Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does a project take?
A: No two projects are the same. A small space or single room will take much less time than a large home. Be upfront with the designer about your expectations, as well as your decision-making style so that you can agree on a project completion date that works for you and your designer.
Q: Can I do things in stages?
A: Absolutely! Most interior designers welcomes phased projects.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: There are no standard fees in the interior design business, but here are some of the most common methods:
- Hourly fee for all services
- Flat fee or retainer against project milestones
- Percentage mark-up on merchandise purchases
Many designers will use one or more of these methods, employing a hybrid solution. After an initial consultation, a designer will work with you to choose a pricing method best suited for your project needs and your preferences.
Q: How available will the designer make him/herself?
A: It will depend on the designer and the fee structure. Designers hired on an hourly basis may be more willing to be very available to a client. On the other hand, a designer who uses a flat fee billing method has carefully estimated the amount of time to complete the project and may be less willing to be available on an ad-hoc basis. Time is still money—no matter how you approach it!
Q: How involved do I have to be?
A: Some designers discourage client involvement, and others welcome or even embrace it. Be sure to address this in your initial interview so that you are both comfortable with the arrangement.
Q: Our personalities are not meshing . . . What do I do now?
A: Don't wait to have this discussion! If the designer isn't "getting it" or you are unhappy with the follow-up or communications, waiting rarely solves the problem. Designers WANT happy clients so if you aren't, say so. If the problems are irreconcilable your designer knows lots of other designers who he or she can refer you to; just be prepared to pay the designer for the work done on your behalf as long as it is reasonable and justified.
Q: What does the ASID after a designer's name mean?
A: This indicates that the designer you are considering is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. ASID is an organization that promotes professionalism in the field and is analogous to a physician who is a member of the American Medical Association, or a lawyer who is a member of the American Bar Association. It also means that the designer has met the educational requirements for membership, and that they have passed the NCIDQ exam demonstrating proficiency and work experience.
Q: What is a certified NCIDQ interior designer?
A: There are currently 26 states that regulate and license the interior design profession in the United States. Licensing is to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens. A certification by the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) proves the designer has met the state education/experience/examination requirements to be considered a professional Interior Designer.
Q: I love my Interior Designer! What can I do for her?
A: What designers need most are referrals! If you are happy, by all means tell your designer, but more importantly, tell others!
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