There are certain things in life we do every day. We eat, we go to work, we sleep. There are things we do every week, every month and every year as well. Other things we may only do once or twice in our entire life time. For some people, these once (or twice) in a lifetime things can include hiring an interior decorator. Whether you are hiring one to do an entire house or just a room or two, it takes some careful interviewing to make sure that you do not hire the wrong person for the job.
The First Step: The first step in any task is generally the hardest. To get started, you are going to gather as many names as you can. You will need at least two, so that you can compare prices, styles and other factors to make an informed decision. There are limits to how many people you actually will call in step two, though. So, in step one you will gather names and then eliminate some of the possibilities. Find them by:
- Calling real estate agents and contractors for referrals.
- Checking with the local college for recent graduates.
- Internet research (narrow by location).
- References (including address and phone number).
Eliminate from the list:
- Anyone who does not provide full and up-to-date information.
- Graduates from yesterday’s ceremony, unless you are brave.
- Anyone who had other listings come up with their name.
- Anyone without valid, checkable references and photos.
The next step: The interview. Ask your potential decorator:
- What is your favorite part of design and decor?
- From where or whom do you draw most of your influences?
- What do you consider the most important aspect of a room?
(These questions are in addition to the typical ones you would ask a professional.)
The Third Step: Negotiations - Some designers use a flat rate scale, while others prefer to set prices based on the job, the amount of work required and the actual vision or look that will be worked on. If you are any good at negotiating, try to work out a lower price by adding more rooms or offering to do part of the physical work yourself. You might be surprised at how affordable hiring an interior decorator can be.