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5 Tips for Hiring and Working With an Interior Designer

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If you’re decorating a new space, one of the best ways to make it stand out is by hiring an interior designer. Designers are constantly studying up on new decorating trends, and they also have valuable experience regarding how certain materials and elements work together and hold up over time. Here are a few tips for making the process of choosing and working with a designer go smoothly:

  1. Look Through Several Portfolios

    When you’re looking through the portfolios of home interior designers, there are a few things you should look out for. The first, obviously, is a general design aesthetic or style; there’s no sense in hiring an ultra-modern decorator if you lean toward French country (whether or not you know that’s the name assigned to your preferred taste). But you can also look for variety in a designer’s portfolio, which is a good sign that he or she is good to adapting to client requests.

  2. Ask to Visit a Space

    If possible, ask a designer or two if it’s possible to visit a space they’ve decorated. When you’re actually in a space, it will become more apparent to you whether a designer is good at incorporating function (think of storage space and convenient layouts) and comfort into an attractive space.

  3. Set a Budget in Advance

    Make sure your budget is clearly set out in advance so that your designer can prioritize. All but the highest-end luxury designers are used to working within financial limitations, so it’s all a matter of talking about what matters most so that your designer can keep the costs on track throughout the decorating process. The same holds true even if you have a very generous budget; if you’re willing to spend quite a bit on the design, you should indicate which elements you’re willing to splurge on.

  4. Be Honest About Your Needs

    Don’t overestimate your maintenance abilities (or your level of control over your family), even if you like the look a decorator is creating. When a designer asks you whether you’ll be able to keep shoes off your custom upholstered furniture, be honest. And if your walls always seem to have fingerprints, make sure your designer knows that washable paint might be a better choice than designer wallcoverings. After all, the whole purpose of hiring home interior designers is so that they can act as problem solvers, taking your needs and making them look fashionable.

  5. Stand Your Ground

    The best interior designers will constantly be in touch with your responses, making sure you’re thrilled with the design every step of the way. But you should also feel free to express your thoughts. Yes, they’re the professionals — but you’re the one who will actually need to live in the space. No matter how fashionable velvet drapes are, they shouldn’t be in your home if you don’t like them.

Do you have any more tips on working with home interior designers? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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