Tips When Interviewing Interior Designers/Decorators

Interior designer speaking with clients in creative office

Perhaps you have already decided that working with an interior designer or decorator would create a worthwhile advantage and return on investment on your next remodeling or design project. The next step is figuring out which designer – and which services – best match the needs and requirements of both you and your project.

Working with a professional – or better yet, the right professional – can ensure that your vision aligns with what the final completed project really looks like. Selecting that right designer can alleviate many of the issues and problems that can arise along the way, while choosing the wrong person can have the exact opposite impact.

It’s extremely important to realize and understand your own expectations. Take some time to think about what you want and what you need, along with the type of people you are comfortable working with. Once you’re there,  many avenues exist to research interior designers, including personal references, portfolios or showcases of their work, referral services (such as The American Society of Interior Designers) and, of course, online reviews and testimonials.

So then, where do you start? Interview several designers, familiarizing yourself with their personalities, styl,e and how they do business. Get familiar with their work and background. Introduce them to your project and budget ideas. Review their education and accreditation.

Then, you’re ready to get truly started with an interview. Here are a few tips on questions to ask when you’re interviewing an interior designer or decorator.

What types of products and services do you provide?
It’s very important to understand up front what a designer will do and what is considered outside the scope of their work. It will help you determine at the start if you need to hire any other professionals for the project.

How much will the services cost me?
Different designers can have different methods – or a combination of methods – of charging clients for their services. Be crystal clear on how you would be charged as it relates to your budget and timeline.

How involved will I be?
Every designer has different methods. Some will take the framework of your ideas and then turn them into reality. Others want input and approval for every decision. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to be involved, so make sure you’re on the same page.

How often, and by what means, are you available to communicate with your clients?
You will likely be spending quite a bit of time with your designer, and they will be in your house. Understand how they prefer to communicate, and if that works for you, as well as how available they are to answer your questions or concerns.

How long will it take?
Discuss project duration and deadlines and their availability for taking on the work. Know how long the project will take so you can estimate total costs.

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