Interior designing and decorating is basically the process of designing and decorating the space. The idea is to make an empty flat or any space for that matter fully functional and aesthetically pleasing. Interior designing and interior decorating is commonly used as one, but these are two different tasks.
When you buy a new flat or construct a new house, it’s pretty much empty. Depending on your need, you may like to make certain changes in the layout of the space, like moving the seat out area, or TV cabinet to a different corner. You may like to add more utility and functionality, improving the layout and at the same time, transforming the overall look of the space.
Usually, the developer these days, consult with architects and interior designers and decorators, so that they can make the space more functional. But even after that, the end consumers may need certain improvements while furnishing the flat.
Interior designers and decorators can come handy for such job. They are the trained and professional people, who can help you, design and decorate your home, in your budget.
They can handle everything, from minor changes in the layout, to false ceiling, custom made furniture, modular kitchen, seat out area, entertainment zone, temple or prayer room and what not. They have the team to handle electrical, civil, carpentry and all other jobs like painting etc.
If you are planning to buy a new property, or you have already bought a new property (e.g. flat, independent house, villa or bungalow) then this guide to interior designing and decorating your home is going to be very handy for you.
We have worked with hundreds of interior designers and decorators from all across India. We have helped thousands of customers like you in finding and hiring best possible interior designers. I am sure you will have many questions and confusion with regard to the process of interior designing and decorating, costs involved, time it’s going to take and so on.
We are going to talk about everything worth knowing about interior designing and decorating.
Interior designing and decorating process
Interior designing is a study where the space is defined by the functional and aesthetic value. Interior designing mainly deal with the design, structure, layout, and size of the space. The décor of the room or the ambiance of the room depends on all the above-mentioned factors, and so the interior designers consider all of these while designing the layout of the space.
Interior designing will change the look of the room completely, as it deals with the nitty-gritty of the design and decoration. The interior designer will not just deal with the beauty of the space, but will also make the space functionally suitable for you.
The designing part is mostly about the drawings and layout.
Decoration deals with the overall look of the space. Which color is to be used for wood and laminates, wall, curtains, sofa, cushion etc. It also deals with various types of home decorating items like painting, lighting.
If you love to play with colours, fabric or textiles, if you have an innate aesthetic sense, then even you can decorate your space. The colours of the furniture or other items, the fabric and colours of the curtains cushion covers, the floors, the colours of the walls, all these are the strengths of the interior decorator. Interior decoration will deal with the visual effects that your room will have when you will enter the room. Interior decoration deals mainly with aesthetics.
Interior designers and decorators look after both design and decoration part of it. They use various technologies to create different options and then choose one that looks good.
Interior firms offers both the service
Interior designing firms have both interior designers and decorators in the team. They have specialized people in team who understand decoration and design. Different team members bring in different kind of ideas, and that can be incredible for you.
The designer can arrange the space in such a manner that the space will have maximum utilization and look nice and decent. The designer can deal with a vast range of topics, from the size of the room to the curtains, from the shape to the colour, from the furniture to the fabrics, anything and everything.
Whereas, in interior decoration one will concentrate on colours, fabrics, textures etc. Interior decorators do not need to think whole lot of topics, which the designers have to do. Interior designers can design the whole interiors, whereas the decorators will deal with a partial genre. The interior designing will be inclusive of the decoration, but the in interior decoration the designing part will be substantially excluded.
Types of Interior Designers and Decorators
Interior designers and decorators are mostly available in urban cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and other major cities. There are different types of interior designers; there are many who work on certain projects, budget and clients
We can categorize them primarily on the basis of budget and credentials.
There are interior designing companies that take up only premium projects concerning high budget. They mainly entertain the projects of reputed celebs and elites. On the other hand, there are certain companies that take up medium budgeted residential projects of apartments and flats.
Furthermore, there are other kinds of companies who only work on commercial interior designing projects like shopping malls or big offices.
Hence the challenge is to reach out to the companies who work on your kind of projects. If you need help with interior designing and decoration of residential projects, then reach out to the residential interior firms. Similarly, for commercial projects, you have to approach different kind of firms.
Cost of interior designing and decorating services
As you already know, interior designing firms offers end to end services, to design and furnish your home, the cost of the overall design and decorating is always going to be a matter of concern for many.
But cost of interior designing and decorating services depends on various parameters. Also different companies are priced differently, depending on their expertise, quality of materials, post work support and overall credentials.
Interior designing and decorating cost of the house or office will depend on the kind of plan you have for your room. The rate will also depend on the size of the space, for example, for one room the price is much lesser than the whole house.
The size and the structure of the room are important while you are planning for the interiors. The shape of the room will define the ambiance of the space largely. There should be a proper design and a layout to determine the arrangements of the items.
The designers will help you to decorate the room keeping in mind the beauty as well as fulfilling the purpose of the space.
The interior decorators will deal with the colour coordination, the texture, the fabric etc. They will make your room look bright and spacious with the suitable lights and the accessories.
You can hire an interior designing firm on turnkey projects or as a consultant.
Interior designing and decorating on turnkey basis
On turnkey basis, the interior firm will take care of everything, from planning to execution including sourcing of raw materials. They will bring their own technicians and labor for every job e.g. false ceiling, electrical, painting and carpentry.
It’s probably the best way to engage an interior designing firm, because the process makes them accountable and you get best results.
Interior designing and decorating on consulting basis
But there are many who prefer to work with interior designing firm and only take consultancy and supervision service. They will design the space layout, create 2d and 3d elevation and design and hand it over to you. As a consultant, they will deliver all the design, measurement, drawing for false ceiling, electrical layout and everything else that a technicians required.
The designers will be happy to connect you to independent contractors and you can hire them if you like. They can also be engaged for further supervision of the project by paying additional fees.
You can handover that design to your contractor, source all of the materials and get it done on your own.
Its way too much complicated and in most cases, costs more due to inexperience. You have to deal with different contractors for different jobs e.g. electrician to do the lighting and electrical job, false ceiling contractor for false ceiling, carpenter for carpentry job and so on.
Since different task is being performed by different contractors, lack of coordination may result in delay and there will be no accountability as such.
Cost in such arrangement may vary:
Cost of 2d/3D design may be anywhere between INR 40000 to INR 75000, depending on the scope of work.
On top of that, cost of supervision will be anywhere between Rs. 30 per square feet to 55 per square feet.
If you hire independent contractors for various jobs, then you have to find out their rates, which primarily depends on the area and your specific needs.
Usually rates for false ceiling with POP start from Rs. 75 per square feet to up to Rs. 120 per square feet.
Similarly, electrical services may be charged at around Rs. 100 to 125 per point. You need them for false ceiling and if incase some of the switch board requires moving from one side or wall to another.
Now you have the fair enough idea and you can take a call according to your preference.
How to plan for interior designing and decorating your home?
You must have some likes, dislikes and idea of how you want your space to turnout. You have watched in movies and magazines the beautiful and well-furnished rooms. You must have liked that room in the resort which you visited last summer vacation. These kinds of images and visions are planted in your mind, and combining all of these, you may have created your own dream house in your mind. The interior designers and the decorators will just put their best of efforts in making your dream a reality. If you have any such definite preferences, you must keep it noted so that you can convey it to the professionals vividly.
The purpose of the space
What is the space that you want to decorate? Is it the drawing room or the kid’s room? On the other hand, is it the whole house? Every space has a definite function to play. The interior designers can create a balance between form and function.
The ambiance of the home or the look you want to give your home is your choice. Do you want a contemporary style or a classic one, or even a traditional one? The interior décor will transform your space like the way you want, but for that you need to have a clear vision. The designers will ensure that your thinking is made visual.
Get inspired online and offline
This the world bound by the media and the technological advances. You can gather some ideas from various sources, which are at your disposal, you can avail both the online and the offline sources.
There is Google and other such search engines from where you will get images and ideas. You can visit the website the of the interior designers if you want to have an idea about the interior décor.
You can also go through the magazines, books, journals, newspapers in quest of inspiration. It may also happen that you have visited your friend’s or relative’s house and you adore something. You can keep it noted too, and use that idea for your home as well. The dream home, which is in your mind, must be perfect so that the execution of the plan is perfect as well.
Research and take not of ideas
Follow the conventional style of pen and paper and jot down the points clearly. There should be no place of confusion. The worst thing that can ruin everything is a self-doubt. Be very transparent in your process of work.
You can also keep the pictures or the images, which have caught your attention in this regard. You can maintain a file or a folder where you store all the photos and the images, and the writing pad where you have jotted down the points.
Highlight the prominent points
While you are deciding on your dream home, you must highlight the important points, for example, you want a chandelier in dining room and a floor lamp in sitting room. You want the items arranged in a circular manner in the room. Such points must be clearly noted so that you can convey it well to the professional interior designers and the decorators.
Check the rates of items in the local market
The indoor work of maintaining the folder is over now. Your next step is the outdoor work. When you were looking at the images of the rooms or reading some articles, you must have noticed the items that are needed to decorate the rooms, for example the furniture, the lighting, or the floors, or some accessories. You can go to the local markets and the dealers to know the on-going rates and the charges of these items. Doing so, will give you a clear idea about the pocket pinch; and, you can understand whether the rates of the interior designers are higher or lower.
Quality of materials and brand
What materials are good for the furniture? What are the options available like teak or sandalwood etc? The materials used for the floors like marbles, tiles, or hardwood or granite, you can know all these things once you go and visit the market yourself. Not everything can be comprehended by sitting in front of the laptop, so there are certain outdoor activities for you too.
There are multiple kinds of brands for each item, and you have to decide which one to go for, depending on the reviews, price and warranty. For floors, lights, fixtures, wall paints, furniture, appliances, carpets, there are thousands of brands. There is Godrej interio for the furniture, there is Asian Paints, Nerolac, and Berger for the wall paints, there is both LED and CFL lights, brands like Phillips are well known in this respect. For appliances, there are Sony, Phillips, Samsung, LG, Hitachi etc. All these brands are available in various places, like shopping malls and in their respective show rooms. There are malls where you can get all the interior items in one roof like Merlin Homeland. Read the reviews online; ask your acquaintances about the various kinds of brands and how well they are performing.
Price and warranty
You will have to take in consideration two kinds of pocket pinch, one is the charge of the materials and the items and the other one is the fee paid to the interior designers for completing your project. Sometimes the interior designers have a tie up with the local market, they buy the materials at lower rates but charge the rates as it is, and thus they can enjoy a commission. This is the reason you must always check the rates with the local markets, so that you can understand the actual price. If you prefer to buy the materials yourself, then it will be a tedious one, but it can save you money as well.
Check the warranty period of the items that you buy. Keep the bills securely with you, in case you have to face a situation that calls for changing of the items. The items having warranty periods are authentic and genuine. The warranty period must be a written document and not by word of some local dealer.
Start looking for interior designers and decorator
Internet is the common solution to all your problems. In this 21st century we can find almost anything in the Internet, so the best way to start your designing projects is also the Internet.
You can browse through several search engines in search of professionals in this field. You will find hundreds of pages of websites, social networking sites, account pages, filled with the customer reviews and their contact details. You can go through them.
The websites also have portfolios, the pictures of their past projects, and you can have a good look at them. This way you can have a clear notion about the hottest trends in the modern designing world. Go through the websites, if you like some of them, then you can even contact them over phone or mails. All the professionals exist in Internet, as it is the most convenient way to reach to more and more people.
What to know when choosing interior designers?
Interior designing is a one time and costly affair and hence you have to be very sure about what you are doing. Since the entire concept is going to be handled by the interior designer (on turnkey or consulting basis), you need to know a few things.
Reliability is of the highest importance. Always ensure that the company you are considering is highly reliable. Mediocre agencies won’t have any professional ethics and hence delay in delivery, or compromise in quality is very common.
There are certain companies that can cause you enough harassment by not completing the project within the estimated budget and time limit. They often charge high advance fees, but then they start portraying their irresponsible behaviour. These kinds of situations are annoying, but they are not uncommon.
Interior designer firms usually work on multiple projects at a time, and in some cases, this becomes the prime reason of delayed delivery. Always look for companies with adequate resource. Look for interior firms that have enough manpower to execute the project.
Flexibility is seriously important and the interior designer you are choosing must be very flexible in accommodating change requests. In many cases, when you look at the 3D design, you feel like it’s looking nice, but you may not like the same in reality.
If the designer is flexible, he will give you a few options, but if he is not that flexible, he won’t entertain any change request. So look for one who is flexible.
Experience of the company
The age of the company is a very important factor. If the company is in business since long, then this means that the company is capable enough to survive the competitive market. This also means that there are many customers whom the company had served in the past. You can get a first hand review about the company from the customers directly.
Check for reference
Try to get some reference of the past clients of the company. You can then contact them and have a detail conversation with them. Contact them personally and talk to them about the company that you are going to hire. If you find that the customers are not that satisfied with the service, then you can just back out.
Check online presence
The networking sites will give you a clear idea about their services. The number of “likes” and the “comments” may not be the real testimony of the fact, but it should give you fair enough idea of their credential.
How to find and hire the Interior designers and decorator?
Finding and hiring interior designer is not going to be easy, especially if you rely on google. You will have to sit in front of the laptop or computer, and browse all day, quite literally. Ample research is mandatory as your money is precious, and you cannot just invest it in any random company that pops up in your Google search.
Browsing the websites, noting down the contact details, then calling them repeatedly as sometimes the companies do not just take up the calls for some unknown reasons is just awful.
But you can use our platform to find and hire interior designers, much efficiently.
You can simply create a request for estimates.
The backend team of Servicesutra gets in touch with instantly to know your needs and preferences. They will ask a few questions related to the project and connect you to up to three different interior designing firms available in your city.
You can talk to them, compare and evaluate their offers and portfolio and then choose one that best suits your needs.
Communication with the professionals
Communication between you and the interior designer’s team is the key to the proper execution of the whole project. This is your home, so you cannot just leave everything on the designers, and the designers are aware that you dreams and opinions play a major part here too. So, you must have a mutual understanding, and that can be achieved by communication only.
Bring out your file
Couple of paragraphs back, I mentioned about maintaining a file or a folder where you will keep all your research samples. Now is the time to take out that file folder. If you have kept any photographs or any magazine cut outs that you like a lot, then you can show those to the professionals. This will help them to understand what exactly you want.
The materials required
You must ask them what are the materials required for the interior décor. It is not mandatory that you have to buy all the materials; you can use some items that you already have. The objective is to make the home look beautiful, and for that the existing items can play a major role too. If any new items are required, then what are they? What will be the expense in buying the new items? Where will they be placed? What purpose will they serve? What are the raw materials needed? From where will the items be bought, and which brand?
For example, if a new cabinet is to be purchased, then what kind of wood will be used of it, what will be the size, and where it will be kept, the colour and the shape of it, from where it will be bought, you must know everything.
Approximate budget of the items
You are already aware of the rates of the items in the prevailing local markets, as per I mentioned in one of my previous points. Ask the professionals to give an approx rate, so that you can compare it with the local markets.
You must do a proper background check. This check will help you to know their procedures and the level of performance, even before you hire them.
Check rates of the professionals with the markets
Though I have touched this point previously, still I am emphasizing on this very point. Your main concern is the budget, and you must be double sure that you are not paying extra. The interior designers often manage to get the items from the market at a considerable discount, but they charge you the rate without mentioning anything about the discount. Thus they can enjoy this extra bucks squeezed from the difference of rates. You must look into the matter so that you are not being fooled.
Buy the materials yourself: I will suggest you to buy the materials yourself. I know it will be a tiring job for you, but if you take the pain then it will be your benefit. If you buy the materials yourself, then there will be no chance of confusion.
Know from where the materials are bought: You must have the knowledge about the shops from where the materials are purchased. Your full active participation in this whole project is beneficial for you.
Proper bill: The bills and receipts of the purchased materials should be available to you. Each and every monetary transaction should be transparent so that there is no room of confusion.
Time to cut the advance cheque
If you have proceeded through all the above-mentioned points, and if you are satisfied with everything, then the time has now arrived to hire one professional interior designer and decorator. You can now pay them the advance and start the project for décor.
The project will be executed smoothly if the relation between you and the professionals are cordial and mutual. If you do not like each other, then in all probability the end result will not be good too. You should hire someone who understands you, so that your soul can be projected through your interior décor.
Over to you
Your space is a reflection of your own personality and so it must be designed accordingly. Interior designing and decoration is like music, it will add a perfect harmony of form and function, thus defining your space.
Understand the process, engage with the best possible interior firms and work with them closely to while they design and decorate the interior of your house.
Have you worked with an interior designer in recent past? What else do you think one should know while designing and decorating a home or office?