If you want to find a good interior designer, the best way to do it is through friend recommendations or a reputable interior design firm. However, if you only need a quick advice on minor design concerns, you might want to try these more affordable design services first:

  1. Student services. Interior design students often render services as part of their educational requirements for a minimal fee, and you can take advantage of that. However, do note that design students are still undergoing training, so you might want to leave major design works (such as creating a floor plan or purchasing furniture) to licensed and experienced interior designers.
  2. Design websites. Recently, more interior designers have been offering online design services, ranging from providing design consultancy to creating room layouts. Do bear in mind that even if the service is rendered by a designer, the results can sometimes be unsatisfactory due to lack of proper communication. As such, ask only for advice on themes or color combinations, and save the layout and lighting’s for an interior designer who can pay your house a visit.
  3. Retail stores. Furniture shops and design centers often have an in-house interior designer who can give free design advice to customers, and you can turn to them if you are having difficulty deciding which fabric or material to choose. Do take note that in-house experts often get a commission from items they sell, so please consider carefully before making purchase on additional recommendations.

How to Hire an Interior Designer without Denting Your Wallet

Although alternative design services are often cheaper, there are times when you really need to hire a professional interior designer, especially for a major renovation. Here are some tips in hiring a designer when you’re on a budget:

  1. State your budget upfront. Setting a reasonable budget and communicating it to your interior designer right away can save you a lot of expenses. Remember that designers strive to meet their clients’ expectations and budget.
  2. Do the initial research. The planning stage alone can last several days, and it can take longer if you don’t know what you want to do with your home’s interior. To save time and money, especially if you are paying the interior designer by the hour, do some preliminary preparations prior to the first meeting. Collect paint swatches, get samples of fabrics you like, and compile design ideas. The key is to do whatever initial research you can so that your interior designer can focus on putting your project together.
  3. Have a plan drawn and do the rest yourself. While you might need professional advice when it comes to furniture arrangement and color schemes, there are some design work that you can do yourself, such as painting the walls and buying furnishings. Ask your interior designer to create a layout and choose color combinations for your home, and take it from there. This will help you save money without compromising quality design.

With design firms and interior designers trying to get an edge in the competitive market, interior design services are now more accessible to homeowners. The tips above will help you in creating your dream home on a budget.