Interior design is so much more than choosing the right shade of paint or the correct positioning of furniture – and that is why you need a professional interior designer to help you transform your new house into a dream home that you will always be proud of.
But how do you know if the person you hired is the right person for this project? To make your job easier, we came up with five questions that you should definitely ask your interior designer at the time of hiring.
What is your work style?
It is important to set out your mutual expectations, plans and ideas in the beginning so that you don’t end up wasting each other’s time. For example, all interior designers have different work styles. You have to make sure that the interior designer you choose for your home has a style that suits your needs and situation.
Some designers would prefer to be in charge of the entire project and decide what would go in your home and what would not. Others may give you multiple options to choose from and you get to make the final call. Also, while some designers do only full house designing or decorating, others might be open to working on a room-by-room basis. While some designers use their own personnel (painters, carpenters etc.) on the project, others leave the responsibility of hiring crew to the client.
Can you show me samples from similar projects you’ve done before?
Has your interior designer worked on projects with similar requirements, budgets or timelines before? You don’t redo your home on such a large scale every day – you need to make sure you are hiring someone who understands what you are looking for and can work within the stipulated parameters.
What is your signature design style?
Most interior designers who have made a name for themselves in the business have a distinctive design style that characterizes their work. Some bring a quirky or fun touch to the rooms they design, while others work primarily on projects that suit their classic design styles. For example, if green living is important to you, you may like to go with an interior designer who can incorporate your wish for sustainability in his designs.
What would be the payment schedule?
While some designers would want half the amount to be paid upfront and the rest after the project is over, others might prefer to work on an hourly basis. In addition to this, you will also have to pay them a fixed retainer fee before they start work on your project. At this point, you may also want to find out if your interior designer offers designer discounts on furniture or other décor items.
Can you give me references?
Don’t forget that choosing an interior designer is no different from interviewing a person for a job. Ask for at least two references – both past and current clients – and talk to them personally to find out how they are when on the job, whether they were able to work within the given budget and timeline, and so on.
Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about homes for househunter.co.