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How to choose an interior designer for your home

Your home is your retreat from the world … your safe place. It is also one of the most personal expressions of you. So, when you’re inviting someone in to help design its appearance and how it functions around your lifestyle it’s important to feel confident that the person you commission will interpret your visions and ideas and above all else who you will feel comfortable working with on such a personal level.

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Your final choice of interior designer will be down to you after you’ve met up with one or two and discussed your requirements. Ask around friends and work colleagues and try and get a personal recommendation. Then draw up a short list and try and meet first with a designer or two before committing. Drawing up a few details of your requirements first will help you know what questions to ask and I’ve detailed a few things to look out for below.

Have a Clearly Defined Brief for your Design Project

If you’ve never worked with an interior designer before this can seem daunting. An experienced designer will be able to guide you through the process and help you specify exactly what is to be included within the brief.

Before entering dialogue with a designer it’s a good idea to gather as much information about your proposed project as you can.

  • Specify exactly which rooms are to be included within the scope of the project.
  • Collect fabric samples, photographs and colour charts.
  • Tear out pictures from magazines of styles that you like.
  • Have an idea of the total budget that you can allocate for the project. Not forgetting that important contingency.

Rates and Project Costs

Check how your interior designer charges for their fees.

  • Do the work on an hourly rate?
  • Do they charge a percentage of the project cost?
  • Establish whether VAT is included in any prices quoted.
  • Will your designer be sourcing materials, furniture and soft furnishings for you?


It’s a good idea to take advantage of any initial consultation offer that your designer may provide. Use the time to assess their suitability for your project and to develop any ideas you may already have. Clarify all the points mentioned above and get a feel for how they work. It will also give you an opportunity to assess their competency.

Most importantly you will be able to see if you get on and decide if you think you can work together. At Design Solutions and Interiors, we offer an initial consultation for just £75 which we will redeem against your project should you go ahead with us.

Project Management and Commissioning

This is often not considered and many clients want to project manage themselves. But it is well worth getting your interior designer to project manage the scope of work for you. An experienced interior designer will have many years’ experience of scheduling work and commissioning the relevant tradespeople and usually with a familiar and experienced team. This will almost certainly save your budget in the long run.

If you don’t instruct your interior design to project manage it is still well worth asking them to procure all the materials required. You will benefit from their experience in knowing the best suppliers and they may be able to source things that you will be unable to find elsewhere. At  Design Solutions and Interiors we regularly source unusual pieces from across the globe that you won’t find on the high street as well as commissioning custom made pieces to fit a specific space. Remember, an interior designer is doing this all the time and knows exactly where to go to fulfil your brief.

If you’re considering an interior design project why not get in touch …we are always happy to come along for an informal chat. We carry a huge range of samples which we can bring to your home and help to get the ball rolling.


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