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How To Choose An Interior Designer

May 9, 2008
While some people like to do all home decorating themselves, others have learned that there are often benefits to enlisting the help of a professional. Interior designers can help you make the most of your space, take full advantage of natural light and architectural details and help you make choices that will fit both your taste and your lifestyle.

If you've never used the services of an interior designer, the process of selecting one can be a little daunting. Not everyone who considers themselves a professional designer actually is one. Professionals should have some kind of certification, either from a national organization or a state group. Check that all certifications claimed by the designer are current.

Also, it's always a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau before hiring any design professionals. An unscrupulous "designer" is likely to have multiple complaints, but you won't know that if you don't check.
Here are some more tips to help you choose a designer that will give your home a look that you can live with.

1. Check the Book

As you are interviewing potential designers, pay close attention to their portfolios. By seeing examples of past work, you will be able to get a feel for their style and see whether it is a good match for yours. Browsing through the portfolios is also a good way to see if the designer has tackled projects similar to the one you need completed.

2. Ask Around

If you have friends or neighbors who have fabulously decorated homes, ask if they used a professional. By getting referred by someone you know, you'll have had the chance to see - up close and personal - examples of the designer's work. Also, you'll be able to ask your friend what working with designer was like, and if all promises were kept.

3. References

Once you find a designer that you may be interested in working with, ask for a list of past clients. Call several of the provided references. Ask not only if they were happy with the finished product, but also if deadlines and budgets were met and if the designer consulted with them on all major decisions. In addition to checking client references, ask for professional references as well.

4. Know What you Want

While you don't have to know exactly what you want in terms of color and other decorating details, you should be able to explain in general terms what you would like to see in your room. This will help the potential designers show you relevant examples of past work and will also help you narrow your search based on designers whose style seems to be a good match for yours.

5. Go with your Gut

You could be working closely with the designer you choose for several months. If you don't think the designer is listening to your wants and needs, or if he or she doesn't seem agreeable to including ideas that are important to you, then find someone else.

Working with an interior designer can be an amazing experience that leaves your home looking more beautiful and pulled together than you ever thought possible. By taking the time to carefully select a designer, you will be assured of a finished room that exceeds your expectations.
About the Author
Jessica Ackerman is a head author at Wall Décor and Home Accents - where you can find metal wall sculptures , wall decorations and more unique wall décor products.
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