Where Can I Find a Qualified Designer?

With so many magazines and television programs devoted to great design, now more than ever, more people can view the creations of brilliant designers whose work would have otherwise been solely for the enjoyment of its owners, guest and end users. Design is indeed an integral part of the built environment; is necessary for the proper functioning of a space, and contributes to higher quality of life.  Interior designers can be found in large cities and even small tucked away places. Most are highly trained and talented people whose contribution to this creative industry is unquestionable.  

Not all designers are created equal. Not all designers are suited to your project or are the right match for you. You will likely agree that the decision to invest in sculpting your space to reflect your soul is often, a costly one. Hence care should be exercised in hiring the ideal design professional for you. As with many other industries, imposters with little knowledge and average or below average talent often moonlight as qualified designers. When looking for a Design Professional you need to exercise care and use your discernment to avoid regret and a possible design fiasco. Knowing where to find your competent designer is of paramount importance. 

Here a few very effective places to start your search for your creative specialist:

1. Chat with friends - Designers largely find new clients through the referrals of past clients. Ask your friends who have used designers in the past, and whose work you have admired.  Other friends may have friends that have used designers. Enquire about their experience with the designer and how they found them. Ask if they would use them again and if no, why not?
2: Let the designers work recommend him. - Often in our day to day life we come in contact with well designed spaces. When visiting friends, hotels and businesses, if a designers work resonates with you, be sure to enquire. Ask, “who did it?” Get a name and number. Most satisfied customers are willing to share the contact details of their design wizards. 
3. Check your Local Professional Licenses Bodies and Associations. - Depending on where you live they may exist licensing Boards and Professional Design Associations. The America Society of Interior Designer (ASID), British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) and other such bodies regulate the Interior Design Profession. Since there memberships are usually limited to designers of the highest calibre consulted them for a list of local designers if chapters exist in your locality, is a great place to start.
4. Surf the Web - You can find anything from a pin to an anchor, and yes great designers on the web. Do a web search for designers listed in your area. Sites like Angie’s List,  Houzz, your local directory,  can be helpful in finding your space master. Many designers have business websites and blogs that tell you about them and showcase some of their work. Its an excellent idea to visit these websites. Look at the designer’s portfolio and design approach. If you are intrigued then add them to your list and contact them.
5. Talk to your Realtor and other Construction Professionals - The construction industry is a close knit one, and often people know people. Start with construction professionals you already know and trust, often there is a network of other fine professionals with which they associate. Your realtor, architect, contractor, hardware stores and tradesmen are often in a unique position to point you in the right direction and  recommend a competent designer with whom they have worked or is familiar with his work.

These are of course not the only way to find a Designer, but they are the most effective ways on your quest to finding the right space magician to develop and transform your space. If you do the above you will end up with a list of names to choose from. But, how will you know which one is right for you? What criteria will help you in the selection process? What questions should you ask? What should you absolutely know about you prospective designer? And what should you look for in a designers portfolio? We will provide satisfying answers and directions in our article “How do I Hire an Interior Designer?”


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