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posted: 6/1/2013 1:00 AM

Hiring an interior designer

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By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann
Scripps Howard News Service

Interior designers can be priceless if you find the perfect fit. They make a home more than pretty. Yes, the first thing that comes to mind when considering hiring an interior designer is that she or he will make your home harmonious, aesthetically pleasing, with just the right color combinations, the right window treatments and all the cosmetic to-go-withs that are part of designing the interior of a home.

But good designers will go way beyond that. A good professional designer is worth her weight in gold. Most states have a certification process for interior designers, helping ensure they are trained, well-versed and continually learning the latest and the best there is to offer for your home, since maintaining a design license requires continuing-education hours.

A designer envisions plans and dresses spaces in ways that make them attractive and functional. A client's lifestyle is incorporated into the home with items that complement the architecture.

If the designer is brought into the project early enough, she can ensure that the details, like electrical outlets, doorway widths and heights and even air vents, fit into the scheme and design requested by the client.

There are two ways to go about hiring a designer. One is to pay an hourly fee, ranging anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour. If just help in arranging a room or selecting colors is what you are looking for, then an hourly fee is the way to go.

Another choice is to purchase the furnishings through the designer. The fee is included in the price of the furniture and, in this case, you really won't feel any more pain of payment. If you were purchasing the items yourself, you wouldn't be paying any less.

Call your local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for suggestions on finding an interior designer.

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