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Tips for Working with an Interior Designer

Don’t underestimate the importance of your relationship with your interior designer. The outcome of that relationship will be a place that you love coming home to and that you’re proud to share with friends and family. These tips for working with your interior designer can help the home renovation process go smoothly.

First Conversation

The first time you meet with your designer, you will give the parameters for your project. This includes your budget, design concept, time line, and planning out what the space will look like. Get a feel for the direction your designer wants to take the project during this conversation, but feel free to speak up if there is something you’re not sure about. You should feel comfortable with your designer as a person as well. If you’re not, consider working with another designer. Be realistic about your project though. Renovation budgets often top $50,000, and projects take between six and 12 weeks to finish.


In the next stage of your relationship with your designer, you will review 3D images or a floor plan of what your renovated space will look like from the designer. The plans will include information on the types of rooms, layout of rooms and their orientation, and how space is created and utilized. Review the plans carefully before you completely approve them. The designer will submit the plans to the relevant government departments for final approval before work begins.

Getting Started

Before work actually starts, you’ll be asked to pay a deposit. This amount is usually 30 percent of the total. The rest is to be paid when the work is finished. Get a contract that clearly spells out your financial obligations and the scope of work to be completed to protect yourself (and your designer).
This is the stage where the designer will suggest specific selections like flooring, tiles, carpentry, lighting, false ceilings, feature walls, etc. You’ll also go over paint colors, finishes, fittings, and other small details.

Work Starts

Get a clear time line, including contractor deadlines, from the designer so you know when work will finish at each step of the project. Visit your home a couple of times to see how the work is progressing. Shop for those final details like furniture, fixtures, and appliances. Communicate with your designer via Whatsapp to send pictures of furniture you want to buy, for example.

Project Completion

Go over the final project before you accept handover of your home. Make sure everything is clean and of good quality. Ask about any changes you want, such as paint touch-ups. This is the time to give the rest of the payment to the designer.