How to Hire an Interior Designer

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 02 Nov, 2015
In our last blog we told you how to hire an architect. So in this blog we’re going to tell you how to hire an interior designer, another possibly important piece of your project puzzle. While, just as with an architect, an interior designer is not always necessary, some projects will benefit from the expertise […] The post How to Hire an Interior Designer appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
Interior designers combine their creativity and technical knowledge to work with clients and other design professionals (such as architects) to design spaces which are functional, safe, attractive and satisfy the needs of the clients using the space. Part of the responsibility of an interior designer is understanding how people behave so they can create spaces which are truly functional on a day to day basis. Interior design is not the same as interior decorating, as there is much more of an emphasis on planning and functional design in interior design. Designers must have an understanding of technical issues such as acoustics or how door or windows are positioned. They can only create the space though without altering structural components, but this is why architects and designers often work together.
In residential design an interior designer works on the project from as early as the initial planning stage. The process can take months to fine-tune to create the client’s vision.
Interior designers are highly skilled, and usually trained through a college or a design school. Most have a four-year degree but some have master’s or doctoral degrees. After college many aspiring interior designers spend time completing an apprenticeship.
The best interior designer for your project will offer their expertise and insight in a way which shows you how your spaces can work for you. They will tell you honestly how they think a space should be changed even if it conflicts with your own ideas. But together you can formulate a plan which serves your vision and the potential functionality of the space.
Ask family and friends first for interior designer referrals. Look to a reputable resource such as the American Society of Interior Designers for a list of interior designers. If you are already working with an architect or another building professional they will often have a list of designers they recommend their clients use.
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential interior designers for your project set up interviews. Interview several designers so you can become familiar with their differences including how they deal with clients, what their style preferences are, and how they conduct business. You’ll be working closely with this individual and you want someone who you think will make the right choices for your project.
Here are some questions to start with when interviewing your potential interior designer:
  • What kinds of design services do you offer?
  • Are you available to take on our project?
  • What is your design style? Make sure you ask to view their portfolio.
  • Can you show me examples other projects you’ve done which are similar to my style and within the same budget as my project?
  • What type of education and training have you completed? Do you have any professional affiliations?
  • How will you communicate the ideas and plans you have for our project?
  • How will you provide updates on the progress of our project?
  • Can you work within our budget?
  • How do you charge, and when is payment due?
  • Can you provide professional references?
Next Steps

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