minimal look, you need storage."

What Are The New Trends?

What are the new trends?

"More detail - people are realising that details make a hugh difference to the character of a room. For example, a piece of quality artwork, a light fixture or even the trimmings on a curtain introduce a feeling of quality. One beautiful item in a room can really make a difference. "

Design Likes and Dislikes

Do you have any design likes or dislikes?

"I like clean, uncluttered rooms with one or two strong features. I don't like flowery and flouncy and frilly. " would like to thank Interiors, for their helpful advice and tips for this article.

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Karen Tennant