A common misconception of interior decorators is that only ‘millionaires’ can afford to hire them. I think people picture interior decorators swanning around with their design entourage through their client’s mansions, immediately throwing everything out and making drastic changes to the whole house right then and there. But in reality this really is not the case. I personally work with a variety of clients, with different budgets, sometimes on just one room at a time. Initially we look at the room(s) in question and I find out as much about the clients lifestyle, their tastes and their needs as possible. Below I will give you more details on the stages interior decorators will take you through when you embark on the design journey.
1. INITIAL CONSULTATIONS
All projects will kick off with an initial consultation where you and your designer get to know one another to work out what you want, like and need. Your decorator will need to see the room you are working with and it’s fairly common for them to look around a few other rooms too- just to get an idea of your style and how you live. They may take some measurements of the room and any pieces of furniture you wish to keep as well as photographing the room. This initial consultation can vary in cost depending on your designer. It can be a complimentary consultation, however this is potentially something to be wary of, as the designer should value the time they are giving to you. I personally charge the initial consultation at the same price as my hourly rate, which is $75 per hour.
2. GIVING AN ESTIMATE FOR DESIGN WORK
Once the decorator has an understanding of the scope of work, they should be able to give you a rough idea of cost, depending on what service you require from them. I charge $75 an hour, so I will estimate the number of hours it will take me to carry out the design work. I will inform my client of the estimated cost prior to any designing- to make sure there are no unexpected surprises and to ensure we are all on the same page.
3. DESIGN STAGE
Once the estimate has been given, your decorator will go away and start the work proposed. I start my design process with a personalized Pinterest board, which gives my client a visual indicator of the route I advise to take in terms of the look and feel of the room. This would then be briefly reviewed and tweaked (if necessary) before moving onto the layout, mood board and shopping list. The mood board will consist of products existing on the market that the decorator thinks will fit the scheme and the room. This will be accompanied by a shopping list, including the cost of the items and where to purchase them. Once the both the client and the decorator are happy with the final design, the products can be purchased and delivered.
When the all the products have arrived to the house, your decorator can come back and put the finishing touches on the room. For my styling service, this will be priced at the normal hourly rate of $75 per hour and usually takes 2-3 hours to complete, depending on the size of the room and how much styling is required. During these few hours the decorator will be making sure all furniture is in the correct spot, hanging any art and arranging any decorative items to pull the scheme together. Once the decorator is happy with the finished product they may want to photograph the room for their portfolio (as long as their client agrees).
USING THE SERVICES OF AN INTERIOR DECORATOR . . .
- Will save you time and money- hiring someone who knows the best places to shop and what products look good together will save you from traipsing from shop to shop, wondering whether your cushions compliment with the curtains. With many decorators having trade accounts, they will also be able to save you money on the products for your house. Plus they will help you avoid any costly mistakes- such as hiring low quality trades.
- Will help avoid any disagreements with your other half- Many couples just cannot see eye to eye when it comes to decorating. So having someone to act the mediator/ middle (wo)man, who can find a scheme that works for both parties is a win!
- Will give you the room of your dreams- our job as decorators is to create not just beautiful interiors, but also functional spaces for people to use and spend time in. There is no better feeling than revealing a room to a client and for them to be elated with the finished product.