interior design faq

WORKING WITH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER

What does an interior designer do?

Interior Designers turn visions into reality. We work from the inside out, taking into consideration the architectural style, geographical location, lifestyle and preference of our clients, as well as any other parameters, to which we then add our experience and expertise in combining shapes, colours, materials, finishes, furniture, lighting, soft furnishing and décor element to a successful scheme.

Why should I hire an interior designer?

Interior Designers not only have a keen eye for detail, knowing what works and what doesn’t work together, but they are also experience trouble shooters. Every design project will face some type of challenges, whether it be delays in production, items lost in transport, items damaged during transport… the list goes on. At the same time, interior designers usually have far more resources than you would have in terms of vendors, suppliers, artisans and trade. This means an interior designer will not only create a beautiful, cohesive space, where every single item is intentional, but also ensure a smooth and headache free process for you, by handling issues that will arise along the way.

Can an interior designer buy more than I can?

Interior Designers have access to ‘trade only’ resources that do not sell to the public. Some may sell through high-end retailers, which however, may not be available in your area. Designers also work directly with manufacturers, who can create customised and bespoke pieces for our client projects.

When should I hire an interior designer?

The earlier the better. It is never too early to speak to an interior designer. The earlier you start working with an interior designer the better she/he can help you avoid mistakes when planning your design project as it relates to the selection of finishes, types of windows, lighting etc. For example, we plan for the exact location of electrical outlets and sockets, depending on the furniture layout of your space, which is based on shape and size of your space as well as your lifestyle and preferences.

How do I choose the right designer for me?

The collaboration between you and your interior designer is very personal. The first thing you should consider is whether you like the designer as a person and what they stand for. Then of course you should take into account their experience and expertise, What do others say about working with this interior designer? Lastly, you should also consider their style. Some designer are specialized in a specific style, others work with many different styles.

WORKING WITH GLOBAL INSPIRATIONS DESIGN

What is your style?

I work with many different styles from minimalistic to classic contemporary. Sophisticated contemporary interiors with clean lines and layers of texture is my sweet spot. I love colours and am not afraid to use them in my projects. I like to define my style as ‘Contemporary with a touch of nostalgia’, which means I maintain an overall contemporary, timeless and sophisticated look, but like to add an element of surprise or wow factor. Most importantly, I blend the needs and preferences of my clients, with my global aesthetics to complete a space that is beautiful, functional and that truly reflects the client’s personality.

What cities do you work in?

I am based in Zurich, Switzerland, but will travel to wherever my clients need me, as long as the additional time and expenses are compensated and makes sense for the client and for my business. This usually depends on the scope of a project. However, I also have experience working remotely and virtually.

How far would you travel for a project?

This depends on the scope of the project, however, I have travelled as far as to the Caribbean on several occasions. For smaller projects or consultations, it is also possible to work virtually.

Can you work with me if I’m based in another country?

Yes, absolutely. As mentioned above, it all depends on the scope and budget of the project. If you are unsure, just book a complimentary Discovery Call and let’s discuss your project.

Can you provide references?

Yes, absolutely. In the meantime, you can also take a look at the testimonials on my website, on Google and on Facebook.

Do you work with other trade professionals?

Yes, I work with many highly-skilled and talented painters, carpenters, upholsterers, blacksmiths, curtain makers and other specialists. Depending on the project, I hire the necessary team to complete the job.

THE (INTERIOR) DESIGN PROCESS

 

Hiring an interior designer: How does it work?

Every interior designer works differently. I suggest you first select 1 – 3 interior designers by studying their website, looking at their portfolio, reading their about page and client testimonials. Then reach out and set up an initial get-to-know each other call or meeting. From there the interior designer should be able to guide you through their process.

What is the sequence of phases that my design project will go through?

At Global Inspirations Design all collaborations start with an Interior Design Consultation. If you then decide to hire us on a Full-Service Interior Design basis, there are 4 phases: Design Brief, Design Concept, Design Development and Design Implementation. Read more about how this works here.

How do we get started?

At Global Inspirations Design, you just need to book a complimentary Discovery Call to discuss your project.

What should I do before I contact an interior designer?

Start by asking yourself some questions: What do you expect from an interior designer? How involved would you like to be in this project? What’s the information you’ve already gathered for your project? Do you have a style and/ or a budget in mind? If you have worked with an interior designer before, think about what you liked/ disliked about this collaboration.

How do I prepare for my initial consultation with an interior designer?

This will vary from designer to designer. When you book a consultation with Global Inspirations Design, you will receive an email with a detailed list of how to prepare for your consultation to make the best out of it.

What happens at the first consultation?

We discuss your most pressing design challenges and at the same time get to know each other. Each consultation is different, depending on whether you plan to continue working with us or prefer to complete the project on your own. You can learn more about consultations here.

How long will our project take?

This depends on the scope of your project. On average a furnishing only project will take between 6 – 12 months. A refurbishment project usually takes anywhere from 6 – 24 months. The project duration includes concept, sourcing, ordering, lead times (i.e. furniture production, shipping and transport) and installation.

How involved in the process will I need to be?

This is entirely up to you and what we agree upon during the initial stage of your project. I have worked with clients, where once the concept and the overall budget were approved, they completely handed over the project to me. In any case, you will receive regular updates to keep you informed of the process.

How involved are you personally in my project?

I work with a limited number of clients each year, because I like to give my clients the attention they deserve. If you decide to work with me, you can rest assured that I will personally be involved in every step along the way from the first conversation to the last tweaking of the sofa cushion.

What if I am unhappy with your designs?

Thankfully, this has never happened before since launching Global Inspirations Design in 2014, because I really take the time to get to know you and your family, what you like and what you don’t like. It’s all about you and your home or holiday home, not about what works for me. The Design Concept is based on all the information we gather during the Discovery Call, the initial Consultation and the Design Brief. By keeping you in the loop throughout the process, we ensure your complete satisfaction. Should there, however, be an issue, we will always try and find a solution together.

 

INTERIOR DESIGN SERVICES

Do you also offer Colour Consultations?

We offer Interior Design Consultations, which can be fully dedicated to the selection of colours and/ or other finishes. It is not just about picking the ‘most beautiful’ colour, but the one that suits your personality, works well with the other elements in the space and enhances the overall look and feel of it.

Do the Interior Design Consultations include a mood board or drawings?

No, there are no drawings or mood boards included. Interior Design Consultations are working consultations, where we address specific design challenges you may have. Prior to the consultation, however, I study your space, carefully read the answers in your questionnaire and conduct some research. With the help of samples, I can then illustrate my ideas and after the consultation I will prepare a personalized Pinterest Board based on what we have discussed.

What type of projects can you do?

Global Inspirations Design offers Interior Design Consultations, Designer for a Day packages and Full-Service Interior Design for residential homes and vacation homes. These projects can range from one room to an entire house for partial and full furnishing as well as renovations including bathrooms and kitchens.

Do we need to use your contractor or architect?

No, if you have already hired or know someone who you’d like to work with, I am happy to talk to them and see how we can collaborate on your project.

Can you manage the entire project?

This depends on the scope of the project and the type of work that needs to be done. If and where necessary we may need to get an engineer, architect or project manager on board.

Is any project too small?

My Full-Service Interior Design projects start at around CHF 23’000 per room which includes furniture, lighting, and the design fees. For smaller projects you may wish to consider an Interior Design Consultation or a Designer For a Day package.

How are purchases for the project handled?

All furniture, lighting, soft furnishing and décor is purchased through Global Inspirations Design. Purchases for paint, tiles, sanitary ware and other finishes may be purchased directly by the client or through the respective trade.

FEES, TERMS & CONDITIONS

Is there a contract?

Yes, there is a contract for Full-Service Interior Design projects, outlining the scope of the project, what to expect , terms and conditions and the agreed design fees.

Isn’t hiring a designer very expensive?

Pricing largely depends on experience and location. You are likely to find interior designers at many price levels. Interior Designers with several years in business bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Not only do they have a trained eye, access to some of the most amazing vendors and artisans, but they also know what can go wrong in a design project, how to handle it or even how to avoid it. You not only pay for a beautiful outcome, but also for your own peace of mind.

How can an interior designer save me money?

By doing things right the first time around and avoiding expensive mistakes. By working off a design concept and by carefully planning your project, we avoid making expensive mistakes, such as purchasing the wrong tiles, painting the walls in the wrong colour, placing the wardrobe on the wrong wall, installing the wrong type of curtains, buying a sofa that is too big for your space etc. It may seem more costly at first, but having to undo something, such as repositioning an electrical outlet or painting over a wall can quickly increase costs, let alone delay the project by several weeks.

How do you charge?

At Global Inspirations Design we charge a flat project fee for all design work from concept to completion. In addition, you will purchase all furniture, lighting, soft furnishing and décor through us at retail prices.

Do I have to make purchases through you?

Yes, this is part of our business model.

Do you charge for your first meeting?

The 30-minute Discovery Call is free. Following that there’s a 2.5 hours working consultation, which is a paid service. The consultation is well prepared and will already bring you lots of clarity, even if we then choose not to continue working together.

How much will you charge to come to my home?

Travel is calculated at CHF 0.80/ km. However, for longer distances we work out a flat fee. The flat fee of our Full Service Interior Design projects already includes all necessary travel to and from.

Do you offer discounts for multiple rooms?

We don’t offer discounts per se, but the more rooms you hire us to complete, the lower the design fee per room, because we can maximise our time spent together.

MORE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I want to purchase my own furniture – can you still help? 

Yes, we offer Interior Design Consultations as a standalone service. The consultation will give you direction and also help you avoid making the wrong purchases. If you then need further assistance with the purchasing, but don’t want Full-Service Interior Design, you can book a Designer for a Day package, where we will spend time shopping together. We do not provide shopping lists or general recommendations for where to shop.

Where do you get your furniture?

This depends on the location of the project. However, we work with a local and global network of vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, artisans and craftsman. We regularly visit furniture factories throughout Europe to gain a better understanding of the quality and the production methods. Global Inspirations Design is also committed to seeking out ethical and sustainable sourcing.

What if the designer imposes their ideas instead of getting my personal taste? 

At Global Inspirations Design we always respect your taste. At the same time, we will openly point out if something doesn’t work. We will not impose, but we will push you outside of your comfort zone, because essentially you are hiring an interior designer, because they can see the big picture and how things work together. It is all about creating an overall cohesive vision that reflects your personality and tells your story. By spending a lot of time upfront, we are confident that once the concept is approved you will be happy with the outcome.

Why do I need an interior designer if I already have an architect? 

Architects work from the outside in, interior designers work from the inside out. We look at the desired outcome and style of the space and then work backwards. For example, we carefully consider the positioning of electrical outlets and sockets depending on the furniture layout or we consider the type and size of window, depending on the style of window treatments.

How do I know I will get an interior designer that designs in the style I like? 

Look at the designer’s portfolio. Do all projects look the same or very similar? If yes, then it is likely that this is the style they design in. Every designer develops a certain style over the years, but some are more flexible than others. Make sure to ask your interior designer what styles they design in.

I don’t know what style I want – can you still help? 

Yes, absolutely. This is in fact my personal superpower, helping figure out what best suits your personality 😉

What if an interior designer suggests a style I don’t like? 

At Global Inspirations Design we spend a lot of time upfront to get to know you and your likes and dislikes. We are therefore confident that having spent that time, we will narrow down a style that suits you and your personality. Should you have a preference for a specific style we are not comfortable working in, we will let you know during the initial consultation.

Would you consider using eco-friendly and sustainable materials?

Yes, absolutely, We continuously educate ourselves about this subject in order to make more conscious purchasing decisions.

Can you integrate my favourite pieces of furniture or accessories into the design? 

Yes. We typically work with expats and international people who are well travelled and have lived in many places. We will work in your favourite pieces wherever possible, in some cases, they may even be the source of inspiration.

Do you have fabric and wallpaper books to choose from? 

Yes, we have lots of samples readily available and will also organize project specific samples.

 

 

Please also refer to the blog section Hiring an Interior Designer for more information about working with an interior designer and the design process.

 

For any further questions or to discuss your project, you can either book a Discovery Call or send an email to simone.baur@globalinspirationsdesign.com.

 

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