6 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Interior Designer

What size tiles are best for your bathroom? How many lights would you need in the living room? Where should you place your bedroom? There are a million questions you’ll have when you design your dream home. The good news is that if you partner with an experienced interior designer, the answers are quite easy to find. Whether you’re moving into a 2 bedroom apartments or a 6 bedroom villa, you need a good designer to guide you through the process of converting your house to a home. Here are 6 questions you must ask the designer before you start working on your project.

What are the interior design services you offer?

Don’t assume that all designers will take on an entire residential project from start to finish. Some may complete a project to the civil work stage and let you furnish it while others may give you the designs and let you take it forward from there. Some of the key services to check off your list are design consultation, space planning, project management and procurement and purchasing. Some have their own execution team while others liaison with local teams.

Before starting an interior project, you need to have an approximate budget in mind along with a buffer. Speak to the designer about your budget and what scope of work would fit in your budget. An experienced designer may sometimes suggest getting a sign off on the designs and then working independently with a contractor to execute them if they can’t handle the entire project within your budget.

What do you feel about client involvement?

Some designers like to involve their client in every stage of the design process while others like to take an independent path and involve the client only at the sign off stages. It comes down to who controls the creatives. If the client and designer both want to control the creative process, it could be a sign of trouble. Ideally, clients who find it hard to take decisions need to work with a designer who prefers full creative control. However, as a client, you must be able to trust the designer’s thinking and process.

What’s your style of working?

Designing a home and executing the concepts can take months. So, this is going to be a long-term relationship. You need to ensure that along with liking the designer’s portfolio, you like their personality and way of working. For example, if they prefer communicating through emails but you prefer conversations in the phone, there may be a mismatch. Similarly, ask them about how they choose their projects and see how their priorities match yours. If they like taking on projects that finish in a month or two but you see the project taking much longer, you may need to interview a few more designers before you find your perfect partner.

How do you handle mistakes and unexpected lags?

No matter how well you plan a project, there’s a chance the project may hit a snag somewhere along the way. A vendor may deliver the wrong tiles or it may suddenly start raining and work may need to be halted. Ask the designer whether they’ve faced such situations in the past and how they dealt with it. Learn about how the interior designer deals with a crisis and what they do to avoid such issues.

How long do they think the project will take?

An interior project can go on and on and on… The designer must be able o channel the process and give the project a timeline. As a layman, you may not understand how long technical things like cement setting or wiring takes but the designer would have experience in such areas. Thus, once they have understood the scope of the project, they should be able to give you a timeline for the same. This lets you plan ahead and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

What are your fees?

Last but not least, you need to understand the designer’s fees and how they are structured. Some designer’s charge a flat fee, some charge a percentage of the total project cost and others charge a fee calculated on a per square foot cost. You also need to know and agree on when this is payable. Usually, payment is broken up into stages after every sign off.

Havign the right interior designer on your project is critical to getting a home you love to live in. Make sure you have a similar vision for your home and that you like the person you’re going to be working with. You should be able to talk openly with the designer and remember, it isn’t necessary to agree on every point. That said, the designer is the professional and you should be able to trust them to do what’s best for your home.

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