Being an interior designer has never been an easy feat. From trying to build a portfolio, to actually finishing a project perfectly from A to Z. That’s why we have the fabulously talented Yasmina Khalil from Yasmina Khalil Interiors to answer questions that were probably buzzing around in your head.


How can I build a versatile portfolio?

It really depends on the projects you accept. You should always aim to diversify your portfolio by broadening the spectrum of the projects you take. Instead of just take residential projects, take fitness centers, hotels, or even venture into commercial projects. Try your best not to get stuck in a certain design genre or style.


What resources that I need to keep an out for in terms of magazines, inspiration, interior designers, etc.?

Do a lot of research, research is key. I remember someone once said, ” In order to do good, you have to see good”. You have to be updated to date with the latest designs worldwide, latest styles, furniture, restaurants, and even suppliers. You’d benefit a lot if you could go to furniture exhibitions worldwide, there is one in Milano, Paris, etc.


How do I hire a good contractor and what characteristics should I look for?

You basically get contractors through word of mouth. You ask previous clients, ask your interior design friends about them. You need to know if that contractor delivers their work on time, if they’re up to the responsibility, how their prices. You need to know these things so you can compare, especially prices, with the rest of the contractor in their field. Also, check if they’re up to date with suppliers. Because some contractors have been doing this for so long, they’re sort of old school in the materials they use, so you could find them not knowing where to get the latest materials/finishes needed these days.

Most importantly you need to see the work that they’ve done. Not only see it, but you also need to visit their work. You need to see how they are with their after services if something goes wrong do they send you their team. Lastly, it’s very important to check their credentials so you’re not working with shady contractors. You need to do a lot of research when it comes to contractors (as with everything else)


What kind of technical expertise do I need to have to communicate my ideas with my contractor?

If you plan to do this professionally, you need to have the technical expertise to be able to communicate your ideas right to your contractors. It can depend on the scope of the project is commercial or residential, the later can be easier. Let’s say the project is a professional commercial project, you need to deliver your BOQs, technical packages, detailed drawings, FF&Es. Basically, you need to communicate with the contractor all the details you can. That one you don’t delay the project and give them a correct estimate when they price the project. Contractors price the project according to your BOQ (Bill of Quantity), including all the materials you’re going to use, all the lighting, etc. So, you have to make sure you’re as detailed as possible giving them a complete package for your contractors and suppliers.