Once you’ve bought your dream home, the next step is to decorate your space! Hiring an interior designer brings a professional design sense to your doorstep, literally. However, choosing the right interior designer takes a little bit of research to ensure that you're more than content with their designs. We’ll show you how to choose the right interior designer for your new home with these simple tips.
What Is Your Design Taste?
Start by thinking about your design sense. What kind of home are you looking for? Do you want your interior spaces to look sleek and modern or do you prefer more of a rustic touch? You’ll want to choose a designer who embraces your vision.
Research designers who specialize in your ideal design aesthetic. For those who have a specific look in mind, choose an interior designer who excels in your ideal style. You’ll get top-notch design services and have the ability to innovate with a specialist.
If you don’t know what you want, search through various interior design firm portfolios and find something that gets you excited. You can even use social media tools like Pinterest to get some inspiration. Create a style board and pin some photos that feature your favorite looks.
It's important to be thoughtful in this process. You’ll be living with their designs for years to come, so it’s important to take some time to decide what kind of look you’re going for. Peep their previous work via their online portfolio. Does their overall design aesthetic align with your vision? Do you see their work and want to be in that space? If you answer yes, then contact the interior designer to set up an introductory interview.
Set up an Informational Interview
The next step for choosing the perfect interior designer is to set up an interview. Don’t overload yourself, choose three to four designers who caught your eye and interview them. You don’t have to meet in person, but be sure to have a list of questions and take some notes.
Line up your questions in advance and see where the conversation takes you. Interviews shouldn’t take too long (think 30 minutes or so). With that being said, you’ll want to ensure you have a solid understanding of who the designer is, how they work, what they are passionate about and if they're comfortable with your design requests.
Consider How They Work
You’ll be working closely together, so ask lots of questions. You’ll want to have a firm understanding of their design process. Ask questions regarding their workflow and time frame. How involved are you in the process? Is it hands-on or hands-off? Do they anticipate decisions being made quickly? How does this fit into your current schedule?
There are no right or wrong answers here. The important part is to determine if you can jive with their workflow process. You want to be a good team, as this makes projects easier. Let answers sink in and go with what you feel will work best for you.
Think About Budget
First, you want your vision and budget to be in alignment. Before you can choose the perfect interior designer for your home, you’ll want to establish a budget. Choose a number that works with your financial situation, and decide which spaces take priority.
After you’ve set your budget, you’ll want to address a maximum spend. Every design project needs a little fluff in the budget, so don’t be afraid to state a number that’s 10 percent lower than your max spend. Adding some padding to your budget lets you account for unexpected costs without hurting your wallet.
During your interview with prospective interior designers, you’ll want to inquire about the budget. Chat with your designer about your ideal budget and what rooms you want to be decorated. Ask if your budget is realistic for your space, and then have a few follow-up questions about what happens when budgets are exceeded or un-discovered costs are incurred. Having a full understanding of how your interior designer handles budgets is essential for a successful project.
Hire an interior designer who’s honest with you about the project. One great way to sniff out an honest interior designer is to ask about a project where things didn’t go to plan. How did they handle a tough situation? Were they upfront about the issue with their client? Did they resolve the issue swiftly and fairly? You can always follow up with their answers by reaching out to any references too.
Lastly, ask for references. Try to get references with a similar budget or similar aesthetic. Contact these folks to get a better understanding of what the process was like. Ask about the pain points of the project and the highlights. You’re looking for an overall feel about how the project turned out. Would they hire the designer again? Is there anything they wish the designer could have done better? If a designer can’t provide any references, then look elsewhere.
The final step to choosing the right interior designer is to whittle down your list and choose the perfect match. After each interview, if you are still interested in learning more, ask for a proposal that includes a timeline, process, references and cost breakdown.
Every home is unique and each interior design project demands a personal touch. Weigh your options in a way that makes sense to you. If the budget is limited, pick and choose just a few rooms to stretch your dollar. For a must-have aesthetic, choose an interior designer who specializes in your style.
Your smaller interview pool should make the decision easy. Often, you will just click with one designer and you’ll find the perfect match for your home. Otherwise, you may need to narrow your choices to two people and decide from there. If you are truly stuck, go with what your gut tells you. It’s your home after all, and typically going with what feels right in your heart will yield the best results.
Once you’ve selected the perfect interior designer for your home, you can start working toward decorating the space you’ve always dreamed of. Make decisions with your designer throughout the process to get the design you truly want. Use your designer as a resource to learn about how to keep your home looking beautiful for years to come.
Enjoy stunning, world-class interior design in your home when you choose the right interior designer. You’ll get top-notch service and expert advice to create the perfect interior look for your home.