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How to find an interior decorator or designer

3 questions to ask yourself when hiring a home stylist

There are two key reasons why people seek assistance with home styling.

You’re either eager to sell your home at the best possible price or hope to snazz things up after moving into a new place.

Regardless of your reason, choosing a suitable interior designer or decorator can be tricky with so many consultancies out there. But it all comes down to your project requirements and how well you click with the person upon your first meeting.

What’s the difference between an interior decorator and interior designer?

As defined by Build.com.au, an interior designer holds a tertiary qualification (degree or advanced diploma) in this discipline and is concerned with the way interior spaces are laid out, allocated, and used. On the other hand, an interior decorator typically holds a qualification in interior decoration (normally a diploma), and is concerned with dressing an interior with paint, furnishings, floor coverings, and fabrics for aesthetic purposes.

So the first step is to work out which type of professional you’re after.

The next step is to ask yourself a series of questions.

1. What style am I going for?

If you’re redecorating your home for sale, you can either choose to build upon your current sense of decor style or change it completely. It comes down to the target market you’re hoping to attract. If you’ve just moved into a new home, you’re probably starting from scratch.

In both scenarios, the age and architectural style will play a big role in home styling. For example, modern black, silver, and white furniture won’t really work in an 1840s Victorian home.

The first step is to clarify what you’re after so you can communicate it with your interior consultant. Start by looking through magazines, checking out designs online, and making an inspiration board on Pinterest. Write down the colours, patterns, shapes, and styles you like and don’t like.

2. What’s my budget and timeline?

Before approaching an interior consultant, get your head around your financial resources and budget. It could be the difference between a complete property makeover or only sprucing up the living and dining rooms.

As with most industries, pricing packages and fee structures are likely to vary from consultant to consultant. But with a clear budget in mind and a few comprehensive quotes up your sleeve, you’ll get a fair understanding of what’s possible.

To make it more affordable, you might decide to split the project up into stages spanning over several months. However, for a property about to hit the market, this isn’t usually an option. In this scenario, remember an upfront investment in styling can translate to massive returns upon sale.

3. Do I click with them?

After your initial meeting, your gut will probably tell you whether the interior consultant is the right fit for you.

You need to trust them and know they have a clear understanding of your requirements and desired style. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and share your goals and outcomes.

If you found the designer or decorator online, it’s a good idea to do further background research. Read through available reviews and see if the feedback matches your expectations. If they were referred to you, ask your friend or family member what they liked most about working with them.

Ultimately, you want to create your dream home or sell for a nice price. So make sure everyone is on the same page!

If you need any further assistance with finding the right interior decorator or designer, ask your Listing Loop Agent Assist for recommendations.