Here are 6 rock-solid tips that will help you select the most suitable interior designer for your home.
Portfolio Look through photos of homes the interior designer conceptualised and see whether you like it. His design awards will mean nothing if your styles do not match.
Quality, Service and Cost Getting the best service and top quality for the lowest price is a Singaporean dream, but where renovation is concerned, it's going to remain just that. An interior design firm who is average in one of these factors but scores high on the other two, is a great deal. If you prioritise quality and service, you cannot scrimp on cost. If budget is tight, you'll have to compromise on service or quality.
Track Record Get testimonies from the interior designer's prior customers — if a number give rave reviews, it's definitely a good sign. For interior design firms that are accredited renovators of RADAC (Renovation and Decoration Advisory Center), check with Radac whether the firm is the subject of any complaints. Do not bother with CASE (Consumers Association of Singapore) as they are unable to divulge complaint information.
Variety of Fixtures and Fittings Working with a limited pool of suppliers is natural for interior designers as suppliers tend to give better pricing and service to their regulars. However, these vendors may or may not have the fixtures and fittings that you desire so peruse their samples and catalogs. If you get your designer to source for new vendors, you may have to pay more than if you were to engage an interior designer who has an existing relationship.
Team Size Will the design and renovation be handled soley by the designer? If not, confirm that the designer is the key person to speak with on all matters. It's no fun being bounced from person to person. For projects that are managed solely by the interior designer, find out whether there is a back-up person or system in place if due to some unforeseen circumstances, the designer suddenly becomes unavailable.
Contract Ensure that the contract states clearly the items to be done, payment schedule and warranty period. While no one likes conflict, provisions should still be made for such unfortunate incidents — the contract should say what recourse you have (e.g. to appoint an independent home inspector to confirm whether completed work is satisfactory) if disagreements arise.
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