Hire an Interior Designer: 10 Essential Questions to Ask Them

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Organic modern living room by Decorilla

Ready to elevate your space but not sure how to start the journey? When you decide to hire an interior designer, asking the right questions is key. Dive into our essential guide featuring 10 must-ask questions to ensure you find the perfect match for your design dreams!

Hire an Interior Designer Quick Tips

How to hire an interior designer for a modern boho living room design
Living room design by Decorilla interior designer, Brooke S.

How to hire an interior designer or decorator becomes much easier when you know what to consider. So, before you dive straight into looking for your dream designer, do a brief prep. A prepared client makes the interior design process easy, fun, and above all, successful. Most importantly, once you’ve done your homework, you will have a clear idea of what your home needs and that makes finding interior design help and creating your dream interior a lot simpler.

Know Your Budget Before Hiring an Interior Designer or Decorator

hire an interior designer living room with a mid century style
Contemporary living room by Decorilla

Hiring an interior designer on a budget is absolutely possible! Stop and think about how much you can spend, not how much you want to spend. Be realistic and honest with yourself. Setting up a proper budget is the most important part of the whole process. Jot down your income and how much you can afford to spend per month. If you don’t have enough funds yet, create a savings plan and keep an eye out for affordable interior design services. Once the project starts, you can keep track of the expenses with a project tracker app. Be sure to compare interior design price lists when making the decision on which interior designer to hire.

Set a Timeline for Your Project

Coastal home result after finding and hiring an interior designer and decorator
Coastal interior by Decorilla designer, Jacqueline H.

Second, only to the budget is how much time you can set aside for the project. The scale of your interior makeover will need a specific amount of time. So, be reasonable. When you hire an interior designer for a home renovation, it’ll require a big chunk of time and careful planning. Maybe you even have to live somewhere else temporarily. One-room upgrades can range from one day to a week-long project so be prepared to give up your creature comforts for that long.

Unsure if hiring an interior designer fits your budget and needs? Schedule your Free Interior Design Consultation to learn how you can save $1000s on your project. 

Research Local and Online Interior Design Companies

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Transitional kitchen design by Decorilla interior designer, Rene P.

First, you need to decide if you want to hire an interior designer online or have an interior designer come into your home. Consider where you want the interior design help. If you’re planning layout changes, plumbing, lighting relocation, and electrical rewiring may be necessary, and that will increase the cost. An experienced interior designer can do the layout of these services for you and help you find the right contractors for the job. If your search for “interior designers near me” doesn’t yield any promising results, consider an online interior design service.

Figure Out Your Interior Design Style

bright and airy bedroom results when you hire an interior designer
Modern glam bedroom design by Decorilla

Think about how you want your home to look. Use the rest of the house as a reference for a one-room revamp so that the result is not out of place. If you don’t know what your Interior Design Style is, collect images of homes that inspire you online or in magazines. This will assist your designer in putting together the right look for your room or home. You can also start with the one piece in your home that you really like and would like to incorporate into your new design. This could be anything from a rug to a painting or scatter cushion.

Gather Inspiration Before You Hire an Interior Designer 

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Kitchen interior design by Decorilla designer, Michelle B.

Finally, put together an inspiration folder. Save all your favorite interior styles, color palettes, finishes, furniture, and layouts. Pinterest can be an excellent platform for collecting ideas. If you’re only updating one room, stick to images of similar rooms.

Hire an interior designer - how does it work?

10 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Interior Designer

How to hire an interior designer online - living room result
Living room design by Decorilla interior designer, Roberto D.

Now that all the preparation is done you can start looking for the perfect interior design help. Apart from knowing how to hire an interior designer or decorator, it’s essential to know what to ask. Here are ten questions to ask before you hire a designer for your home makeover:

1. What are your references & credentials?

luxury transitional home offie design results
Home office design by Decorilla

Ensure that who you hire has legitimate references and credentials. If the budget is limited, you can consider hiring an inexperienced interior designer, but be sure to double-check their references and work examples.

2. What interior design services do you offer?

How to hire an interior designer result for a tranquil bathroom
Bathroom interior design by Decorilla designer, Taize M.

Not all interior designers offer the same service package. So it’s important to know what you’ll be getting before hiring an interior designer.

Here are a few of the services that an interior designer might offer:

  • Design consultation
  • Site measurement and assessment
  • Space planning
  • Design concepts
  • Purchasing or procurement
  • Project management

3. How do you structure your interior design projects?

Contemporary living room by Decorilla interior decorators
Living room design by Decorilla

How the designer structures a project will give you an indication of their time management as well as what to expect from the process. It is a good idea to start with an initial consultation, and then to discuss fees before jumping into the design process. The designer should also first present a concept before the details of the design are finalized.

4. How do you charge?

Hire an interior decorator online result for a transitional interior design
Transitional living room design by Decorilla interior designer, Mariko K.

The question of charges relates directly to your budget. You should know whether the designer charges a flat rate, works on an hourly rate, or charge a percentage of the project cost. If you’re prone to calling a designer without pause, a flat rate is better than an hourly rate. Otherwise, you may shock you by the end of the month. But if you’re happy with fewer consultations and contact the hourly rate can work great. Designers who work on a percentage of the project usually work on big projects that require a lot of back and forth and overseeing of the installation and procurement processes.

5. Can you recommend local contractors?

hire an interior designer for my living room - decorilla
Transitional living room interior design by Decorilla designer, Leonara M.

If the designer has an established relationship with contractors, you may get a discount. Even when there is no discount; a designer that can recommend great contractors, is an asset. They say that you are only as good as your last project, so the work of a great contractor is essential to a designer’s reputation.

6. Have you done similar projects?

online bedroom interior design decorilla designer candis g
Contemporary bedroom design by Decorilla interior designer, Candis G.

This is how you learn how experienced the prospective designer is. If you’re looking to hire an interior designer for apartment design, it would be beneficial to see other apartments the designer has completed. If they have worked on similar projects, you may request a before, in-process, and after photo to see whether you like the outcome.

7. What is your favorite interior design style?

Transitional kitchen result after hiring an interior decorator and designer
Modern kitchen design by Decorilla designer, Sharene M.

Determining their style preference is crucial because even though an interior designer should be able to work in any style that a client wants, it’s not always the result. If the designer’s styles match yours, the whole process will be much smoother.

8. What was your most recent interior design project?

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Bedroom design by Decorilla interior designer, Renata P.

You can delve a little deeper and ask for a sneak peek of the project. The designer’s most recent project will give you an idea of whether their designs use the latest in industry trends and innovation. You may also ask for a reference from the last client to see if they were happy with the designer’s work.

9. What are your interior design must-haves?

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Bedroom design by Decorilla interior designer, Sharene M.

This is a little bit of a test to get an idea of the interior designer’s intuition and whether their natural style will suit your taste and lifestyle. Some designers believe that you have to use a neutral palette or certain wood types, while others believe in color and stone. This will also give you an indication of the level of the detail your designer goes into. Still lost? Here are some more questions to ask before you hire an interior designer for your home.

10. How can I live better in my home?

hire an interior designer living room patio
Patio design by Decorilla interior designer, Stella P.

Don’t be too hard on the designer with this vague question. The aim of finding out how to live better is to see if the designer knows what is on the market. Their response will indicate whether they are knowledgeable on the innovation front, especially regarding smart living.

Hire an Interior Designer Today!

Don’t let design doubts hold you back any longer. Hire an interior designer today and turn your home into the haven you’ve always dreamed of. Schedule a Free Interior Design Consultation to get started today!

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