How to choose an interior designer for your project - Grand Designs Magazine

How to choose an interior designer for your project

If you're in need of an interior designer to assist with your next project, here's how to go about choosing the right one

By Becca Green |

Many homeowners don’t have confidence when planning their interior design – that’s where a professional interior designer can add value with their expert advice.

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) carried out some consumer research in 2019, which found that many people struggle to make the right choice when it comes to the interior design of their own home.

When it comes to designing and decorating our homes, many homeowners do the job themselves and can end up with unsatisfactory results. With the help of a professional interior designer, you’re more likely to avoid mistakes, and end up with results that exceed your expectations and make your home a pleasure to live in. BIID President Harriet Forde explains how to find the right interior designer for your project.

harriet forde dining room opening to outside space - grand designs

Photo: Harriet Forde Design

Have a clear brief in mind

When it comes to working with an interior designer, start by creating a brief which will help them understand what you want to achieve. This is often a useful starting point for an interior designer to help understand your tastes, so share what inspires you, or if you have a favourite piece of furniture or art that you want to build your scheme around.

Follow an interior designers work

To get a feel for an interior designer’s personal style, it is a good idea to follow them on their social media channels to understand more about their projects and design inspiration. You should also be open to new ideas – an experienced interior design professional will be up to date on all the latest design trends and have a wealth of expertise, so listen to their recommendations on materials, colours and layout as they may suggest ideas that you haven’t previously considered.

Photo: Harriet Forde Design

Consider your budget

You will also need to consider your budget carefully and ask any prospective designers to explain how they cost a project. As there is no standard for charging for interior design services, all BIID Members are encouraged to be transparent about their fee structure; for example, whether they have an hourly rate or if there is a fixed charge for the whole project.

Look out for professional attributes

When choosing a designer for our own home, BIID membership is an important mark to look for. The reason is simple – the BIID is the only professional institute for interior designers in the UK. In addition to rigorous entry requirements which assess training, experience and professionalism, the BIID requires members to continue their professional development throughout their career to ensure their continued expertise in design process, practice and regulatory matters.