Remodeling Realities: How to Pick an Interior Designer

This is the first post in a series called Remodeling Realities. We’re looking at all the moving parts of a home remodel, from how to pick an interior designer and contractor to picking tile treatments and finishing touches. Stay tuned for the whole series!   

So you’ve decided to remodel your home — congratulations! Creating a beautiful and functional home environment can have a huge impact on your happiness and productivity, as well as enjoyment of your space, for years to come.

Before you pick the paint chips or decide on decor, you need some fundamental organization and expertise. This is where a professional comes in. An interior designer has experience doing home remodels and can help you make the most of your budget and get a design that works for you and your family. We’re here to exceed your expectations!

If you’re wondering how to pick an interior designer, we’re here to help! Here are five areas to consider before you hire anyone!


Remodeling Realities: How to Choose an Interior Designer | Dallas Interior Designer | Barbara Gilbert Interiors

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then you’ll learn volumes when you look at an interior designer’s portfolio. Are you inspired? Do you see originality in each home’s design? Can the designer work in a variety of styles? The overall image should look cohesive and put-together — all the parts should work together to create a vibe that appeals to the eye and looks luxe. Luxury interior design features many elements to look for, including:

* Personal, customized design

* Refined and thoughtful choices

* Rich, inviting fabrics and materials

* Attention to every element

* Consistency in design from room to room


Remodeling Realities: How to Choose an Interior Designer | Dallas Interior Designer | Barbara Gilbert Interiors

Every element in a room is a moving part in an overall plan. Your designer needs to be able to handle the organized chaos without losing her cool or dropping the ball. People don’t realize what goes into luxury interior design — every detail counts.

During a consultation call (your designer does offer those, right?), ask about project management and organization skills. Do they have a system in place to say in touch when they’ve ordered furniture? Will you get regular updates, like expediting reports, every couple of weeks or so? There should be processes for everything!

A designer should definitely have a process in place for when couples don’t agree on things. The designer is like a marriage counselor in these cases, helping the pair reach a happy resolution.

Another critical factor to consider is communication style. Ask your designer how they want to stay in touch — email? An online site? For example, we have a site where our clients can see a picture of every item on the proposal and approve it online.


Remodeling Realities: How to Choose an Interior Designer | Dallas Interior Designer | Barbara Gilbert Interiors

Membership in professional organizations show your interior designer takes his or her work seriously and is part of a greater community of designers. It offers a certain degree of accountability since these organizations have high standards. Make sure your designer is a current member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Design Society (IDS). All members have to take continuing education classes (CEUs) annually to stay abreast of current developments.

In addition, an interior designer should attend all the major markets, like High Point and local/state market near them. Like CEUs, it helps a person stay current.


Remodeling Realities: How to Choose an Interior Designer | Dallas Interior Designer | Barbara Gilbert Interiors

Always read some reviews before signing a contract with an interior designer. Check out sites like Houzz, Google Reviews, and Yelp. Look for themes — do a lot of people mention a certain strength or talk about a problem? Pay attention and take this into consideration.

This is a place to look for longevity, too. You don’t want someone who just hung out her shingle in the last six months. Reviews area good way to see tenure in the field and consistent great service.


Remodeling Realities: How to Choose an Interior Designer | Dallas Interior Designer | Barbara Gilbert Interiors

There are some other things you should do when considering how to pick an interior designer, like:

* Do they use environmentally friendly products, like low-VOC paints? You don’t want chemicals in your home’s air.

* Are they working from an hourly rate or a flat design fee? Important to know this ahead of time and talk about expectations.

* Do they work well with pets and children? If you’ve got babies running around (fur or human), you want to make sure your designer can accommodate them during the design work.

* Will you be able to live in your home while work is going on? If not, what is the expected time you’ll need to be elsewhere?

* How will they be paid? How much is required upfront and how much is paid after the job is complete?


Do you have advice on how to pick an interior designer? Tell us about it here or over on Facebook or Twitter (don’t forget to mention @bgidesigner)!

We’ve got years of experience creating inspired, gorgeous interiors — contact Barbara today at 214-641-7897 or via the website contact form. We offer DFW interior design services in Dallas, Plano Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Southlake, Keller, and many more parts of North Texas — please see the list of the areas we serve.


Here are the other 6 Remodeling Realities posts in case you missed them!

#7 – Add Style,Value with Home Gym

#6 – How to Choose Flooring

#5 – How to Have a Pet-friendly Home Remodel

#4 – 4 Things To Keep In Mind When Redesigning Your Kitchen

#3 – 5 Space Planning Tips for Good Home Design

#2 – Picking a General Contractor