Home styling can be a precarious affair, especially if handled by a homeowner with little or no interior design knowledge under their belt. From furniture and flooring materials to patterns and wall paint, the list of aesthetic elements you need to keep an eye out when designing your living area is quite lengthy, and the tips you dig up on the internet won’t always be actionable. Fortunately for folks short on décor know-how, an interior designer will be more than happy to help out in the makeover endeavor for a set fee. But how and where can you find a home stylist within your budget? Here’s a brief guide on how to pick the interior designer that will do a splendid number on your home without robbing you of a small fortune.


Photo courtesy of Hannah Blackmore Photography via Pinterest

Define Remodel Scope and Budget

Before you launch the hunt for an interior designer, you will first need to establish the scope of the remodel. Are you going to overhaul just one or two rooms, or should you reconstruct your home floor-to-ceiling? Experienced decorators have the know-how to help with both partial and complete living area overhauls, but their fee will depend on the scope of work or hours required for the remodel.

Based on the extent of the remodel, an interior designer will be able to provide you with a framework estimate of their fee. Still, bear in mind that the final figure may vary slightly in case of unexpected delays or additional works necessary to achieve your target home look, such as plumbing and wiring updates and layout changes.


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A Classic Case of Wants vs. Needs

Once you’ve settled on the scope of remodel, you should make a list of features and styles you’d like the designer to incorporate into your quarters. To minimize the hassle and get a better idea of feasible home tweaks, you can ask multiple designers to provide you with a visual proposal at a relatively affordable price. The ideas submitted by home stylists will produce valuable insights as to the potentials and limitations of the décor update, which can save you a lot of money and time down the road.

As for the best web spots to go fishing for home stylists, you can check out Apartment Therapy, Decorilla, Design Files and Houzz: here, you’ll find portfolios and samples of designers’ work which you can use as a criterion when picking a home stylist, as well as a source of inspiration for the direction the remodel may take.


Photo courtesy of Design Files via Pinterest

Find Inspiration to Find a Designer 

Another way to go about interior designer selection is to decide on the décor style first and then go hunting for a stylist who has what it takes to achieve the home look you want based on your vision. An experienced designer will be able to conjure up a décor that fits your personal style if you present them with your favorite design collections, and they’ll also be able to offer a range of ideas as to which elements will work in your home best and which updates might turn out to be a complete waste of money.

Feed the interior designer specifics on styles, textiles, colors, and other relevant décor elements you like: it will help them get a better grip on the look you’re after and it will also make it easier for them to draw up a relatively accurate estimate of the remodel budget and their fee.


Check the Prices and Billing Timeline 

Before you settle on the interior designer for the remodel, you may want to ask around for references and referrals and cross-compare the designer prices. If you’re looking to overhaul a home you’ve just bought, you can ask your real estate agent to recommend a designer: realtors have connections in the designer crowd, and they’ll be able to hook you up with local stylists they had previously had a chance to collaborate with.

You should also check whether the interior designer has a flat rate or up-charging fee policy, and you can also inquire about the billing timeline. Some interior designers prefer to collect the fee on a monthly basis, while others charge their clients upon completion of individual stages of the remodel. Don’t forget to ask your interior designer whether their fee covers consultation only or whether the time they’ll spend shopping for materials, furniture, and extras is included in the service bundle.

Home is where the heart is, so you shouldn’t settle for anything than a fascinating décor. Still, if you’re new to interior design and pressed for inspiration and expert tips, you shouldn’t launch a home makeover on your own. To avoid unexpected costs and less than ideal home looks, hire an interior designer to help you out with the makeover: a decorator’s fee is a small price to pay for top-notch home aesthetics and functionality.

Photo courtesy of Shareen Joel via Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Shareen Joel via Pinterest

Guest post from Zoe Clark