FIND THE PERFECT DESIGNER FOR YOUR REMODEL
The stress of planning to design or remodel your home can cause enough anxiety on its own without the added pressure of finding a professional designer to manage the process. For many, the challenge is not just finding someone who is qualified to do the job, but someone you feel comfortable asking questions when you are unsure, who truly listens to your needs and someone you can trust implicitly to guide you through each hurdle you may encounter.
Vern Yip, expert designer and host of HGTV’s Deserving Design, understands the apprehension homeowners experience when trying to find the perfect designer and has a few suggestions for many who may not know where or how to start looking.
In the beginning, as with any large purchase, when you are trying to find a designer, you want to do extensive research before you make your final decision. Chances are you have or will consult a friend or associate before you decide to purchase a hi-def television or new car; the same should go for finding someone to design your home.
“Look to friends who have had experiences with designers in the past,” suggests Yip.
“However, if you don’t have access to someone who has used a designer previously, you can do something as simple as stopping into a store you like and ask questions about who has designed the space. Just find out the names of the designers they have working in the store, where they are located and contact them directly.”
There are also a number of organizations you can contact to locate designers within your geographic area. For instance, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) have designer locators on their websites that allows you to search for a professional by city, state or zip code.
Once you have developed a pool of potential designers, “the next step is to interview each designer and get samples of their work – both in portfolio form and in person,” continued Yip.
“When interviewing, be weary of designers who are not really listening to your needs but are instead looking to put their stamp on a project. As the designer, the most important thing is to listen to what the client is asking because in the end, what the designer is doing is creating a manifestation of the clients’ imagination.”
“And as the client, you need to be cognizant if the designer is also asking you questions. Pay special attention to see if they are interested in what you have to say or if they are only interested in what they are saying.”
“What’s most important is finding someone who is going to give you exactly what you need.”
Listening is key, particularly when designing spaces like the kitchen, because families spend so much time in this room. It has become the hub of the home and evolved into an area meant for more than just cooking. It is often an entertainment area, a study hall and a meeting room and the design needs to satisfy each of those needs holistically.
This is something that Yip takes to heart when developing a plan for the participants on Deserving Design.
“The foundation of each and every episode is to provide the person with a design plan that will bring balance to their home, family and life. We are working with much more limited time than a typical designer, so, I have to quickly find out what the family’s functional and aesthetic preferences are and then translate that into a product that ultimately addresses their needs,” continued Yip.
However, while ensuring your designer is paying attention to your needs, keep in mind that communication is a two-way street.
“Homeowners need to remember to take their time and be clear about what they want and need which includes being upfront about the budget.”
This way, the designer understands his or her limitations and can present options that are within reason.
“While working with an interior designer can be intimidating for some, what’s important to remember as the client is that you are in charge. The designer is there to help assess the vision you have and simply bring it to life,” continued Yip.
Watch Vern Yip on the new season of Deserving Design, Wednesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on HGTV.
Get more of THE DETAILS: