george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

If you are having a challenging home makeover, combining ideas into something organized, free professional help is always welcomed.

Now imagine yourself having a professional, free makeover designer with years of decorating experience at your disposal who can provide you with free advice on how to put together various designs in a room.

If you want to decorate your space but lack cohesive interior design ideas, this article will guide you on how to get interior design advice free of charge or without breaking the bank!

How to get FREE interior design advice during a recession?

Free design advice requires you to do homework before reaching out to a designer. First, prepare information beforehand, including a budget, style, and particular questions. Then, reach out to designers with free advice on their service list and ask for free design advice.

Free makeover design does not mean someone will work as a charity organization. Your free makeover advice might not cost you even a single penny in monetary form; instead, you might have to return a small favor.

Some designers will ask you in exchange for their free design advice to help them somehow. Often that can be a testimonial, review, refer them to your friends, or allow your project to become a showcase.

When and Why Do You Need Free Interior Design Advice?

There are no risks to asking for free advice from a professional interior designer, especially in recession times. First, you must learn how to approach and prepare for free home makeover help.

Do you need free Interior Design Advice / Photo by Laurence Katz on Unsplash

To start with, several homeowners often find themselves trapped in an endless frenzy when they go online to seek interior design ideas from real estate websites, internal design websites, and social media pages before trying their hand at interior design.

But even after choosing many ideas, they cannot put them together in their space. This is usually frustrating because getting trapped in the internet rabbit hole of endless interior design ideas can be inescapable.

Before you start implementing your envisioned ideas in your space, expert advice can go a long way in beautifying your interior space. This is very important, especially when you are responsible for making several final decisions in an interior design project.

Also, when working on a tight budget, you will have to tread carefully with your spending because you don’t want to make the mistake of running short of funds midway through the interior design project.

You’ll need expert advice when choosing from wide-ranging design styles, fabric combinations, and appropriate color options.

What are the Benefits of Free Interior Design Advice

Saves You Money

Generally, any relevant home makeover advice from a professional interior designer will save you money. This is not only because they are experts in the field but also have the experience to prevent you from making a costly mistake.

Saves You Time

A professional interior designer saves you time by providing you with timely advice and, at the same time, sharing their design know-how, resources, and experience that would have taken you several years to acquire.

In addition, their extensive knowledge eliminates the trial and error method of decorating spaces, which can take several years without any satisfaction.

Eliminates Stress

Picking out the right design for your interior space from wide-ranging design options can leave you stressed. When overwhelmed, seeking free advice from a professional interior designer is recommended because they can help you make informed design decisions on the spot.

Provides You with New Perspectives

A professional interior designer can offer homeowners new perspectives on their spaces. This is because most homeowners do not know what they don’t know. A designer can assess the homeowners’ interior design dilemma and offer sustainable solutions.

Brings Your Design Ideas to Life

Your home is a deeply personal place that reflects your style and the things you love. Therefore, consulting a professional interior designer who can help you create your preferred style is essential in bringing your interior design ideas to life.

What to expect from a free design advice?

Designers can help solve your project’s big secrets and mysteries. Commonly you will receive advice about your layout, style, color, walls, floors, windows, lighting, and art. Every home is different, and designers have the know-how, a key to your project’s solutions.

Layout flow

free interior design advice - selecting art
free makeover design advice - selecting layout / Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

Every home has different sets of issues, strange room shapes, awkward corners, missing storage spaces, and window and door openings in the wrong places. Unfortunately, all of the above affects the energy flow of a house in an unhealthy way. 

Only with a few good moves, even without changing the walls, can you transform your space’s flow and make the most out of the free home makeover advice.

(not) Free - Style

free interior design advice - selecting art
free home makeover project advice - selecting art / Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Homeowners often can’t describe their style; that is what makes them feel good in their homes. 70% of all homes on the planet do not have a specifically defined style. 
The first step to having a style is a good flow, and then color, texture, shape, and patterns come into play.


free interior design advice - selecting color
free Home makeover help - selecting color / Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Choosing an appropriate pallet that makes your home a happy place. Often design clients see something or are inspired by a project and think they like the bold colors, while that might not be their real thing. Designers can help set the tone.


free interior design advice - walls
free home makeover advice - walls arrangement / Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash

Walls are part of our life, and they define the shape of our rooms. Think of your walls as a large white canvas; with the proper treatment, they can enhance the quality of life.
For example, bright walls reflect more light and make the spaces feel brighter and more spacious, and darker walls absorb light.


free interior design advice - floors
free interior design advice - floors arrangement / Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash

Floors are often neglected as they are beneath the feet; it is easy to overlook them. Think of floors as the fifth wall; they can add much detail and dimension to spaces. Did you know that floors can improve acoustics too?


free interior design advice - windows
free interior design advice - windows arrangement / Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

If you think windows are only architectural elements that let light in, you definitely need free design advice. Light control, privacy, and mood are the main aspects of how windows interact with your spaces. Look at your windows as a combination of elements that adds to the overall interior scheme.


free interior design advice - lighting
free interior design advice - windows arrangement / Photo by Jean-Philippe Delberghe on Unsplash

Lighting is the focus of your attention; it changes the colors during the night. Of course, sunlight is best, but it’s part of the space only during the day.

Advice on ambient, work and accent lighting will change how your home looks and feels. However, using only one of the light types, no matter the brightness, will never make your spaces inviting and comfortable or visually attractive.


free interior design advice - art
free interior design advice - art / Photo by Linh Le on Unsplash

Every house is filled with clutter nowadays. However, clutter does not mean art; the role of art in every interior is to express the mood and spirits of the interior. Art can work with or against your design, and if you are clueless about how-why, without a piece of proper advice, it can go only one way!


free interior design advice - plants
free interior design advice - art / Photo by Linh Le on Unsplash

If you want to show that your home has an interior style, growing plants inside and out is the way. Since plants are one of the challenging aspects of maintaining a good style, growing them shows that you are a true inspiration.

How to Prepare for a Free Interior Design Advice

How to Prepare for a Free Interior Design Advice
Prepare for interior design advice / Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

Book a Virtual Consultation

If you are working with a tight budget, always prioritize spaces that are in dire need of a makeover and put others on hold.

Many interior designers offer hourly consultation sessions on leading platforms, such as Decorist, Havenly, Modsy, etc.

Designers have different consultation fees depending on the client’s needs. You can choose to go for a free package for 30 – 90 minute sessions with your preferred designer. Ensure your homework is done and sent beforehand to get the best out of the consultation!

However, it is advisable to go for expert designers who charge as little as they have presented many concepts and other deliverables.

Consulting an online interior designer is less expensive than hiring a full-service interior decorator. Generally, most interior designers charge an hourly consultation fee of $50 to $250.

During the session, they ask and answer questions about your tastes, likes and dislikes, and budget.

The professionals also offer solid design advice on various elements, such as light fixtures, furniture scale, or art placement. With Tallbox, your initial no-obligation design consultation is free and done virtually.

Take HD Photos of Your Space

Always ask for guidance if you are unsure how the photos must be taken. If you provide bad photos, you might receive bad advice.

The easier way to describe the space you need to be redesigned is to take high-quality photos of the room you’d like to redesign, even hiring a professional photographer.

Using as much natural light as possible is advisable, and always avoid turning on ceiling lights in the camera frame to prevent glare. Preferably, take photos from a corner by identifying a vantage point where you can view the majority of the features of the room.

Even if it means using the grid function of your camera, straighten up the lines of the room so that everything, such as the cabinets, floor, etc., looks straight and level.

For a 360-degree view of the room, take pictures from all sides at the same level.

If you’re comfortable showing the interior design of your room via the virtual call, feel free to go for it.

Take Basic Measurements of Your Space

Once you finish taking measurements from your spaces, double-check every single measure if it is correct. Ask if you have never taken measurements, what, how, and where; do not assume! Badly taken measurements will result in bad advice from your designer!

The dimensions of the space you want to be decorated are one of the key topics that the interior designer will address.

Knowing the essential measurements (length, width, height, and breadth) of various parts of your interior space is a crucial piece of planning that will help you and your designer combine ideas into something organized.

All you need is a measuring tape or app, paper, a pencil/pen, and a camera/smartphone. In addition, you can check online for the critical measurements
needed when remodeling various rooms.

Collect Inspirational Photos and Mood Boards

Once you grow your collection of inspiring interiors, sleep on them and filter only the best ones. Make notes on each image what exactly you like and dislike. Do not send the designer hundreds of photos, as this does not help.

Go online or even buy real estate magazines that will help you create a collection of photos for your preferred interior design style so you can discuss the detailed picture with your designer during the free consultation.

The photos go a long way in illuminating to the designer
how you’d love every room in your home to look and function. Ultimately, the designer will easily recommend the most preferred style per your aesthetic.

A mood board can help you build a library of your most preferred images, fonts, furniture, art, appliances, colors, patterns, materials, and other relevant interior design elements you’d like to use down the line.

Rather than wasting time contemplating the type of look that should be implemented in certain rooms, the mood board can guide you through the process of compiling different visuals as per the aesthetic you want.

Determine Your Approximate Budget + Timelines

Your designer is like your accountant or mortgage broker. You will get the wrong advice if you lie about what you can afford.

Your interior designer will be curious to know how much you are willing to spend on the interior design project under discussion.

While you don’t need to have a specific figure in mind yet, providing him with an approximate figure will be helpful in providing recommendations based on the limits of your budget.

Conduct some research in the local market on the cost of remodeling home interiors cost so that you know what to expect in terms of finances. Besides, you need to have a well-thought-out timeline for completing your interior design project.

Your interior designer will ask you how quickly you’d want it completed.

To hire the right contractor that matches your budget, select at least three local ones with good reviews or search online for popular ones within your locality. Ask for their bids and timelines then compare their pricing. Don’t go for the lowest bid, but for the bid that fits your price range

Typical Questions (+ Answers) the Designer Might Ask

Questions (+ Answers) the Designer Might Ask / Photo by Laurence Katz on Unsplash

Receiving free interior design advice will answer your questions and allow you to bounce ideas off someone else. Some of the questions and answers the interior designer may ask are:

1. What is the vision and scope of your project?

Here, outline the design project’s general aims and goals and list the major milestones.

2. When are you looking to do your remodel or renovation?

Here, the designer wants to know the tentative start date of your interior design project.

3. What is your timeline?

Here, you tell the designer the number of days/months/years the remodeling project will take

4. What is your budget?

A rough figure of the amount you’d like to spend on the project helps recommend the correct interior design elements for your space.

5. What is your preferred color palette?

The Colour palette is the full range of colors you want to feature in your redecorated space.

6. Do you want to change the orientation of your existing features?

Here, the designer is asking whether you want existing decorations and furnishings in

7. What kind of functionality do you want in the room?

Here, the designer asks whether you want the space rearranged so that it allows you
to perform certain activities comfortably. For example, fixing a dining table in the kitchen.

After the Free Advice: What's the Way Forward?

Following the initial consultation, the interior designer may email you suggestions and tips based on your shared details.

They may also provide in-depth answers to critical questions and concerns that you raised about redecorating your space.

Though the designer won’t be able to provide an exact quote during the initial meeting, once they reassess the full scope of your project, they will send you a quote after your consultation, including the retainer fee. Retainer fees often vary from designer to designer, depending on their experience and project scope. The prices are offered per hour or room.

Do your math, and comb the local market for bids from other professionals before deciding to hire.

What is next after free design advice?
What is next after free design advice? / Photo by Laurence Katz on Unsplash

Alternative: Hire a Virtual Renovation Expert

Virtual renovation is a cost-effective alternative to mini-design projects. Simulating the physical renovation in a 3D environment is straightforward.
You send the brief, budget, and questions along with photos – digital renovators return your photos renovated.

In reality, virtual renovators are design-trained experts (at least at TALLBOX) who help with the selection of furniture, paints, designs, texture, ornaments, and others.

Key Takeaways

  • There are no risks to seeking free advice from a professional interior designer.
  • Every designer has a different consultation fee depending on the client’s needs.
  • Booking a virtual consultation is the first step to getting free interior design advice
  • Following the initial consultation, the interior designer may email you suggestions and
    tips based on your shared details.
  • Mostly designers’ retainer fees are calculated per hour or room.