The firms and companies you might need to search through, can be easily halved, simply by making it clear from the get-go whether you're looking for a personal, or professional makeover. Different design firms specialise in different types of space, though some will be diversified, capable and talented enough to handle any space you throw at them. A good interior architect should be responsive to your needs as you begin to describe and show the space for your project and your vision, but they should also be enthusiastic and willing to contribute ideas.
Don't necessarily be alarmed if your contact seems to be "pushing" you a bit to Interior Architects Team for your space and novel ideas you might not have originally considered. This is the mark of a capable professional who is bringing to bear their accumulated wisdom and experience to make your project look its best, which is after all, what you're paying them to do. Ultimately, however, you have the final say and you should feel as though your concerns are being receptively heard and adequately addressed.
Because London is so diverse in terms of its interior and exterior designs, make sure the firm you choose can demonstrate sufficient diversity and breadth via their portfolios. Ask them to explain why they are well suited to your particular project, what they have done in the past that was both similar and successful, and what challenges or obstacles they anticipate arising in the course of completing your assignment.
Remember that an interior architect is more than just a design professional and often has to wear the additional hats of project manager, coordinator and, above all, communicator. If, within the course of your first meetings, you don't develop a strong sense of confidence in your architect's ability to manage all these responsibilities, think about shuffling on down the road to the next available firm. Further along the lines of diversity, ask some general questions about the backgrounds and education of the various team members working in the firm.
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