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Getting Your Project Started

Whether you plan to "do it yourself" or hire others to do the work for you, an interior design professional can help you get the results you want and most likely save you money. In addition to having a great sense of style and design, professional designers are trained to consider many functional and practical matters that might not occur to you.

Looking for Ideas or Inspiration?

With so many design publications, TV shows and websites available, it's easy to become overwhelmed with choices and advice. As you search for inspiration, tips or the latest trends, keep in mind that good design applies to all styles and types of spaces. Make a note of what appeals to you or "feels" right.

Collect pictures from magazines or websites of spaces or products that you like. If you're not sure where to start, go to Google Images and search on "interior design." Most design magazines have photo or project galleries on their websites that you can browse.

Design blogs are another place to get inspiration and advice from interior designers. Some ASID members write for newspaper and magazine websites. You can visit ASID ICON online to read blog posts from ASID staff writers and frequent guest contributors. You can also click here for a selected list of ASID member interior design blogs. Dexigner.com also maintains a list of design blogs written for consumers and designers.

Need Some Good Advice?

You don't have to commit to a project or spend a lot of money to get advice from an interior designer. Many interior designers offer consultation services. When contacting the designer, ask if he or she does consultations and what the rate is for consultation services. Some designers charge a flat fee, and some charge by the hour.

You can use the ASID Designer Referral Service to find ASID designers who provide consultation services. Enter the keyword "consultation" in the online Referral Service search form.

During the consultation, the designer will ask you about the changes you want to make, who will use the space and how it will be used, your budget, and other details about your project. Depending on your plans and needs, the designer may make recommendations about the arrangement of furniture and other items, colors, furnishings or finishes, use of natural and artificial light, flooring, wallcovering, and window treatments.

Professional designers are trained to provide solutions for a range of functional and practical issues as well, such as effective use of space and organization, safety, health, security, accessibility, energy-efficiency and "green" products, acoustics and maintenance.

Want Help Locating or Choosing a Designer?

You can use the Find A Designer Tool to find ASID designers who have the qualifications and experience appropriate to your project. The Referral Service listings are searchable by project type, location and keyword. Many of the designers have enhanced ASID profiles, which include information about their education and experience, specialty areas, design philosophy, and how they charge for their services. Often they include photos of recent projects and a link to the designers' website, where you can view more samples of their work.

Through the Find A Designer Tool, you choose whether you want to contact a designer for more information. Most provide an option to contact them via email or telephone.

For more information about this tool the services designers provide, how to select a designer and how to work with your designer, visit our Consumer Center. You can download our free brochure, Designing Your Space, which will answer many of your questions.