Selecting the Best Interior Designer and Architect For Your Project

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From Shelter Magazine, written by Lisa Vincenti

Deciding it's time to call in the pros when it comes to an interior design project is no light decision. Not only will you be spending lots of money, but the designer selected will be in your home and hair for the next six to twelve months... ripping up flooring, trashing cabinetry, tearing down walls, and, not to mention, selecting the furnishings and decor, you will have to live with for a long, long time. One misstep can turn your dream home into your own personal nightmare on Elm Street.

Needless to say a home renovation or re-design can be a hairy undertaking. Luckily. Enterprising professionals, such as Linda Cohen of Designer Previews, wants to make sure those projects go as smoothly as planned. Her business is sort of a love connection, a matchmaker between homeowners and designers or architects.

"Linda is a buffer in the beginning," says Tom Segal, an interior designer at Kaufman Segal Design. "Clients who have never worked with a designer often go to Linda and she can sit down and go over the ground rules. She gives clients comparison information - an idea of what designers are doing and what they charge."

Cohen, who works with a stable of 30 architects and designers, meets with clients looking to hire a professional designer. She visits the client's residence armed with portfolios of completed projects. The Interview, which can take anywhere from one to two hours, is meant to narrow down the list of potential candidates to two or three based on past projects and designers' portfolios.

"After the initial meeting with me, clients walk away with a pretty clear idea of how to proceed, having one to three designers they would like to meet," says Cohen, who charges a flat fee of $100. "I'm involved until a contract is signed."

Cohen carefully vets the designers and architects she works with to ensure that clients get the best service. Designers need both a strong portfolio of completed projects and a good business head on their shoulders. "You have to have creative people, but also good business managers. Designers have to be capable of handling high-end projects and be able to handle the clients impeccably", she adds. Designer Previews offers clients a sense of security.

At the end of the day, the designer hired is more than just a creative force in a project. The designer you choose will become an intimate part of your daily life.


Linda Cohen
Designer Previews
3249 North Talman Avenue
Chicago, Illinois   60618
E-mail (

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