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An interior decorator is often confused with an interior designer, but there are a lot of differences between the two. An interior decorator often does not have a university degree in the field and concentrates only on the decorative aspects of a house, avoiding large-scale projects that require a grasp of building codes and construction laws. If all you need is somebody with a good eye for color and decorative arrangements, then an interior decorator is the perfect choice.
The first thing to consider when choosing an interior decorator is style. Ideally, you should find somebody whose style matches yours. Ask to review the portfolio of any candidate you're seriously considering and look for someone who has rooms you admire. While an interior decorator should be able to diversify, most have a signature style that defines their approach to decorating.
Another thing to look for is an interior decorator that listens to you when you describe what you envision for the room. While a good professional will bring her own ideas to the table, she should be willing to work to make your vision a reality.
Before hiring an interior decorator, make sure you know what you want for your room. Find photos of rooms in decorating books or magazines. Decide which colors, materials, and patterns you prefer, and which you would hate to see in the room. This will help the decorator get a better idea of your style. If there is anything in the room you want to keep, let the designer know, so he can plan to incorporate it into the room plan.
It is also important to choose an interior decorator who is willing to work around your lifestyle. For example, if you have pets or children, your decorator shouldn't recommend white silk for the sofa cushions. The best interior decorators aim to fit the style of the room to your personality, not their own. A good interior decorator will not promise miracle results or speedy results. Professionals know it takes time to create a design, order the appropriate materials, and organize all details.
One thing that many people forget to consider when hiring an interior decorator is budget. Besides the fees charged by the professional, you also need to budget for materials and work. The fees charged by an interior decorator vary greatly, from 50 US dollars (USD) to over 400 USD an hour. Some interior decorators charge a flat fee per room. No matter what your budget or style, it is possible to find an interior decorator to help transform any room into a showcase of style and convenience.
To be on the same wavelength as your interior designer, you should read up about the basics and terminology of interior design. Then you will be able to understand the direction of your project much better. Our London interior designer recommended some great books so I could get to second base with interior design!