Before You Hire An Interior Designer, Here Are 10 Questions You Should Ask

Hiring an interior designer for your project may sound like a huge expense, but it’s the best decision you can make as opposed to executing the project yourself. 

An interior designer has the expertise to translate your vision into an incredibly comfortable space, and they do this while saving you time, money and costly mistakes which sometimes happen because of indecisiveness. 

However, before you contract a designer, it is important you ask yourself these 10 questions so you have a comprehensive understanding of a typical interior design project from start to finish. 

1. Who Is An Interior Designer?

An interior designer is a professional who designs commercial or residential spaces using creative and technical skills to produce aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces for clients. 

For every project, interior designers are charged to find the right balance between style and functionality by taking factors such as proportion, lights, geometry, flow etc. into consideration. Some interior designers are self-taught, while some others study to get certified.  Some of the advantages of hiring a designer include proper budgeting and planning, professional assessment on colour balance, fabric setting, computer-aided design, space planning, custom furniture design to mention a few. Interior Designers gather experience in the field of interior design in order to possess the right skills required to carry on professional projects.

2. Why do I Need An Interior Designer? 

As mentioned earlier, hiring an interior designer is a smart decision that will save you time, money, stress and give you long lasting results. 

Having repeatedly worked on different creative projects for many clients, interior designers come with the professional knowledge and tactical know-how to understand the client’s vision, the right team members to assign the project to, and when to change management style during the course of a design process.

 For your office space, interior designers help to create a safe and comfortable work environment. By focusing on things such as ergonomics, office lighting, computer placement and furniture arrangement, break out spots and they create room for team bonding. 

3. What Kind Of Design Do I Want? 

Your interior design should blend with your lifestyle or organizational identity – luckily, there are numerous interior design styles to choose from. 

For example, if you are someone who loves decluttered spaces, then a minimalist interior design style is perfect for you. With this technique, the interior designer prioritizes simplicity and functionality by creating a lot of space, adding only the necessary furniture pieces in each room, avoiding vibrant colours and minimizing accessories. 

If you are someone who loves the sea and sand, then nautical interior design style would most likely be your first option because it gives your space a relaxed beach-inspired vibe. 

Nothing you love ever truly goes out of style. Get inspired, gather  inspiration to help you narrow your design style. Create a visual representation of what works for you. Do not limit yourself to one particular look or trend. Your home should be a reflection of who you are, as with everything in life.

Read more about design styles here

4. What type of Interior Designer do I need? 

The style you decide on should determine the designer you work with. Most times, a designer says they can deliver all the interior design techniques, which may or may not be true, however, you should be intentional about getting the style you want but be flexible to welcome different  ideas for your space.

As you narrow down on your options, ask for work samples and give priority to the ones who have designed the style you want or have the vision to execute what you want brilliantly. 

5. When Is the Right Time To Hire?

As soon as possible! An interior design project usually requires a team of interior designers, architects, building contractors, and others but the  designer should be the first and last member of the team. He or she is the glue that binds the team together.

When asked in a study, most interior designers said they implemented their best work when they were the first members of the team. This is because they could properly coordinate the project from start to finish. 

6. How Can I Assess Their Quality Of Work?

Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest might show you work samples of an interior designer, but these could be misleading because of the influence of modern photography and branding. Do some ground work to find out their design strength and check out reviews from previous clients they have worked with or better still, visit a completed project to get a first-hand experience of their design competence. If you already met with an interior designer, watch closely how they tend to your design needs, how attentive they are – listening is important in interior design and it is about having all your senses open and being receptive. 

That said, if you are looking to work with a new designer, you have to trust your instinct and work with them closely so you are on the same page. Don’t hesitate to always ask the right questions.

 7. What Is The Precise Price To Pay?

Whether your interior design project entails designing a space from scratch or renovating a room, there is no one size fits all price. A good rule of thumb is to discuss your budget with your preferred designer early on and if it’s something they can work with, a good interior designer would help you decide the items that are worth investing in. Every project is different, but as an interior designer, we always keep in mind the client’s budget and try to work within that budget. However, if you are not able to afford the designer, you can ask them to come on board as consultants, that way, you can have a piece of their design expertise on your project.

8. Where Can I Get An Interior Designer?

The first step in choosing an interior designer is identifying your style, this will help narrow your search. Find designers that understand your aesthetic, a lot of model homes showcase the portfolio of some interior designers, you can decide and choose a look that speaks to you. Also, if you know someone who has just completed a project you like, you could ask them to recommend/ refer their designer to you. 

9. When Do I Want This Project To Be Completed? 

Just like every other well-planned project, a timeline is very important in interior design. This is the timeline that you, alongside the interior designer will create which will lay out the start of the project, list the tasks in the job, expected length of each task, persons responsible for each task and the time frame of the entire assignment. Realistic timelines have to be set by both parties.

10. What Are The Terms And Conditions? 

Either you or the designer should draw up a contract or any form of documented agreement before you begin the project. This document should properly lay out the budget, duration, project plan, working conditions, expectations and termination of contract. 

Once answered, these 10 questions will guide you from the planning stage to the successful execution of your interior design project. 

If you have more questions, do not hesitate to  send an  email to Decor Nigeria via design@decor.ng or call us on +234 806 420 3109. 

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