You just decided to purchase your dream home. Now what? Whether you are flying solo, part of a newly married couple or two people who have decided to simply live under the same roof, purchasing a home can be an overwhelming task.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Bathrooms are very personal and can often be a key selling point for potential buyers. Kitchens remain the heart of the home. If you are building a home, buying an existing home in which you can pick your own finishes or you are just looking to share your personal spin, here are some basic rules:
▪ Select finishes that are neutral, not trendy. This will help when it comes time to sell your home.
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▪ Purchase high quality appliances. High quality appliances will not only outlast the inexpensive ones, but will also add value.
▪ Consider mixing finishes, from mixing different types of tile to mixing woods.
Bedrooms and Living Rooms: How to Begin
Start with each person determining their own personal design style. This may mean walking the floors of local furniture stores, scoping out flea markets or ripping images from a magazine and using them as inspirational images. The key is the home needs to appeal to all occupants of the space.
Identify Your Personal Style
Typically, nearly everyone’s design style falls into one of these four categories, and then there are sub-sections from there.
Select a Signature Piece
After selecting your personal design category, narrow it down a bit more and define each person’s style more specifically.
From here, each person should select one signature piece that each person feels defines them the most. It can be an area rug with a big, bold graphic pattern or a fabulous piece of artwork or a gorgeous chandelier. Whatever piece they choose will serve as the anchor for the room and help fill in the rest of the blanks of the decor. By selecting a single signature piece that is special to each person, it helps ensure harmony and serves as the foundation to build a design palette.
Purchase Large Pieces First Then Accessorize
Once you have selected signature pieces that best represent each person’s personal taste and style, choose your largest pieces first then your accessories. Your furniture enhances the space, and the accessories enhance the furniture.
Use Universal Artwork
Instead of photos of one family dominating, purchase pieces of art. Great art doesn’t need to be expensive. Consider purchasing artwork from street artists, small galleries and even art students.
Need Help? Hire a Professional
When looking to hire an interior designer, be sure to do your homework. The first place to start is with a professional organization such as ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). Here, you will find a host of professionally trained interior designers in your local area. (Go to http://asidcarolinas.org/) Other places to look include IIDA (International Interior Design Association), U.S. Green Building Council (for a list of professionals specializing in sustainable design) and AIA (American Institute of Architects).
When selecting the right interior designer for you. I would suggest interviewing approximately three different designers. Be sure to ask to see samples of their work; nearly all interior designers have websites with numerous portfolio photographs posted. You may also wish to see their work in person. Don’t be afraid to ask an interior designer about their education and credentials. These credentials can also be confirmed through sites like asid.org and ncidq.org.
Beyond an interior designer’s credentials and work on paper, making your interior designer selection may just come down to personality and whether or not you feel you can trust and would enjoy working with this professional for what may be as long as a year or possibly longer.
How Interior Designers Charge for Their Services
Most interior designers either charge a flat design fee or hourly. Hourly fees typically range from $100 to $300 per hour, based on the designer’s experience and years in business. In addition to a design fee, designers also charge a certain percentage for items that are sourced or purchased through them, typically between 10 and 35 percent. Expect a professional interior designer to also charge for such extras as drafting services, creating construction drawings, renderings, shopping, phone calls and overseeing construction management.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org mailto or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.