Our iExpert of the month, Nu Infinity has given their insights to the 10 most asked questions regarding interior design. Read on to see how you can make the most of your budget, maximise your space and find the right interior designer for you.
While most people tend to perceive interior designing as one of the more fun aspects of moving into a new home, it can also be a very daunting task for first-timers. Not forgetting the fact that so many factors come into play during the process – from aesthetics to functionality, cost and sustainability. So, where does one even start? Read on to find out.
1. I am currently renting an apartment in the KL suburb. I would love to decorate my house, but the thought of “I’m only renting the house” has always held me back. What should I do?
It would be prudent to spend only on things that are deemed movable or transferable so that they do not go to waste if and when you decide to move out. Invest in loose furniture and décor, especially items that are designed to be versatile aesthetically, making them easier to fit into different settings.
2. What information would an interior designer need from me before I hire them?
As much as you have to give. In fact, it should always begin with the bigger picture (of what you want), before focusing onto the smaller details. Big picture items would include the budget, style, location of your new home, area coverage and so on. Smaller details would focus on the number of residents, which space is considered the most important, what materials are preferred, types of furnishings required, and the list goes on.
3. How much should I budget in order to have a minimalist-style living room?
A minimalist design commonly consists of well-painted walls and loose décor, which could probably cost in the range between RM5,000 to RM20,000. If built-in cabinets are required, this would be a significant add-on to your budget. However, there are many affordable products out there which are able to give the ‘wow’ effect without breaking the bank; such as curtains, wallpaper and large statement décor pieces.
4. Which is the most important part of the house that I should start with for interior design?
Without a doubt, the ‘heart’ of the house. This would vary for each person. Preferences can be either the Living Area, Kitchen or Master Bedroom. However, no matter what your budget is and preferred starting point, the design should always flow nicely throughout your home and stay balanced between spaces.
5. If I have an idea of what I want, can I set a budget for the interior designer to create my vision from start to finish?
Yes you may, provided that it is a realistic budget. It is the interior designer’s responsibility to manage the client’s expectation in parallel with what the given budget can achieve. The best results come from a good collaboration and mix of ideas from both the client and the interior designer.
6. How much is the minimum amount I would need in order to hire an interior designer for an apartment that is about 600sq ft?
There is no minimum. You get what your budget allows for and this can vary based on the amount of research you have put in. At the same time, one may also have to consider how much is appropriate for a unit at that size, and whether the quoted fee is proportionate to the budget. Unless you’re hiring a relatively famous or extremely experienced interior designer, there is usually no minimum. Our ballpark estimate ranges between the low thousands to just over RM10,000.
7. Can the interior designer create a fully automated interior with simple but functional furniture that can be changed every year during festive seasons?
Yes it’s possible, however that would depend on cost as well. It is not exactly easy to create perfect pieces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Go with good quality and well-thought-out designs, you will be surprised how a lot of pieces are designed intricately and with a lot of passion. Do give consideration to the environment when it comes to discarding your furniture in future, by choosing sustainable and renewable materials.
8. How many quotations should I get before I choose an interior designer? Would I also be allowed to purchase cost-controlled items from them?
A minimum of two should suffice. In some cases you may be absolutely comfortable with the one, and the rest boils down to negotiation. Yes, but it should be made clear from the beginning, and do leave room for flexibility.
9. How do I find a good interior designer who can complete the job, including both design and renovation?
You can evaluate your preferred designer based on their track record, the company’s vision and mission. Be sure to also meet up in person, have a look at their office and chat with them to know them better. There are no guarantees, but there should be some level of assurance that the interior designer will put in their best effort to give you the best possible outcome.
10. How do I decide if an interior design company is suitable for my needs?
It pays to understand the company thoroughly. Researching and reviewing their portfolio is the first most important step. Further evaluations can also be made in various aspects. Short-list a few companies and make comparisons, you may be able to list down the pros and cons and see who has an edge over the rest. Take into account, their track record, their style, whether they have high profile projects, awards won, quality of presentation and so on.
We hope that you have a better idea of what to expect when looking into your home’s interior design. Got anymore burning questions? Let us know.