Interiors advice - do you need the expertise of an interior designer?

An interior designer can help you re-imagine a room

An interior designer can help you re-imagine a room - Credit: Archant

So what can you expect from an interior designer? Justine Kirkham explains

Television makeover shows have encouraged many home owners to grab their hammers, paint and brushes and get stuck into a new room scheme or the open plan living they’ve always wanted. It’s true that some people have a natural instinct for what looks good, a clear idea of what they want and the time and resources to make it happen.

But there are times when the guidance of a professional interior designer is invaluable and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact it can save you money by helping you avoid expensive mistakes.

One of the best ways to find a designer is through word of mouth. Ask friends, colleagues and relatives if they can recommend someone who has completed an interior design project for them. If you’ve seen an interior that you like, try to find out who designed it. When you first meet the designer, look for someone who wants to get to know you and understand what you want to create – and always ask to see their portfolio.

So what can you expect from an interior designer? An initial design consultation in-store is usually free, offering you the opportunity to discuss your pictures, ideas and inspiration with an expert. Pictures are particularly helpful in helping the interior designer visualise your style and personality. Remember to show them pictures of the things you don’t like too.

Home visits usually incur a fee normally refunded against any order you make and less than you probably imagine. For example, a home consultation followed by fabric samples, paint colours, wallpapers, lighting and furniture choices for a room, designed and put together specifically for you, starts from as little as £150 and again is usually refunded against your order.It’s worth the investment and can help you save money by avoiding costly errors. n

Justine Kirkham is head of design at James Brindley, Harrogate

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