How to Choose an Interior Designer

  • 25.November 2013
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Color-Sample-and-Architecture-PlanWhen you’re planning to transform the interior of your home, commercial outlet or any real estate in Malta into something stunning, beautiful and pleasant to live with – you may not always have the skills to do so yourself. You get confused when it comes to colour schemes. You get confused when it comes to style. You don’t know who sells what and what you actually would need to buy to make it all come together. Chances are you start considering requesting the services of an interior designer. After all, isn’t that what so many others do? But how should you go about it?

Choosing an interior designer to work on your property is not an easy task, and a challenge in itself. A great deal depends on finding the right person to work with because ultimately this person is somebody you are going to trust with your investment. And more often than not, this may be the investment of a lifetime.

Here are some tried and tested hints to help you –

– Scour the Yellow Pages for contact names and numbers but don’t be conned by ads. Some of the more reputable interior designers do not necessarily advertise.

– Ask people you know who live or work in beautiful spaces for recommendations. Good recommendations are the word-of-mouth variants that work a million times better than ads. Don’t be satisfied with just that though. If a friend recommends a professional because he/she has done up their Malta real estate, ask to visit the premises to see how it turned out. Ask about the experience itself to get an insight into the entire process.

– Once you make an appointment for a preliminary meeting, don’t start by asking an interior designer to view your property. Rather, start by asking to see portfolios which showcase finished projects. You can then gauge if this designer produces work that is close to what you are dreaming of. Some will guide you to their website or Facebook pages which are fine, but a personal meeting is always better so you get a feel of the person and the team you will possibly be dealing with.

– Beware the designer who uses one formula for all his clients. This means he/she will not really create a space around you, to fit you and your lifestyle. More likely, he/she will require his clients to accept what is dished out, regardless.

– Only after you have seen what an interior designer can produce should you invite him/her to visit your premises. But before that visit happens, arm yourself with material to show him/her. Sometimes words can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Therefore pick through magazines, books and websites for ideas. Print out images you like. Create a little scrapbook with all the images that identify key concepts and colours schemes which fascinate you. The more input you give, the better the outcome. Even a scrap of fabric can be indicative of style and decor preferences, and reveal much more of your preferences than you can imagine.

– During the on-site meeting is when you can explain what you are envisaging, what you need, what you plan to do with your space. All such information will help the designer figure out which direction needs to be taken. And the more information you can dish out, the better.

– Be clear about your budget. Don’t be afraid to ascertain that the designer can work within its limits because unless you do so, you will be in for some unpleasant financial surprises.

– Be ready to engage with the designer in lengthy discussions which are healthy ways of explaining yourself and hearing how he/she can work around your ideas.

– Be humble enough to accept professional advice when it is meted out. Don’t underestimate the advice of an interior designer who is well versed in the profession. This person will have the necessary experience to foresee difficulties, outcomes and results, and you should depend on this expertise with trust.

– Ultimately, enjoy the experience and learn from it. Trust is important but so is input, feedback and communication. Be courteous yet firm about what you want and expect. Good interior designers will become good friends and reliable allies in your project. Hopefully, the one you choose will be working with/for you in many future projects too, especially if you plan to invest in real estate in Malta or perhaps buy-to-let properties.

This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.