Professional interior decorators don’t come cheap. They usually charge between $100 to $200 per hour for their time. If they charge on a percentage, expect about 20% of your decorating budget to pay the decorator. If you want that professional look but without the investment, then here are a few tips to getting great interior decorating advice for free or cheap.
The internet is a never ending source of good interior decorating ideas. You can search around Pinterest for great DIY decorating ideas and projects. You can use an image search engine like Google Images to find pictures of great interior designs you like and you can save photographs in a designated folder to go back to. You can follow your favorite professional decorators on social media or read their blogs. For how much they charge, they still give out a surprising amount of free advice online. Finally, there are many websites that feature popular decorators, home decor tips articles, and lots and lots of photos that you can use.
Take advantage of technology
There are many technological resources you can go to to help you create stunning interior designs without spending money in order to see how it looks before you buy. Apps can show you how a particular paint color would look in your home by rendering a photograph of a room which you upload. Virtual reality software can let you play around with the placement of different pieces of furniture, art, and accessories to visualize how different arrangements would look in your home. Some of these applications allow you to purchase items in real life, that you experimented with in virtual life.
Visit the right stores
Popular home improvement retailers can be a great source for free information but the smaller, family-owned operations can be even better. While you may not find everything under one roof, you can learn a lot about furniture arrangement at a furniture store and you can get brilliant ideas about lighting from a light fixture store. Whatever store you go to, make sure you plan your trip for a day of the week or time of the day when you’re more likely to be able to get one-on-one help. If possible, make an appointment at the store so you’re guaranteed some one-on-one help. Make sure to come with ideas, photos you like and want to recreate, and questions you want to ask.
Pay for a consultation
Another alternative to paying big bucks for a professional decorator is to pay for a consultation instead. Many professional decorators offer a flat rate or an hourly fee for a consultation. If you follow some of the other advice above, you’ll be prepared with plenty of ideas and questions to ask so you make full use of the time you’re paying the decorator for. Be prepared to take plenty of notes on everything the decorator says. You may not end up using all of his/her ideas but you can get some valuable info for a lot less than you’d have to spend if you wanted to hire a decorator to do the work. Of course, this requires you to go about the actual decorating but if you select manageable projects like installing baseboard radiator covers or swapping out cabinet hardware, that shouldn’t be a problem.