Before you get started, here are some of the top questions we recommend you ask an interior designer.
Are you limited to specific vendors when you source?
This is the one of the first questions that I’d recommend asking your designer. Most designers have a large selection of vendors that they like to work with, and are open to adding to their vendor list should a client request. If your designer is representing only 1 or a small number of vendors, this might be a red flag for you.
How does your company make money?
Let’s be honest interior design fees can be confusing!! Does you designer charge hourly or flat fee? Do they also mark up or down product, and if so by what percentage? I know we all want to get to the fun stuff, but this is something that I like to discuss with my clients right at the beginning to avoid awkward conversations down the line.
What qualifications do you have?
It’s always a good idea to check out the firm, and it’s designers. There should be page on their website giving you information about their designer(s). You may feel more confident going into a costly process with someone who is accredited in this area.
Who will be doing the actual design work?
Depending on the size of the design firm, the owner may or may not be working on your project themselves. By asking this question upfront there are no surprises down the line when you suddenly get passed over to their junior designer…. Just kidding .. or am I!?
Do you work with any sized budget?
This question is important!! Some high end design practices will only take on your project if you meet their minimum spending limits. Other practices are open to all budgets. That being said, the most important thing for you to do before you meet with a designer is define your own budget. Defining your budget can be tricky. Don’t be afraid to ask your designer what they think your budget should be.
What is your current timeline for on boarding new clients?
Are you hoping to start work right away or happy to wait a little. As more and more people are remodeling vs moving designers are getting busier and busier which means wait times are extending.
Do you work in person as well as virtually?
Some designers work solely in person, others solely virtual and some both. Ask about their processes for each to determine what is the best fit for you.
How long will my project take to complete?
Depending on the scope of work your designer should be able to give you a ball park time for completion. Make sure to express any timing expectations early in your conversation.