Final Note: Working with Designers


Final Note: Working with Designers

You have a file and it is filled with pretty pictures of couches, chairs, dinning sets and bed linens. If only you could figure out how to put it all together. Could working with an interior designer help you? We’ve talked to a few interior designers and asked them to share their thoughts on hiring.

The most important thing for understanding the client, say designers, is the initial interview. “I can see the space and talk about the dream, what the client wants to accomplish,” says Mary Njuguna, a color specialist in Kigali. “As an expert in paint, I also use the opportunity to educate my clients and my potential clients on what is good and what options they have.”

Who’s right for you?

When choosing a designer for your home, how do you decide?  Most felt that experience was important to consider in your selection process. “I think that breadth of experience is important,” says Njuguna. “You can have lots of time painting for example, but have you only worked on one kind of project, or type of home. I believe that working in multiple areas allows you to face any issue or problem as they come up.”

 “I do recommend that you consider talking to one or two of our references,” says Agnes Blick, Blick décor and design. It’s a sure way to hear directly from clients how we work and how we responded to your requests.

No matter how wonderful the benefits, pricing is always the big question. So how much should you budget for a designer’s expertise?

Blick recommends that you consider 10 – 20% of your budget should be directed to the designer. Some people charge by the hour, others as a percentage of the cost of the items, either way this overall percentage should cover you.

Njuguna’s company supplies both materials and labor, her charges run from 3,000 – 3,500 rwf per square meter for interior work and 8,000 – 10,000 for exterior.