Inspiration and DIY Tiling Tips: How to Ensure Success With an Interior Designer



If you're planning a home renovation project, you're probably wondering if you should hire an interior designer. This can be a very wise investment, and will ensure your satisfaction and the success of your finished project. Aside from helping you create the best possible design, an interior designer will be able to share tiling tips, help you become familiar with the industry lingo, and provide a number of resources.

How an Interior Designer Can Help

There are a number of benefits to enlisting the services of an expert interior designer. According to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), an interior designer will be able to "contribute insights and advice based on his or her talents, knowledge, and experience." In other words, they know all the ins and outs of completing an interior design project. This includes knowing who to talk to and what products to get.

Interior designers also have access to a wealth of resources and the training and experience to understand the fine details of design. They offer a new perspective, and will help you plan a tile design that complements your architecture, furniture, wall coverings, lighting, and accessories.

Photo features Stainless 6 x 6 field tile on the wall and backsplash.

Qualities to Look for in an Interior Designer

If you've decided to work with an interior designer, there are some key qualities you should look for:

  • Accreditation: The designer you hire should be accredited by a professional interior design program.
  • Experience: Once you know the specifics of the project you're envisioning, you'll want to try to find a designer that has experience working on similar projects.
  • Talent: Before you hire an interior designer, ask to see pictures of their previous work. Before and after images will help give you an idea of what they have been able to accomplish in the past.
  • Communication: You want to hire someone you can depend on, and who is responsive to your questions and concerns. If you're having a hard time getting a call back from a designer you're interested in, it might be a sign to keep looking.
  • A good track record: Ask for references and talk to a few of the designer's clients. Ask for general feedback, about the designer's ability to stay on schedule, and if they're able to work well as a team.

Ways to Plan Ahead

Before you start working with a designer or searching for one, you want to have an idea of what you want to accomplish. For example, if you're planning a kitchen remodel, do you want to include an elaborate tile backsplash, or do you just want to update your flooring and countertops? It's important to know your parameters, and then your designer can help you with specific tiling tips.

Start by doing your own research in order to have an idea of the look you want to achieve. There are plenty of home design websites you can browse for inspiration. Share your favorites with your designer and see what he or she can add to the mix. It can also be helpful to start collecting fabric swatches, paint chips, and tile samples that you can use for your project.

Another important step is to figure out how much you want to invest in terms of both money and time. Know how much you want to spend and hire a designer that's been known to stay on budget. It's also fairly typical to allot about 10 percent of your budget for emergency or unplanned expenses. Also consider how long you want your project to take. If you're remodeling your kitchen, do you have an alternative way to prepare meals? It's important to remember that the space you're remodeling won't be usable while it's under renovation.

Your Role After You Hire an Interior Designer

When you've found the designer you want to hire, it's important to understand what's expected of you during the process. Just as you expect your designer to maintain good communication, you need to keep yourself readily available. Make sure all the fine details are in writing, including costs and expenses. Once plans are in motion, only make changes when they are absolutely necessary. Switching up your plan will alter costs and unfairly lengthen the process for the designer, who might have another project lined up for after yours is complete. At the same time, it's important to be flexible. Don't be surprised if you experience slight bumps in the road, such as delayed deliveries for products ordered or extra plumbing or electrical issues that might come up.

Always go with your instinct. If something doesn't feel right or your designer tries to talk you into something you don't want, don't give in. Stand up for yourself and your vision.

Tile Designs to Consider

An interior designer will be able to share the latest tile trends and offer you a ton of tiling tips. Right now, mosaic tile is a popular choice. Whether they're specialty glass mosaic tile or tile with a unique metallic finish, a designer will help you come up with a design that's fresh but still able to stand the test of time.

You and your designer should also talk about popular colors. After all, these colors are popular for a reason. Gray is currently a popular request, and just about any shade will match a variety of designs. On the other hand, if you're looking for a pop of color, shades of peach, coral, and purple are all great options. Your designer will be able to help you find the perfect color palette for your tile design project.

Another element you and your designer should discuss is texture. Polished and glossy finishes have long been the go-to for homeowners. Now, however, it's common to go for a matte finish, which provides a softer, more natural look. If you want even more texture, you can opt for tile that mimics fabric, and if you want the look of wood, choose a wood-look tile that is cut in realistic plank shapes. Tile that looks like fabric or wood can be a great option for damper spaces, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

If you decide to work with an interior designer, try to communicate your vision in as much detail as possible. The designer can then use his or her skill set and resources to come up with a project that goes above and beyond what you ever imagined. There's a good chance that you'll be surprised by what you and your interior designer can accomplish as a team, and how your space can be transformed with the help of your designer's tiling tips.