Need to bring your living space to life? Hiring an interior designer can feel like a luxury, but depending on your own expertise, interior designers can actually save you money in the long run. But before you run out and hire an interior designer, let’s take a look at what they do and how they can help you. We’ll also discuss how to find the best interior designer for you and, just as importantly, the red flags to keep an eye out for.
What does an interior designer do?
Interior design is the process of enhancing the inside space of a building to create a stylish, aesthetically pleasing environment for your home. This includes deciding on colours, decor, furnishing and more. It’s the art of defining the atmosphere and character of the interior of your home.
An interior designer is in charge of the design process, which includes planning, researching, coordinating and managing the project. Ideally, the designer will follow the brief while also guiding you through the entire process. The best designs avoid focusing on trends and remain timeless.
Who needs an interior designer?
Interior designers can be used for a range of both residential and commercial projects. Interior design services are used for both new builds and renovations and can help save you time, money and frustrations.
One of the main benefits of interior designers, outside providing interior decorating, is they have the expertise it would take you months of research to achieve. This means they can foresee any issues, and know what mistakes to avoid. They’ll also have connections to trade and suppliers, and know the best place to buy materials. They’ll also stop you from buying the wrong curtains, furniture or other items that won’t work with your layout.
The role an interior designer would play in a new home build project
Interior design is one of those things people tend to feel either confident in or completely lost. Whatever side of the coin you fall on, an interior designer can help bring your vision into focus. An interior designer is someone clients can bounce ideas off and provide a new, expert perspective to the whole project. They’ll also know what’s in fashion and contemporary, and be able to see what works with your spaces and architecture.
Ideally, a good interior designer will come up with something that is distinctive and stylish while still being functional. The styles they pitch you should suit your lifestyle and tastes. Perhaps just as importantly, they’ll be able to tell when something isn’t going to work long before most rookies could, which could save you lots of money and time.
How much does an interior designer cost in Brisbane?
The short answer is anywhere between $80-300 per hour. Unfortunately, this is one of those “how long is a piece of string” type questions and the answer will vary depending on the scale and complexity of your project.
Do you need an interior designer and home builder?
Are you looking for interior designers in Brisbane? Perhaps you’re after a builder as well but aren’t sure who’s got the goods and who’s all hot air. Buildi is here to help. Through our connections, we can line you up with your perfect builder and help with any contractors you need. Get in touch today to find out more!
Our top tips for hiring an interior designer in Brisbane
Questions to ask prospective interior designers
How would you describe your design style?
Like builders, interior designers have specialities, so it’s important to find someone who suits your needs and taste. Having the designer describe their style will help you determine whether they’re the best fit for your home and lifestyle.
Do you have the relevant qualifications and skills?
Your interior decorators should have sort of the qualifications. These can range from a bachelor’s degree in interior design or a related field or at the very least, a short course in interior decoration. Also check if they have experience in interior decoration, project management, and working on similar projects to yours.
What services do you offer?
Designers aren’t cheap, so it’s worth getting a thorough rundown of what you’ll be getting for your money. It’ll also give you an idea of what your designers are specialists
Can you work within my budget?
As with most professions, there are different price brackets when it comes to designers. Someone who specialises in budget fit outs will have more experience in styling in a cost-saving way.
Do you have some references?
In a perfect world, we’d be able to take someone’s word that they are reliable, trustworthy and amazing at their job. Unfortunately, there are some shady characters out there. Most contractors will be happy to offer some references for you to talk to. We at Buildi are also in the loop, and if someone has a bad reputation, we’ve probably heard about it. Not only that, we can spot warning signs from a mile away, and point you in the direction of a reliable interior designer.
Red flags to be aware of before hiring an interior designer
If it sounds like a scam, or too good to be true, trust your instinct.
Is the quote you’ve been given seem very reasonable? In fact, it’s beyond reasonable, it’s incredible they’re willing so much work for so little. We’re sorry to say that this unlikely the full picture, and that price is no doubt going to shoot up. Either that or you’re going to get some dodgy work done on your home.
Wants full payment upfront rather than a deposit
A deposit is standard practice with trades, but asking for the full amount before any work has been completed is a red flag. You have every right to expect to see some work before paying the entire amount.
No portfolio to show you
For someone whose entire job revolves around visual flair, it would be strange for them not to have a portfolio to show you. The very idea of interior design is to be seen, so if they have nothing to show you, consider it a red flag.
Their timeline seems a little too good.
We all like it when a job’s done quickly, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of quality. The design process can be a big project, so it’s better to be patient and get great products than to get a dud delivered fast.
Reviews are constantly bad or don’t exist.
Though not airtight, reviews can be useful in getting a general vibe for a business. If you notice patterns in the bad reviews (contractor is always late, ups the price, does shoddy work and so on) consider this a pretty good sign this might be true. If there are no reviews, this might mean the contractor has added a clause in the contract that forbids reviews. As paranoid as that sounds, it does actually happen.
The most reputable and highly rated interior design firms in Brisbane
Blended Interiors and Design
Based in Teneriffe, Blended Interiors and Design can travel throughout South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. They have a highly qualified team that includes interior designers and building designers with architectural, organisational and design experience.
Darren James Interiors
Founded and run by a husband and wife duo, Darren James Interiors advertise itself as a bespoke interior designer who will create unique fit-outs for people’s dream homes. Darren James himself has over 20 years of experience in cabinetry, construction and architectural design.
Meraki Interior Decorators
Meraki Interior Decorators is based in Mount Gravatt, and a lot of the feedback praises their professional yet friendly approach. They offer both budget-friendly and high-end makeovers across Brisbane and South-East Queensland.
CG Design Studio
With seven plus years in the industry, the CG Design Studio team is based in Stafford who offer a range of services including custom kitchens, bathrooms, and cabinetry. Though based in Brisbane they offer their services Australia-wide.
Need help finding a Brisbane-based design studio that delivers unique and timeless projects? Want some advice on meeting your interior design needs? Buildi can help! We’re a building consultant who can be there to guide you through your entire building journey, from performing due diligence on your block of land to finding the perfect builder for your project. We’ll even sit on meetings and help you discuss matters with your chosen builder.