1. What experience does the interior designer have in your particular project? It’s all very well hiring an interior designer because you like the look of the living room projects they’ve completed, but if your project is a bathroom or kitchen can they deliver? These are much more technical spaces to design and can involve many more trades, so you want a designer who has worked on these type of projects preferably.
2. What is the general aesthetic the interior designer works to? As an interior designer, my job is to bring a client’s ideas to life with input in the form of some of my own ideas, guidance on technical aspects and the knowledge of what will work for them in terms of budget and lifestyle. However I tend to have a particular style. I wouldn’t take on work that required a lot of antiques and heavy window dressings for example. It’s just not my bag as I tend to be commissioned for, and prefer, more contemporary work. A designer with experience and a portfolio of this type of work is obviously going to be much more suitable.
3. How extensive is the interior designer’s portfolio? Would you entrust your home to a designer who has no evidence of a portfolio detailing similar projects to yours? Now I’m not saying that new designers shouldn’t get a break, we were all there once. However, you and the designer need to go into the project with eyes wide open if that’s the case. Like any industry the longer you’ve been in it, chances are the better the result. This just naturally comes from knowledge and experience.
4. Do you like the designer? This might sound petty, and you may ask yourself if it’s really that important. If you’re thinking of a large renovation project for example, you are going to be working very closely with your designer over a fairly long time period. If you don’t like them, it could end up being a painful process! You need to be “on the same page” as your interior designer and trust that they’ll be instrumental in bringing your ideas to life, whilst enjoying the process too. Interior design is exciting and fun if you’re working with the right team.
5. What budgets does the interior designer work to? Be honest, you cringed at this point didn’t you? No one really likes talking money but there is absolutely no point in engaging a designer if you haven’t had an honest conversation about budget. A reputable interior designer will bring it up quite early on in your conversations, because it’s important. An experienced designer knows whether your budget is realistic or not. They know that if you want a kitchen make over with Gaggenau appliances and marble worktops, you’ll struggle on a small budget! So an interior designer has two choices, to steer you towards what you can afford or if you’re set on your dream kitchen, to educate you as to how much that is probably going to cost.
6. How does the designer charge? Another cringe fest as we’re talking about money again. Aaargh! However there are numerous ways an interior designer can charge, and this will vary from designer to designer. Be upfront about asking the question and expect transparency in the answer you get. Every client and every job is different, but that doesn’t mean that a designer can make it up as they go along! Your designer should have a pricing structure and be happy to provide a detailed written quotation for your particular project before any work commences.
Hope this helps!
Love Angela xx