Residential Interior Designer Figures Budget Sits at Head of the Table

If you think interior design clients in the high-end don’t pore over their budgets, think again. A background in accounting might be the last place you would expect to look for a key element of managing an interior design company, but interior design is as much a matter of numbers as it is colors.

The majority of residential designers I work with have virtually no knowledge or training, and quite often, no sense for numbers. Colors they are great with. Numbers? Well, they didn’t get into the biz for that.

I have given dozens and dozens of design presentations to clients who came to me to take on a residential interior design project. The projects have ranged from single rooms needing high thread count fine linens that match the colors on their walls or carpets, to full residential design with drawings, space planning and project management of construction trades. What these design projects have in common, whether it is just design direction or a full-on project, is client attention to the budget. How much is it gonna cost!

Early in discussions, long before any presentations, I try to get a feel for the task ahead and ask lots of questions. What is the space used for? Is your taste modern or traditional? Do you have pets? Are you familiar with high-end furnishings? Have you worked with an interior designer before? Pretty soon, I get an idea of the scope of the work, enough so I can inquire about the client’s budget.

I think this moment gives many designers the jitters, especially in the high end. They hesitate to ask about price for fear of scaring off a potential client. I beg to differ.

Most of my clients are busy professionals who come to me in search of a partner who can take the job off their hands and allow them get back to running their own business. I call them one or twice a week and we spend a few hours in designer showrooms considering products I suggest. Otherwise, they leave the project in my hands to manage.

Mostly executives, professionals and business owners, my clients would find it unusual not to have early discussions concerning budgets. They give me an idea of what they are prepared to spend, understanding that I can use the figure as a tool in my sourcing of their products, not so I can figure out how much to run up costs.

For instance, I can suggest to a client a fabric to cover a chair that costs $50 a yard. Or I can offer a similar fabric that costs $100 a yard. I have access to a 6,000 square foot fabric showroom to source from so there are endless choices. Or I can spec a dining table to seat eight for $5,000 or for $25,000. I try to keep design billing as low as possible and to cover my costs with discounts I arrange from designer showrooms. The public can’t shop there without a professional designer. And the way I work, clients never pay more than the product resells for in retail. I just save them the trouble and leg work of finding the products.

It is my job to take a list of often over one hundred items, linens, art, furniture, rugs, lighting, etc. and measure that against an estimate of how much the client indicated is an affordable range for the scope of work. The aforementioned table may wind up costing $12,500 and the fabric for the chair may be $60 a yard. Numbers are so important because the cost of the overall package has to match the beginning budget as closely as the design matches the concepts that were approved by the client.

I am not going to recommend red when the client asked for blue, nor a table for 4 when they live to entertain larger groups, and especially not an invoice for thousands of dollars more than we agreed upon. Of course, substitutions occur, but I get a client to sign off on the details and the cost of each and every item, one by one, so there is no confusion.

During an interior design presentation, color boards get examined, fabric swatches handled and looked at in good light, and drawings for space planning are discussed to see if they make sense for the way the rooms are to be used. A lot of the concepts must be left to the imagination of the client until they have been created. Budget is not one of them.

The Top Common Mistakes To Avoid When Changing The Interior Design Of Your Office

You and your staff may have already grown tired of looking at the same color and decorations that has been in your office for several years now. Or you and your team feel that a change in the office’s interior design is what you need to attract and retain more customers or clients.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to change or improve the interior design of your office, you need to remember that this endeavour won’t be easy and it will entail incurring additional expenses. And if it is your first time (and your staff’s as well) to embark on an office interior designing project, you need to keep in mind and avoid the common rookie mistakes that usually happens or comes up with this particular type of venture.

Rookie Mistakes To Avoid When Changing Your Office’s Interior Design

Not having a plan. You need to have a realistic and manageable plan that you and your staff will work with during this DIY project. This plan should include the estimated budget, what particular changes have to be made, what items need to be bought, which staff will be responsible for a specific task, etc. Having a definitive and workable plan will help you greatly in not going over the budget, in not getting the wrong items and prevent any delays in the completion of this project.

Not involving your staff in the planning stage. Since your staff will be helping you out with the whole interior designing project and they will be working and staying in your office for at least eight hours a day, five days a week, you need to get them involved in the planning stage and listen to the ideas that they share. They may want a particular color for the walls or their office desks and chairs to be arranged in a certain way. Listen and incorporate their ideas since they will be spending a lot of time in the office and you want them to be more efficient and productive while they are working.

Not using and incorporating your current office furniture in the new interior design. If some or most of your office furniture are in good working condition and not yet too shabby looking, why not have the staff work on getting them to look better? Wooden chairs and tables can be varnished or re-painted. Save your business some money by not immediately getting rid of your current furniture. You and your staff can work on making them look better so that they can add to the overall improved appeal of your office.

Not knowing when to get help. If you and your staff do not have any idea on even how to start working on the interior design of your office, swallow your pride and hire some expert professional interior designers. If you really want your office to look better and more appealing, investing in the services of an interior design firm is your best option and can be a good investment.

Small Business Ideas – Become an Interior Designer

Do you love decorating? Are you great at conceptualizing an empty room? Can you get bargains like no one else you know? If the answer to these questions is Yes! than starting an interior design firm might be the best of the small business ideas out there for you. Last year $275 billion dollars were spent on the home improvement market. That’s a ton of money and the good news is that you can get in on it!

If you want to get serious, you’ll need to get a degree in interior design. 25 states currently require a degree to call yourself a certified interior designer. You’ll also need to pass an exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Of course you’ll want to get books of paint and carpet samples as well.

These steps might seem a little overwhelming at first, but they don’t have to be. Interior design is a great field to get in on – it’s booming, fun and anyone can be great at it with the right training. What’s a few years of school when it means a lifelong career that you’ll love? Most of the classes you’ll take will be fun, interesting and teach you great new techniques that will not only help your business but will help you improve your own home as well.

Once you have your schooling and certification down, taking advantage of the interior decorating small business idea is a great way to have a creative job that allows you to set your own hours. What could be better?

What Services Do Interior Designers Offer? – An Overview to Hiring Professional Designers

An interior designer designs the architectural interiors – the provided space including the walls, windows, doors – and selects the fabrics and furnishing material accordingly. The term ‘Interior Design’ can be defined as the art of decorating the interiors of a building. This Type of Designer is employed by individuals and business establishments who want to create, or modify the existing space into a relaxed environment for their home or office. Interior Design includes space planning, selection of furnishings, and designing of bespoke furniture, with an eye on the entire structure of the building.

The interior designer therefore converts the given area into a thoroughly functional space with aesthetic beauty. Professional Designers are trained in planning and construction of ideas with creative design skills for the enhancement of the interior elements of the building.

While designing the interiors of a new or existing residence or a commercial building the designer must take into account the client’s requirements along with the environmental conditions. He or she will find vital design solutions from a wide range of products and services available. Professional designer’s duties include the planning and designing of the different layouts by taking into account the different features of the interior space provided, such as the furnishings to be used, furniture needed in the space, and lighting system. Furthermore, the designing skills of a designer can be expressed in the finishing touches they give for the floors, walls and ceilings. Apart from all other technical skills it’s important that the designer should have a good sense of color and shading in selecting the fabrics and furnishings.

The role of the client is also important in interior design as he is the end user of the service provided. The work of the interior designer mainly depends on the co-ordination between himself and the clients. The client will be provided with the detailed assessment and graphical documents of the existing space, as this is important as part of the design process. The client should then be presented with the preliminary ideas for approval.

The areas of activity of the interior designers ranges from low budget buildings to five star hotels, residences, schools, hospitals, theaters, shopping centers, etc. To provide an effective service, the Design professional must be able to combine practical knowledge with creative ability which helps to turn theoretical ideas into successful designs. This type of designer sometimes has to work closely with architects and clients so as to resolve the structure of space and requirements of the customer.