There are two kinds of renters who need an interior designer: those who want an apartment that looks stylish and put-together but don’t know the first thing about how to get there, and those who have a vision in mind and need help executing it. There are some relatively affordable options for either type of apartment dweller, and they are actually fairly distinct from each other. To keep your apartment redesign from looking like a home makeover show gone wrong, think about these tips as you hunt for your perfect interior designer.
If You Need Ideas…
If you are an interior-design newbie and what you need is a vision for your home’s redesign, start by finding a designer that fits your overall sense of style. The best way to make sure that your designer fits that category is to look at the work they have already done. If you can find a designer that has a website and a portfolio, that can be an easy job. Think about the things you already like about your apartment’s design, and look for those traits in a designer’s portfolio.
If you are on a tight budget, however, an established designer might not exactly mesh with your financial needs. If budget is the primary concern, start by calling local design colleges. Google “interior design school” followed by the name of your city, and jot down a few of the results. Then, simply call them and ask if they have a directory of recent graduates; or better yet, current students looking to add to their portfolio. Have them send some samples of what they have done, and if you find someone whose style seems like a good fit, offer them a modest amount to help you re-envision your apartment.
If You Already Have a Vision…
If you know what you want the space to look like, your path might be a bit more complex. Almost any designer loves to design, but it can be a bit harder to find a designer to give you the kind of expertise you need to make your design a reality. Unlike the previous group, you cannot expect to find a design student willing to work on the cheap, because they are not likely to have the kinds of local connections you are looking for.
What you can do, however, is Google up some local interior designers and call around. Ask each one if they’re willing to take a small, private ‘consulting’ job. You may even find one who has an apprentice or other subordinate who does their ordering and is willing to take a side job guiding you toward the right furniture makers, re-stores, and other resources you need to make your vision come true.