So you’ve made the decision to hire a designer, but where do you start? Aside from word of mouth and personal recommendations, turn to design resources such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or publications such as D Home to read bios; see examples of designers’ interiors; and research degrees, awards, and distinctions. And to help you narrow it down even further, see our list of Best Designers.
Once you’ve got a few designers on your short list, set up meetings. You’ll want to make sure that your personalities click—you’ll be spending months, sometimes years, together on a project. In the meeting, discuss budgets and aesthetic desires, as well as the scope of the project. Ask for referrals and photos or tours of recently completed projects.
Finally, make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to the project and fees involved. Ask how they structure their fees and request a contract or letter of agreement and study it closely. Then relax and let the professional handle the details while you enjoy your home.
Gather design inspiration from theses local Instagrammers.
Rosie Case’s monochromatic thrift store treasures
Eclectic interiors from style setter Judy Aldridge
Designer Grace Mitchell’s family-friendly abode
World travels and finds with Michelle Nussbaumer
Inside Katie Sarokhanian’s curated vintage aesthetic
Keep your eye on the scale.
The right pieces are nothing if not scaled correctly. Diana Merzwski and Patrick Ford of Rogers-Ford share their way to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.
If budget permits, a rug defining a space within a larger room could be large enough to cover the entire furniture group. If budget is tight, the rug should be large enough to allow at least the front legs to rest on the rug envelope. –Diana Merzwski
The height of a chandelier really depends on the size of the room. If it is not placed over a table, it’s best to keep a minimum walkway clearance of 7 feet below it, measuring from finished floor to the bottom of the chandelier. –Diana Merzwski
For adult dining and desks, chair seats that are about 10 to 12 inches below table surface work nicely. Selecting seating with a foot rest for kitchen islands and bar-height tables is key to comfort. Consider giving kids their own chairs. –Diana Merzwski
Measure the distance from the top of the window to the ceiling or the top of the window to the bottom of the crown molding. Hang the rod about one-third of that distance down from the ceiling. When deciding length, I factor lifestyle. –Diana Merzwski
If room size allows for the sofa to “float” in the room, a sofa table should be added to anchor the space. Also consider the center of attention, such as a television or fireplace, when deciding the size and placement of the sofa. –Patrick Ford
On a blank wall, a good standard is to start centering the artwork at 63 to 66 inches above the finished floor. This is an adult’s average eye level. Placing the artwork at eye level ensures that it will be noticed and appreciated. –Diana Merzwski
Pick one. Any one. We teamed up with local showrooms to select the best designers for 2017.