With so many reviews and forums to sieve through, deciding on an interior designer can sometimes be a daunting process. You sign up at a local renovation site, and next thing you know you get dozens of calls from different ID companies asking you to come down for a consultation.
Forums and friends’ reviews don’t help either, between the vastly different opinions and design preferences of people, ratings of so many companies can become a rather confusing process. After all, what you’re looking for is never the same as what others are satisfied with. To each their own right? Here are some key factors to consider before picking your choice of ID:
A quick research online will show if an ID company is ISO certified. Being ISO certified signifies that the company practices good sales practices, standards, and ethics. This means that all communication is clearly articulated, transparent and all renovation fees are documented with full accountability for the listed deliverables. This will also include fee refund policies and a well-trained staff force.
ISO accredited companies regularly go through workmanship site assessments by public auditors in accordance to CONQUAS standards. In addition to these regular checks, an assurance in the quality and consistency of work is also provided.
Years of experience
In an individual company, there are many designers one can pick from. They can range from having decades of experience, to absolutely none at all. You should look out for designers who are clear in conversing and able to generate good quality design ideas. You wouldn’t want to work with a designer who is not on the same tune as you as that would introduce misunderstandings and will potentially convey wrong instructions for your renovation.
Choice of contractors
Some interior firms have their own factories while others get their woodwork subcontracted out. It is always preferred to go with a company who has their own in-house contractors and factory as opposed to having almost all your works subcontracted out. When you are working with a company using sub-contractors, do request to see their workmanship so you’ll have a better expectation & assurance on your upcoming delivery.
Style and specialization of designer
Different designers have different strengths and design tastes. Some designers may specialize in kitchen space planning, while others may be better at wardrobe planning or texture coordination. Decide on which aspects of home designing you need the most help in, and get a designer that’s strong in it.
Similarly, although most designers are flexible with different design concepts, most would have one or two design styles that they tend to veer towards. Always take a look at the designer’s past work. If they tend to do mostly Scandinavian styles, try asking if he/she does something vastly different like a Victorian concept as well. This gives yourself a better idea if this designer is able to produce a work that is up to your expectation.
Warranty/ Insurance coverage
These days, certain ID companies offer clients a warranty on workmanship at the end of the renovation. Do sound out what these warranties cover so that you are in line and aware. What about during the renovation? If you’re keen to purchase insurance coverage for the items you place in your renovating unit during the renovation period, do get a quote from the interior company on how much this insurance will cost you.
How well the designer understands you
At the end of the day, despite all an interior designer can promise you, it would mean nothing if the designer has difficulties understanding what you want for your design. In the process of chasing sales, some designers come off aggressive in closing a sale fast instead of trying to really understand what you’re asking for.
If you do not feel heard or understood at the consultation and the designer just keeps shoving things that you do not need, do not hesitate to get a second opinion.