Choosing the Right Interior Designer for You – The Interview

Interior Design – like ice skating – is exponentially harder than it looks.

Most people come to this realization when they stand looking at a room in their home wondering why it has missed the mark and how to fix it. There is so much science and technique to design – a pro will bring ideas resources, nuances and uniqueness you’d never thought of – as well as the protection to avoid the costly disasters. Yet as with any knowledge worker – whether a lawyer, accountant or doctor – you want to find a great one who can deliver the end result you are after and in a process that you’ll really enjoy, too.

How do you find the right designer – whether looking for a new designer or trying one for the first time? Read on.

Pick Up the Phone and Call the Designer. But Ask the right questions when you do. It amazes me that new clients forget to ask critical questions like these:

    1. Can you tell me about your design philosophy?
    2. Would you describe your working process – if I hired you – what should I expect?
    3. Do you have any referrals I could speak with? (Yes! Ask for referrals upfront – why book an appointment with this person and waste your precious time if it’s not a good fit?)
    4. Then…ask for their rates.

Once you have selected your designer, here are some things you can do to insure your best results and a wonderful working process.

How to Be A Good Client to Support your Best Results:

  1. Be on time to all meetings.
  2. Keep the conversation friendly, yes, but professional – double yes. Design is such a personal process and a good designer is aware of supporting your comfort while also being professionally respectful. Do not share the ins and outs of every personal trial and tribulation. After all, depending on how you are being billed, doing so you will either be running up your service time charge or inappropriately using your designer’s time – either will come with a cost.
  3. Pay your invoices on time. Designers bend over backwards for conscientious clients.
  4. Be respectful of her time – just as you wish her to be of yours. (This includes phone & email.)
  5. If you expect service and time devoted to the sole support of you and your family’s project, expect a cost to be assigned to it. Pay it graciously – and you will be rewarded with excellent service, excellent results and probably some generosity in there, too. I always intend for clients to be surprised by excellence they didn’t even expect. It’s easy to over-deliver excellence to excellent clients who have my earned trust and good faith.