Choosing an Interior Designer
Tips to help you choose and hire an interior designer
Questions the Designer Should be Asking You
Just as you need to evaluate a designer's suitability to your needs, so should the designer assess the project's scope and suitability to his or her skill set. Here are examples of the types of questions a professional designer is likely to ask you:
- For whom is the space being designed, and what activities will take place there?
- What is your desired completion date? (Are you planning a party in the new space and are you being realistic about the timeframe?)
- Do you understand that good-quality furniture and finishes are not only an investment in money but also in time? (Some furniture delivery lead times can be up to 14 weeks, and custom orders may take even longer.)
- Are there features in the room or space you would like to emphasize or downplay?
- Do you have an interest in environmentally sensitive or "green" options in your space?
- Does anyone in the house have allergies?
- Do you know which style(s) you like? Dislike? The designer will appreciate websites (HomePortfolio comes to mind) or printouts of interiors you're interested in emulating.
- How do you like to receive information? Via email? In face-to-face meetings? Daily? Weekly?
- Do you want the designer to cull the options and only show you what he or she thinks works best, based on your discussions, or do you prefer to be a part of the selection process?
Check out some eco-friendly options for your home:
- Eco-Friendly and Fabulous Furnishings
- How to Choose Eco-Friendly Wall Coverings
- How to Find Certified Sustainable Wood Products
- How to Choose Eco Paint
The Perfect Match!
The fact-finding and interviewing can take weeks to months. It is time-consuming, yes, but choosing the right designer is critical to the long-term success of your project. Do it carefully and do it to last.
Final advice: Maintain a sense of humor. Design projects, whether large or small, are intense, and frustration is inevitable. In the end, the pleasure you take in the end result will far outweigh any difficulties you may have had along the way.
Learn about some of our featured designers: