Although the process of purchasing a luxury home might be way more tedious than expected, once you have purchased your dream house, you can be sure you have achieved a new milestone in your life. However, no dream to purchase a luxury home can be complete without having the home done up to look as breathtaking as you had imagined it to be from the moment you first saw it. As the new owner of a luxury home, you might have envisioned the final look of the house you could see yourself living in, and so, you may or may not have called in a team of designers to make a few changes and help you make it feel like home. But, how should you go about hiring the perfect designers for your perfect home? Well, the most important step would be to rope in members of the new designing team so they can help you set up your new home.
Hiring an Interior Designer for your Luxury Home
To begin with, shortlist at least three interior designers that you have heard of or read about. Compile a list of questions and potential doubts for them when you interview them. Keep the doubts to a bare minimum during the interview. The main idea behind asking them to solve a few doubts is to get an insight into the designers’ ability to handle their clients’ doubts and worries. You want to go with the one who can patiently break down the whole process for you and assure you they are worthy of the responsibility. After all, it is your hard-earned home.
Below are a few questions that you can ask your designer:
• Could I get a few links to the work you’ve done on other properties? OR May I see your portfolio?
• What is your level of experience as an interior designer?
• What can you suggest we do on our budget? Or What kind of budget do you work with?
• May I see the pictures of all the houses you have done on a low and high budget?
• How do you derive your budget?
• How accurate are you when it comes to staying within a budget?
• How would you like to be compensated?
• Do you follow the protocol for having a contract drafted? If so, on what grounds can the contract be broken?
• How many projects are you currently working on?
• Are you looking at taking on any more projects?
• Will you be able to dedicate ample amount of time to helping me do up my house?
• What are your pet peeves while working with homeowners?
• Please tell me a little bit about your the process of your work.
• Do you follow a timetable while working?
• Do you generally abide by a timeline?
• According to you, in how many days will you be able to get the job done?
Once you have made your decision and chosen the designer you wish to go for, make it a point to find out if the designer is still available to take up the project.
Once you have chosen the designer you wish to work with, the process of contract negotiations begins. Usually, and at your attorney reviews the contract, revises it, and sends it back to the designer.
Once you have settled on an interior decorator and clarified the contents of the contract, the financial terms of the contract should be finalised, too, so as to avoid any miscommunication or errors in the future. The designer and owner must mutually decide the terms on which the payment will be made. It must be the decided beforehand whether or not the payment will be made in installments, and how the home accessories will be paid for. It must be clarified beforehand whether the designer would get a certain sum of cash for the purchase of furniture, lamps, curtains, carpets etc, or whether the amount would be paid once the purchases are made and the bills are crossed checked. While some owners do not prefer keeping much tabs on these expenses, the vigilant ones do like to be kept in the loop regarding each and every purchase. In case of any purchases, it is important for the owners to supervise the items being purchased, the cost of each item and whether or not it fits the design budget. If the owners wish to purchase the items themselves in the absence of the designer, the same must to be spoken about and discussed beforehand.
The owners and designers must clearly state the terms under which the contract can be terminated. Also stated, should be the reasons the contract can be terminated. There might also be an instance or two where designers and owners choose items from the catalogs but fail to like the product once it is delivered. Perhaps, they might feel it does not go with the decor, the color might not be what they hoped for, or it might just not be what they imagined. The likelihood of such circumstances must be talked about so that if and when the situation arises, it can be handled without much chaos. While settling the terms and conditions of the contract, and other procedures as well, the designer must also specify their way of working and doing things, to give owners a brief idea about how they work. In order to do so, the method of working must be specified beforehand.
• Do they prepare drawings to give owners an idea about the final look of the house?
• Will there be storyboards?
• Who will be in charge of the project?
• How will the material be sourced?
Since designing a house takes time, money and effort, a fixed time period must be agreed upon. In order to do so, a timetable must be fixed as part of the contract, and the penalties for not having completed the work within the set time must be cleared. Furthermore, it is important to discuss the terms of termination of the contract. Also stated in the contract, must be the reasons for termination and the steps of termination, too.
As a homeowner, when one decides to hire someone to help them attain a goal, it is a given that mutual respect must prevail between the two. In the same way, once an interior designer is hired, mutual respect is imperative, irrespective of any disagreements, differences or misunderstandings between the two sides. Mutual respect also means that both, the designer and the owner, will show up for meetings at the time mutually agreed upon. In case of any delays, it is the responsibility of the delayed individual to inform the other about the possible delay.
How to Make an Ideal Client
• Providing photos of home furnishings
Take pictures of existing furniture from your previous house that you wish to incorporate in your new space. This may include appliances, art, portraits and pictures, mirrors, sculptures, and rugs that you wish to use in your new house. In case you want the item placed In a particular area in the house, make sure to make a note of it on the photograph.
• Collect reference samples
If you come across a particular look online, or in brochures and magazines, be sure to save it as a reference sample to give the interior designer a broader idea about the look you’re aiming at. Reference samples are always beneficial while going for a different look for your home as it provides the designer with guidelines so they know how to go about their work on the project and where to start.
• Returning samples
Many times, designers provide the client with reference samples of fabric, stone sculptures, or furniture catalogs so they can be used as references by the client who then selects what appeals most to them. However, as a client, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to return the samples provided to them in a timely manner, and make sure the samples are returned in the same condition as they were provided in.
• Host an open house
Once the house has been set up and everything has been put in place right where it belongs, as responsible clients, the homeowners must host an open house, followed by dinner and refreshments for the design staff who has worked tirelessly to help the owners settle in comfortably. Hosting an open house for the team that has worked endlessly to put together a beautiful home, shows them their hard work and efforts are appreciated. Small gestures like these go a long way in building strong professional relationships.
I hope this article has shed some light on the process of selection of an Interior Designer after you have purchased your luxury home. At Gupta & Sen, through our Blog we hope to educate home owners, buyers and investors with all the information they need to ensure that they adequately informed in their pre and post property buying period 🙂