Interior architecture: Choose a tailor-made solution
To modify the spaces at home or undertake major works, the interior designer is a privileged interlocutor. Bernard Meignan, interior designer in Nancy, talks to us about his profession.Interview by Gilles Wallon For what types of work do you call on an interior designer? Renovation of an old property, extension of rooms in the house, quality of light: the interior designer establishes a work program in order to find the most suitable response. After discussions with the client / interior designer, the latter can provide solutions that the client had not thought of. This professional, by his reflection, his method, his culture and his experience, brings an obvious added value to the project. What are the different stages of working with the interior designer? Its mission takes place in two main phases. First of all, the design, which itself includes three stages: - the sketch: first discussions with the client, first drawings, first ideas, state of mind of the project: a phase which gives the main directions; - the preliminary outline project: the interior designer freezes a sketch and begins to approach the technical aspect. This preliminary project is accompanied by descriptions of the works and detailed drawings if necessary. This allows the file to be finalized, which can serve as a basis for consulting businesses. Throughout this phase, the customer is informed of the technical choices, asked about the selection of materials and the choice of color / material harmonies in order to avoid unpleasant surprises during construction. Then, the works phase. On the basis of the established file, the architect and the client consult the companies which they think are best suited, those proposed by both the client and the professional. How to establish your budget? Prices vary depending on the nature of the work and the quality or age of the building. The budget is a key issue that needs to be addressed from the start. We meet the architect, we discuss. But the budget is one of the first things to define. It is conditioned by what the customer can - or wants - to put in it. The interior designer, who has the duty to advise, will adjust his design within these limits. In some cases, he will warn his client of a possible incompatibility between his budget and the desired program. A renovation, a rehabilitation is a "journey of the conqueror". Giving yourself a budget is giving yourself a framework. As for the estimation, it can only take place at a fairly advanced stage of the project. The budget is only final after receiving the quotes from the companies. As a precaution, when rehabilitating old buildings, there will be financial leeway for unforeseen events. The interior designer, for his part, is most often remunerated by a percentage calculated on the total amount of the work he implements. How to choose an interior designer? The interior designer practices in liberal form. As such, he invoices you for his fees. The work is paid directly by the client to the companies, which guarantees the transparency of the operation. Today, there is a gathering of professionals, the CFAI, which certifies the skills of interior designers. This certification is obtained by a control in three points: administrative (level of training, diploma, mode of exercise, payment of the professional tax, insurance contracts in civil and ten-year liability), technical (the candidate proposes for the exam "technical rapporteurs" all the parts of a project) and oral (the candidate is received during a commission made up of professionals and questioned about his projects and how to deal with them). The professional is only certified if he has given satisfaction to these three stages. A list of these certified professionals is available on the website: www.cfai.fr What to do in case of litigation ? As in all disputes, an amicable agreement is often preferable for both parties. If the client calls on an interior designer "certified by the CFAI", he may refer the matter to the "appeal and conciliation" commission, chaired by an experienced interior designer. At this stage, more than 90% of the disputes submitted to it are settled without having recourse to the "discipline" commission, even less to legal action.