Interior Designers and Interior Decorators
Whether you’re decorating a home office or a bedroom, there are many decisions to make. Sometimes, the number of decisions left before you can become overwhelming. To make this process easier, consider hiring an interior designer or an interior decorator. Having a designer or decorator on board helps to keep a project on budget and finish on time.
How much does it cost?
It isn’t always the easiest to compare rates between different companies. There are four different price structures that professionals use to charge for their services.
- Cost plus. Designers who use a cost plus structure purchase all the necessary products and then they will bill you for the total. They will charge you an additional markup, one that you agree upon when signing the contract. The markup is used to pay for the designer’s services and is usually around 20% of the total bill.
- Fixed rate. A fixed rate, sometimes called a flat rate, is a single price that covers all the materials, work, and any other expenses that go into a project. A fixed rate is often used for larger projects. It’s especially helpful for the customer as you know how much you will need to pay.
- Hourly rate. Some designers charge by the hour. Rates range from $50 to $200. Designers often reserve this method for smaller projects, so there is less risk of going over budget.
- By square foot. Some commercial designers charge by the square foot. This is a flat rate based on the size of the property.
What’s the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?
Interior decorators don’t require any formal training. This means they are not qualified to remove any existing structures, build new structures, or change the wiring in your home. Interior decorators are mostly concerned with the aesthetics of a room. They choose the décor, such as window treatments, paint, wallpaper, and other accessories. They don’t build new spaces but dress up existing spaces instead.
Interior designers are qualified professionals who attended an accredited college and majored in interior architecture or interior design. They also have to pass the national council for interior design qualification exam as a part of obtaining their license. Interior designers have knowledge of building codes and regulations, making it easier to adhere to all construction laws while still getting the room of your dreams. Interior designers often become involved with projects at the construction stage of the project. They work with architects and use their education and knowledge to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing room for the homeowner.
How to prepare
Before you bring an interior designer or decorator into a project, there are a few things you should do to prepare.
- Define your goal. Know what you want your end goal to be. Defining your goals will also help you determine whether you need to hire an interior decorator or an interior designer. If all you’re doing is changing the color scheme in your home, you’ll only need a decorator, not a designer.
- Get inspired. Look through different sources, such as interior design magazines or Pinterest. Keep them piled up to show whoever you hire so they know what you are looking for.
- Set your budget. Once you have hired a designer, let them know your spending limit. Knowing your budget makes it easier for a designer to shop for décor.
- Stay in charge. Designers are trained professionals, but only you know what you truly like. If the designer is coming up with ideas you don’t like, speak up. You should never be stuck with something you don’t like!
Why should you hire a professional?
There are many different reasons to hire a professional. They save time, as they know where to shop and have a lot of contacts already that can ease the process, and know where to find the perfect items and where to get the best prices. They have knowledge about building codes and work closely with architects to keep projects running smoothly. Finally, they are knowledgeable about color, composition, and how to best arrange furniture. They also have any equipment they need to complete the project already.