Questions You Should Be Asking A Prospective Interior Designer

At some point in almost everyone's lives, they will be faced with having to design or redesign a home; maybe it's one room or every space in the entire house. Either way, you must not take this task lightly, as it consumes a lot of time and consideration. For some, however, this is a responsibility they do not want to take on. Instead, they would rather hire a professional to get the work done for them. Yet, in doing so, it becomes a whole other task all on its own as well.

When it comes to hiring a professional, there is a lot to consider and a lot to be offered. According to Forbes, hiring an interior designer can help you in more ways than one. For starters, these professionals can help you save on money through their trade discounts and enforcing the budget that has been decided on. Additionally, like with any other home renovation and project, hiring a professional can help increase the property's value. For example, if you are redesigning your house to sell it or decide, sometime in the future, that you want to move, revamping it can drive up its market value. However, before deciding on who to hire, there are several questions you should be asking.

What is your creative process like?

It's extremely important to know what a professional's process is like. This can decide how quickly, efficiently, and expertly the project you hired them for gets done. As HubSpot points out, it's always a good idea to get an understanding of how the potential designer thinks. For example, what does the designer rely on for inspiration? Is it their past projects, social media, or the work of others? Additionally, you should ask how the prospective designer first begins a project. Do they dive right in or carefully plan each step beforehand?

Getting informed on the interior designers' process allows you to understand who they are as a professional and also what they find most important. For example, is it the research that takes priority? Is the interview process the most important step out of all the others? Asking this one basic and simple question can tell you a lot about who they are as a person and what you will have to look forward to during the process should you choose to hire them.

How do you decide which projects to take on and which to pass?

Another equally important question you should ask is what projects they decide to take on and which projects they pass on. As Clever states, this query is fairly similar to conducting a job interview. Asking this simple yet effective question allows you to understand whether your views lines up with the professional's concepts. It also gives you an idea of where they are at with deciding whether they will take your project on or not.

Additionally, interior design projects can potentially take weeks, months, and in some extreme cases, even a year to complete. This makes it extremely important to ensure there is a good fit both personally and professionally. You want to hire someone open, honest, and reliable. This isn't to say they have the same interests and personality as you. However, you both must be on the same page when it comes to the project and how it's to be completed.

How do you feel about client involvement?

Interior designers vary from one to the next, and so do their process and involvement. According to Clever, there are two main types of designers. Some like to keep the client informed about every step of the entire process. They prefer for the client to be involved in all the decisions and favor a partnership with the client. However, others like to take the lead and fully control the project. They enjoy making every decision on their own and relish the benefit of the freedom they have in the design process.

Asking them how they feel about the client's involvement is important because it's essential to find a designer that matches what you are looking for perfectly. Whether you, as the client, want to be involved completely, a little bit along the way, or not at all is something that you shouldn't cave on. Yet, you should also decide before hiring the professional how much input you want on the project. Failure to commit to the type of involvement or not trusting the designer can delay the project and result in disagreements between the two parties.

How well do you work with other managers and developers?

When it comes to major projects such as interior design, chances are there will be other managers or developers involved as well. This means that the interior designer has to work alongside other professionals. Vitamin T suggests asking them how well they work with other experts, including managers and developers. Additionally, when the client, interior designer, and other professionals work together, there's a high chance of one or more individuals being vastly different from another. Therefore, it's important to ensure that everyone can work in a team.

When the designer is relying on a manager who is relying on a developer to complete a specific task in the project, it can become a stressful and even emotional situation. Therefore, it's equally important for all involved to communicate in order to ensure fast and efficient project completion. Asking for examples from past experience and projects can help you understand whether the designer is a team player or not.

Has there been a time when a client disliked your work?

Sometimes — more often than many may think — a client won't like a specific part of the entire project as a whole. This could be due to a number of reasons, including the client changing their mind, the designer not completing the project as the customer wanted, or the two parties' vision simply not adding up. But, of course, this doesn't mean any specific person did anything wrong. So, just in case this does happen, HubSpot suggests asking the professional if there has ever been a time when a previous client disliked their work. If they say yes, ask them to tell you the story of that situation.

When asking this question, it's important to consider a few specific things from the story they tell you. First, you need to know how they handled that situation. Knowing whether they were professional is crucial just in case a similar situation occurs. Also, discuss how they solved the problem. For example, did they completely redo the project, or did they fix only the problem the client didn't like? Lastly, discuss whether the final and complete project met the client's expectations. These questions will prove if the prospective interior designer is up to the task you are offering them.