1. Where do you get your accessories?
What we are hearing from clients is that many designers they interview source their accessories from the local craft store or local shops. While that may be fine for some people, our clients are looking for that next level of accessories and a professionally styled space that looks like a magazine cover and the accessories in craft stores will not get you that look.
2. What is the difference between custom cabinetry and cabinets you can get at the local home improvement store?
If your looking for a designer to design your kitchen they need to know what product they will be using and why they need to use it. Knowing the limitations of a product series, what options, and the latest in kitchen design trends. When you are hiring a designer you want it all not a cookie cutter kitchen. The answer you get to this question will let you know if the designer is seasoned and knowledgeable.
3. How long have you been a designer?
New designers have their place in the industry but its best you know what your getting before you sign the contract. Experience can be everything in this field. Newer designers are more likely to price their hourly rate lower because the risk of costly mistakes. Inversely, while the hourly is low the final amount you pay in the end will likely be higher as the hours it takes an experienced designer are lower than a newer designer. From quoting draperies, selecting the right size coffee table, to estimating materials and coordinating your style....I've heard them all from my clients who worked with other less experienced designers. Maybe their price is lower and meets your budget but a mistake can cost you more than what you would pay a more experienced designer who may have a rate that is double what the lower priced designer charges.
4. Can you send me an example design?
Presentation is everything, from how the design is printed to what it includes. I've seen other designers produce odd photoshopped rooms (just a random sheet of printer paper), stuff produced by phone apps or nothing at all (they just put stuff in your room and hope you like good)..... you name it, I've heard about it. A professionally designer will provide you with a design that is either hand rendered or a CAD rendering with professional software (we do a combination depending on what type of project and our clients budget). If a designer provides you a design without a logo printed on cheap paper, the knowledge and experience that designer provides is reflected quality of design you will get. If your a commercial client be even more cautious, building codes need to be followed even for basic decor and furniture projects. Make sure to hire a designer not a hobbiest.
Each designer works differently, so you need to find one that works for you. Its very understandable how clients can get confused with what services they are getting. We hope this will help you in your search to find a qualified designer that meets your needs.
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