Identify your requirements :
Before you even begin considering potential interior designers, ask yourself – what is my style. It’s important to assess your requirements so you can hire a designer best suited to your style. While some designers have their specific styles, keep your eyes open for the one who you feel comes closest to your preferences.
Seek recommendations :
After making a note of your needs and style, you may ask friends, family and relatives for possible leads. First-hand experiences can reveal a lot about the interior designer’s style of functioning and track record. It’s a good idea to call up past clients or even better, visit them to see the designer’s work first hand. The Internet is brimming with options and is a good place to look up interior designers and latest décor trends. Some solid research on their background and portfolio will also throw light on their reputation among clients and peers.
Meet the interior designer
Once you have shortlisted an interior designer, try and understand his/her aesthetic sense and work methodology. Remember you are on the lookout for a designer who is receptive to your ideas and design needs and will work within your comfort zone. Establishing clear communication will go a long way in strengthening mutual trust before actual work on the project begins.
Set a clear budget :
Nothing is in place if the budget has not been decided. Defining budget and timelines are paramount as most misunderstandings arise from lack of clarity on one or both these counts. It’s imperative that your interior designer and you thrash out the financial minutiae and project timelines right at the beginning to avoid any confusion at a later stage. While some designers ask for a fixed fee for all services, others charge an hourly rate. Some designers may ask for what is known as ‘cost-plus’. This fee is charged to buy furnishings and décor items, and the designer also adds a mark-up to this. In some cases, designers use a combination of fee structures, such as charging a fixed fee to develop the initial plan and a cost-plus to execute it.
Insist on designs and inventory :
As a client, you have the right and responsibility to ask for a visual representation of the project that may be in the form of designs and blue print. Ensure that the design of the house is in accordance with local and municipal laws. It is vital to understand the structure of the house to avoid any mistakes that might land you in a spot of bother later.
Why to do it yourself?
“Should you go about doing it yourself or should you hire an interior designer?” Here’s some food for thought.
When to do it yourself?
You’re on a budget: Dealing with budget constraints does not mean you have to compromise on the final look and feel of your space. Instead of seeking professional help, the idea is to allocate maximum funds towards high-quality purchases for your home. A word of caution though: Make sure you have a clear vision for the interior style you want to incorporate in your home before you begin. You’re passionate, creative, and have an eye for design: If you find yourself immersed in interior design blogs and magazines – pinning ideas for inspiration, then this might just be the perfect opportunity for your creativity to express itself. You’re looking to make modest design changes or quick refreshes for singular spaces, for example, a kitchen revamp or a bedroom makeover: Small scale projects present the perfect opportunity for the DIY’er in you. You want to be flexible with timelines: Projects developed by professionals are executed on specific timelines and estimates. This means you need to have the cash reserves to ensure that the project flow isn’t disturbed. On the other hand, when you do it yourself you have the flexibility to pace things, based on your cash flow and the expenses for the month.
When to hire an interior designer?
You’re not quite certain about the direction to take with your interior design: At such times, seeking professional guidance will go the mile and offer you the quality results that you’ve always dreamt of. You’re short on time and need to get it done: While it is inspiring to design your own home, time may not always be on your side. And if you’re neck deep in responsibilities, hiring an interior designer will take that pressure off your shoulders. You want some third party feedback and guidance: Designing the interiors of your home can quickly turn into an overwhelming experience. That’s because you’ll be suddenly confronted with a sea of choices, and it can be hard always to make the right decisions. At such times, receiving feedback and positive assurances from a designer can make all the difference and help you move the project to completion. You want to save money in the long term: Indeed. Mistakes in design decisions (which you may have to live with for years) can leave you feeling angry or remorseful for a long time to come. Not only that, but wrong choices of products or furnishings may shoot up your replacement costs. Investing in an interior designer minimises these blunders and can save you a lot of money and grief in the long run. So, what’s the result? The choice of doing it yourself or hiring a designer is a very personal one and certainly one that depends on your circumstances. In our opinion, it’s always helpful to have a guiding hand to help you move through your design project, but well, if you believe you have the passion, creativity and the drive for it, go ahead and create something beautiful for yourself.
Vastu and water
The vastu of water is based on the placement and direction of flow. Again, direction plays a critical role in water placement with the North-East, North, and East considered to be harmonious with the flow of energy. The positions for the drainage of water, tanks, and drains can be aligned in accordance with this element.
Vastu and fire
Light in all its forms, natural and man-made, makes all the difference to how we view our homes. The substance, space, and style of your home can often be defined by the extent of light. Natural light is uplifting, and the rays of the sun casting subtle warmth can change the vibes of any room. It is suggested to place more light fittings in the direction of the North or the East. For a kitchen, it is recommended that the ‘fire’ for cooking should be placed in the South-East.
Vastu and earth
Vastu guidelines lay down directions for the selection of a plot or site. It is recommended that a detailed inspection of the type of soil, the size and shape as well as direction of the plot be considered before commencing construction. Earth is considered to be the most important element in Vastu and forms the basis for the flow of the other elements.
Vastu and space
Too much junk accumulated over the years? De-clutter. A home needs free, fluid movement and too many objects tend to hamper this flow. Let the energy flow through most corners of your house. The corners are typically where we end up stacking stuff like brooms or mops. Vastu suggests not to keep the corners congested. Let it be clean and light. Good lighting, de-cluttering, cleanliness, and soothing light colours in combinations with sharp colours should be used for enhancing the flow of positive energy.
Vastu and air
The breath is the focus and basis of all life and air is one of the most important elements in Vastu. As with light, air too should be allowed unobstructed movement to enable a clear flow of energy through the house. Air should enter the house from the North-East direction. Accordingly, balconies, doors, windows, and even air-conditioners can be aligned on this principle. Our homes are not just places to live in. They reflect the energies we give to it. Harmonising the elements of nature can align the energies we infuse the places we reside in. A dash of light, a breath of air, or the rhythm of water might just add the right touch of warmth to our homes. Akhila laughs now at her home buying experience. ‘There were so many conflicting ideas. But I did my research, stuck to the basics, and found a home that aligns the basic elements of light, air, space, and energy. After all, Vastu or not, those are beautiful principles to base our homes on’. Social losses: Social loss could amount to a loss of respect in society. Monetary hassles: Business loss, unemployment, litigation and lastly bankruptcy. Medical issues: Critical illness, loss of general health being and loss of life.