Struggling to find the right direction to take your home’s décor? Since roughly the French Renaissance (those palaces did not decorate themselves), people have turned over their home’s design into the capable and artful hands of professional interior designers.
Interior designers are, by trade, trained specialists who make interior spaces both functional and attractive. With an eye for cutting-edge trends, artistic expression, and the functionality of each room in a home, an interior designer can be a struggling homeowner’s best tool to create a beautiful home both inside and out. Interior designers can also help boost a luxury home’s market value by creating spaces that attract buyers before the home goes up for sale.
For many, finding the right interior designer happens the instant they see a professionally-designed space that they want to recreate in their own home. For others, it can be a bit of a challenge to find the right designer who vibes with your home style, personality, and needs.
Just as with any new hire, choosing an interior designer takes some research into designers in your area, conducting a self-assessment, and answering some key questions about what role you want a designer to have in the creation of your daily living spaces.
Questions to Ask Yourself
What do you want a designer to do for your home? Do you have a good handle on your home’s décor but need some help decorating specific spaces? Are you looking for a professional to help you discover resources? Are you looking for someone to take the home’s decorating off of your plate altogether? Do you want a professional to reinforce your home decorating ideas and make minor suggestions?
What involvement level do you want to have in the design of your home? Some homeowners want to be involved in every detail while others may just want their home decorated quickly and effectively without even glancing at a single swatch.
What is your timeline for decorating? Are you revamping your guest spaces to accommodate out of town friends who are staying with you in a few weeks? Do you want to have your home on the market by a certain date? Are you open to an extended design process that can take months to complete?
Do you need to see and touch materials to make a decision or can you select fabrics and patterns via images only? Before contacting an interior designer, answering this question will help you determine your level of involvement in the design process and can help you communicate clearly with your designer.
Questions to Ask an Interior Designer
What are your credentials? Unlike an interior decorator, an interior designer must be licensed. Interior designers earn a degree in their field and study relevant courses including architectural studies. Someone claiming to be an interior designer should have a minimum four-year degree in the field and be licensed.
Do you have a signature style that you’re known for? Artists have different concentrations, styles, and eyes for design, so while it might seem that every interior designer can express your vision to a T, it is important to meet with multiple designers and find one whose signature style is a complement to your own.
Do you have examples of similar work with a similar budget? Just as you want a designer who understands your style needs, you also want a designer who has a track record of creating the interiors that meet your financial and design standards.
How do you communicate with clients to uncover their personal style and preferences? An interior designer should work in tandem with their clients to discover their style, and you want to hear a designer say that they will walk you through various aspects of your life, like your art, your wardrobe, and your home’s function to understand why you like what you like and what feelings certain elements, colors, and styles bring up for you.
What does a successful client relationship mean to you? You want a partner in this design process, and that means someone who will listen and understand your needs while providing their own professional insight and industry knowledge to solve design problems. The ultimate goal of an interior design/client relationship should be the creation of unique spaces that match the client’s lifestyle and fills them with joy.
Once you have ironed out the key questions for finding your perfect partner in design, you can work out budget, a timeline, fees, and begin creating your personal interior masterpieces.