Your Go-To Guide to Hiring an Interior Designer in Malaysia

So, you've just bought a new home (congratulations!), or you’re thinking of transforming your current home into a functional, efficient and also visually pleasing space at the same time, but you're not sure how to go about hiring an interior designer. An interior designer strives to create a harmonious space that takes into account more than just colours and furnishings as well as the function of the room. However, the mere thought of hiring an interior designer can be daunting (especially if this is your first time!) as homeowners might be concerned about the process of working with a designer as well as the associated expenditures.

With this in mind, we've put together a how-to guide on everything you need to know before striking a deal with an interior design firm of your choice. A well-prepared homeowner makes the interior design process easy, fun, and above all, successful!

1. Decide on a renovation budget

Before hiring an interior designer, you need to set a rough figure of how much you are willing to spend for your home renovation project. Be upfront about the price with your designer. A misallocation of financial resources will leave the project unfinished or generate future issues during construction.

Your designer will then be clearer on the project's limitations and opportunities as a result, rather than getting carried away with ideas you won't be able to finance or offering something that doesn't meet your expectations.

When setting a budget, you need to consider the cost of materials, labour and design services. You should also set aside some funds in case of unforeseen expenses. It could be a material replacement, a repair, shipping fees, or a piece of furniture that is more expensive than expected. This will make you feel better prepared in the event of a surprise. There may be costs that are neglected or difficult to estimate until you get started, such as demolition fees, contractor fees, consultancy fees, and shipping costs (if you are ordering furniture from overseas).

Most first-time homeowners renovating their home might be in the dark when it comes to setting a budget because they have no idea what the potential costs are. The process of creating a budget is different for each individual. There are a lot of options in interior design for each budget and there is always more than one way to finish off a space. For any kind of budget, your designer can suggest a design that will elevate your home.

Take the time to research how much items cost (furniture, materials, etc.) and compare quotes from multiple interior designers to get the most value for your money. This will allow you to come up with a rough estimate to begin with. Every interior design firm has its unique pricing system, so evaluate prices before choosing an interior designer.

2. Select your personal style

Before hiring an interior designer, you need to determine what design style you wish to incorporate in your home, whether it is a newly bought home, or a renovation on your current home. Having a clear idea of what your home needs will make finding a suitable interior designer a lot simpler. Assuming the interior designer to immediately know what you mean can leave lots of room for misinterpretation. While designers generally prefer homeowners to come prepared with a vision of how they would envision their renovated home, it’s completely understandable that you might not have it yet. You may be aware that your home needs to be updated, but you may be unaware of the technicalities and aesthetics. Don't be afraid to ask your designer for advice to assist you figure out your design style.

Determining a style can be overwhelming, and it's something a lot of people have trouble with. But don’t panic! If you’re not entirely sure what your design style is, you can start by looking for inspirations on design websites like Perfect Livin or Houzz.com, social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest, or magazines. Create a folder containing ideas and inspirations, and note which portions you enjoy the most and why. Save all of your favourite interior styles, colour palettes, finishes, furniture, and a copy of your house floor plan to display to the interior designer during your initial consultation. This will aid your interior designer in creating the perfect look for your home based on the basic ideas and information you've provided. Remember to add photos of things you despise as well. Then talk to your interior designer about how you might use these concepts in your own home. The designer can then work out colours, patterns, and style based on your feedback.

3. Spend your Time on Planning the Functions of the Space

An excellent place to start is by describing the flaws of your home’s current design. Think about your storage, space, and other practical requirements (for example, improving the efficiency of your kitchen) and discuss these with your designer. An experienced, professional designer can then point you in the correct path by providing you with ideas and examples to consider as you narrow down your style preferences. Furthermore, they may assist you in combining your functional design requirements with the appropriate aesthetics.

It also helps to explain what you do, such as how many people live in the house, your interests, and your daily routine in different areas of the house. Details like these can go a long way in assisting your interior designer to create an efficient and functional space, especially for small apartment interior designs in Malaysia. After all, why construct a stunning room that would appear wonderful on a magazine cover but doesn't serve a purpose?


Like any other projects, it is important to spend more time on the planning to reduce rework later, and to keep your project on track

4. Do your Research and Prepare a List of Questions

Before you schedule a meeting with an interior designer, make sure to research the designer’s work. Interior design firms usually have a signature style, and while it may change from project to project, there are recurring patterns.

While it is your designer's responsibility to assist you bring your vision to life, it is always preferable to work with someone who specialises in the design style you like or prefer, as this will make the renovation process much easier.

Check out their social media accounts, portfolios, and reference sites in addition to looking at their previous projects. To speed up the process of picking a good interior designer for your home renovation project, gather as much information as possible before seeing them in person. You should also conduct background research on the firm's accreditations, completed projects, and read genuine homeowner reviews from reputable sites such as Qanvast or Atap.co to learn about the firm's work quality and professionalism in dealing with clients.

When you've discovered an interior designer who fits your taste, make a list of questions to ask them when you meet with them for the first time. You should expect that if you employ a designer in a hurry without getting to know them, you will run into a slew of issues down the road (i.e. personality and communication styles clashes, etc.) and be disappointed. Working with an interior designer to improve your house is a personal experience, therefore it's critical that you and your designer are on the same page so you can collaborate smoothly.

A good conversation is one of the best ways to establish trust with your interior designer. Make sure your interior designer is someone you can easily connect with because you'll be spending a lot of time with him/her over the next few months. Ask questions during your one-on-one session to clear up any uncertainties or concerns you have about your home improvement. You can utilise this opportunity to learn more about their process and business procedures.

You must employ an interior designer who understands the design you are looking at, who you are not scared to ask questions about the design, and who can advise whether a certain design or feature is suitable for your lifestyle.

5. Ask for Recommendations & Be Open to Them!

There is a reason why you hired an interior designer, and that is to get a professional opinion on how to transform your space. An interior designer's role isn't just to beautify the property; they can also apply creative design to improve the practicality and alleviate your overall quality of life. As a result, you should do an audit of your home to identify places that may be made more functional, such as improved lighting, additional electrical outlets, soundproofing, and so on. You can also simply speak with your designer about your requirements and get their advice on prospective house renovations.

Be open to new suggestions and fresh ideas, and when you both have arrived at a style and design that you like, step back and let the pros do their work.

Share and Comment via

Upcoming Expos
Make your inbox
Perfect again

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest in home trends