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Hiring an Interior Decorator, what you need to know...

No matter your reason for hiring an Interior Decorator, whether to help add value to your home for sale, have a new look in your existing home or to decorate your new home.  A Decorator will need to know who the decoration is to be directed toward so they can create an interior to fit your needs.

When hiring an Interior Decorator you need to feel comfortable enough to break down your physical and personal barriers to invite that person into your life.  This person needs to see how your family lives on a daily basis, where you want to be in the future and how much money you have to spend.  Withhold simple details such as these and you will not get the best out of your Decorator.

A decorator will not only bring good aesthetics to your home but will also create functional spaces to fit with the way you and your family live.  If you don't feel that a particular decorator is someone who would comfortably take a place at your dinner table, you have the wrong person.

When searching for a decorator, listen to word of mouth and check out their website, from this you can  determined if you like their style.

The initial consult is where every question under the sun will be asked by the decorator and in turn you ask as many questions as you want.  You both go through the idea of the renovation, how big or small and how much is to be spent. 

A decorator can’t help themselves when walking into a room and will instantly visualise what can be done and owners want to know right there and then what solutions are on offer but there's a difference between getting to know your decorator to feel comfortable and getting free advice. 

Free advice is what is called “free pitching” to win a job and is not something any reputable decorator condones.  Decorators love to engage and express their ideas, but this is their intellectual property and the basis of their livelihood.

Instead of expecting a free pitch, talk to them about style, price and size of the project. Use your intuition during this meeting to determine if you and the decorator are on the same wavelength about your project and if you like the person.

Once the decorator has obtained all the information required to begin your job and the go ahead from you to do so, they will use a starting point.  Each decorator has their own way  of getting their client prepared.  It might be a checklist, pictures or wanting no other influences other than the first meeting. This can be different from job to job and client to client depending on the finished outcome.

Some decorators spurt ideas straight away and others may keep it close to their chest, not because they’re not sure but because they didn't want to give you ideas that you may cling to and be disappointed when the full design comes around.

Depending on the scale and complexity of a job, the presentation can take anywhere from one week to six weeks.  Most clients are so enthusiastic that the wait becomes unbearable but please be patient.  A decorator lives and breathes design  which isn't locked into a 9 to 5 day.  Some ideas come as a burst in 24hrs but it could also take two weeks of mulling and seeking inspiration before anything comes to mind.  Remember, you want to live with this design for a long time, so the design process may seem a little slow initially but its integral to get this stage right.

The presentation is done by most decorators with the use of some sort of design board to convey their scheme to you.  This can include pictures, drawings, paint and fabric swatches and other samples.  You and your decorator will go through every detail of the design scheme and what can be achieved with your space and budget. 

Employing a decorator should be a great experience that when your project is finished you never want to leave home, you form a bond with your decorator - so finding the correct one who understands your energy and style, is the most important element as you may find that once its all completed you have become great friends.