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Working with an interior designer: yes or no?

Last modified: 2022-03-02 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

With all the aspects that need to be taken into consideration, renovations can be tricky and can put you through a lot of stress.

For this type of situation, the role of an interior designer is to put your mind at ease and to guide you throughout the process. You may think they only know about interior design, but they can also give you advice on other aspects, from planning out your budget to dealing with the contractor.

What does an interior designer do?

The task definition of an interior designer may seem rather vague. Often confused with the work of a decorator, the mandate of an interior designer has many facets. In fact, the first difference is that the title of interior designer implies that the person has obtained accreditation in this field. This work brings together tasks of decoration, design and architecture.

While the decorator mainly deals with furniture, colours and accessories, the designer also has to work with the ergonomics of the room, the structural integrity of the space and many other logistical aspects. He must also know how to respect the building code and often works in collaboration with other people including contractors and government authorities.

Salle à manger classique_classic dining room decor_interior designer

What are the pros of hiring an interior designer?

If you choose to work with an interior designer for your renovation project, this will make the whole process much easier for you. As an interior design specialist, not only will they guide the project according to your needs, they can also suggest ideas that you might not even have thought of. 

Since they are likely to know more about houses and how they are built than you do, it will be easier for them to find solutions to your problems.

For instance, if you need more storage, your interior designer could find ways to create more space without needing to undertake major renovations. They can also create drawings and plans, as long as it does not involve load bearing walls which require the expertise of an architect or an engineer.

Salon et salle à manger_living room and dining room

Meeting with an interior designer: 5 questions to ask

Are you about to meet an interior designer to work on your project? Are you wondering which questions you should ask to properly assess their skills and determine if you want to collaborate with this person? Here are five essential questions to discuss during the first meeting with your potential interior designer:

1) The designer's portfolio

Every good designer will come to the meeting with their portfolio in hand. The latter serves them to prove their know-how, their tastes and skills. Browse the portfolio, ask a lot of questions and see if there are things you like.

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2) References

In addition to the portfolio, the interior designer can also give you references from people with whom they have already collaborated. You will be able to communicate with these people to learn more about their experience, both in terms of the result and the progress of the work.

3) The budget

You must ask the designer how much they charge while telling them about your budget. You will then be able to determine if the two amounts can work together.

4) The work method

Ask the designer about their usual work method. You will be able to see if you are on the same wavelength on this subject.

5) The ideas 

Of course, the designer will want you to share your ideas and needs. Once you have described your project, ask what are the first ideas that come to mind. This will help you to see if you like what they are presenting.

Joli salon_beautiful living room

Working with an interior designer: what to take into account

On your side, you must also prove that you are a serious customer and that you are motivated to move forward with the project. Before the meeting, take the time to think about the work you want to carry out. What are your needs? What are your tastes? How much money are you able to devote to the project?

Do not hesitate to prepare a file with pictures of rooms that inspire you. If you have plans, you must also present them at the meeting. The designer's reactions to the documentation you show will also help you determine if your collaboration will be successful.

How much does it cost to work with an interior designer?

In terms of price, working with an interior designer could cost between $50 and 150 per hour depending on the designer. Some might also charge you on a consultation basis. It may seem expensive at first but in the end, it could help you save money! The Association of Professional Interior Designers of Quebec (APDIQ) regroups many interior design specialists.

Unlike other interior designers, ADPIQ members have professional civil liability insurance that could compensate you in the event of any problem or accident that may occur. Therefore, if you are looking for a qualified interior designer in Quebec, try to choose one with an APDIQ certification.

One of our writers has shared her experience collaborating with an interior designer for a large-scale renovation project. To read her article, click here.

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