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Insider Tips for Choosing an Interior Designer

Your interior space is a reflection of your personality, aura, and self. Finding a wonderful interior designer is seminal in your journey to living beautifully in a swoon-worthy space. Whether you are moving into a new home, opening a new office, or refreshing outdated decor, partnering with an interior designer will elevate your process. It is a misconception that working with a designer is a luxury reserved for the opulent. You can hire and select a designer to work within a project scope that you are comfortable with. This can be as simple as bringing someone in for advice on paint colour selection, lighting, fabric sourcing, furniture shopping or space planning or as involved as hiring an interior designer to work with you, your contractor, and architect on a ground-up build. Once you have decided you want to hire a designer, the process of finding a lovely match begins. At the end of the article, I include 6 questions to ask a designer in your initial consultation. However, before the meetings start, you must first determine which designers you are interested in working with. These insider tips will guide you in choosing well.


Get Inspired

Peruse magazines, design sites, and Pinterest to gather inspiration. It’s essential to know your personal style so you can hire the right person for the job. Many designers have their signature style, although the outstanding ones should adapt to your preferences. Having imagery ready can communicate your vision and tastes better than words can. The more aesthetic information you can share, the better as it will help create open communication. Bring any drawings, images or other examples of styles you like to your first meetings.


Do Your Due Diligence

Researching designers in your area and learning about the market will really ease your deciding process. Check out different portfolios for local designers and begin to list whose designs resonate with you most. I suggest meeting with two or three designers once you've decided who you may be interested in working with to get a feel for different aesthetics, working styles, and personalities.


Know Your Project Scope

Earlier in the article, I mentioned the possibility of having a smaller, more simple project or one that is quite involved. Deciding on this will determine what type of designer to look for. Sometimes it can be grey whether your job is fit for an architect, interior designer, or interior decorator. Your project scope is an essential determining factor in this. When the work concerns the building's outer shell (external walls, roof, and related elements), an architect is likely the best type of designer to hire. When the work includes the design and specification of interior finishes and furniture and fabrics, an interior designer will be more fitting. If your project is focused on styling and space planning, and structural shifts are not the focus, hiring an interior decorator will be a wonderful fit. These disciplines overlap each other, so asking your designer what project scope they typically work within will clarify whether they are right for your project.


Be Honest About Budget

Discontentment in design projects roots in a failure to discuss expectations. I find many clients don’t like to reveal their budget until the estimate comes in. People are distrustful of telling their designer what they want to spend, but it is much easier to know from the start as the designer can then work within that guide. If you're unsure about a budget, do a little research before meeting designers to understand better what things cost. Though it isn't easy to pinpoint exactly how much something will cost until you work through what you want, having an estimate of how much you want to spend will help. With a general budget in place, potential designers can explain the project's possibilities and if their services fit within your budget. Different designers also work in unique price ranges, so having a conversation about finances early in the process will narrow your options.


Trust Your Intuition

Both you and your potential designer are looking to feel comfortable with one another. Much of the selection process is instinctual. Go with someone whose taste you trust. You want to be working with someone who ultimately you have more faith in than yourself.



6 Questions to Ask an Interior Designer

  • How would you describe your design style?

  • What are your availability and timeline like for this project?

  • How do you charge, and what does your fee include?

  • What design services do you offer? (Design consultation, site measurement and assessment, design concepts, project management, space planning, purchasing or procurement, etc.)

  • How much client involvement do you welcome?

  • How do you prioritize your clients’ budget throughout the project?



I offer design consultation and services for both local and select long-distance projects. If you are looking for timeless and bespoke interior styling, don't hesitate to reach out.


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