When it comes to how to select an interior designer, Ariel Okin, the premiere designer at HomePolish, says it can be like dating (as in, you need to do some work and ask the right questions). "I think an ideal working relationship between an interior designer and a client is founded on trust," Okin says. "If a client can trust where the designer is going with a creative vision and roll with it, it makes for the most fun and exciting - and not to mention, beautiful - projects."
To get to that place with a designer, you really need to align with your needs and personality because if you can't get along, how can they really understand you? "When meeting a new customer, I always try and make sure our personalities and priorities align," explains Birjit Klein, owner of Birjit Klein Insider. It starts with the meeting and asks the right questions to ask who is right for you… and your place, for this matter. We decided to tap four experts to find out from the top experts that they think every client should ask when it comes to choosing an interior designer (plus some rules you should follow in your first meeting ).
1. Get support
"I believe the client should be involved in the decision-making process so that the end result reflects them," says Crystal Sinclair of HomePoling. Christine Markatos Loewy, head designer of Christine Markatos Design, agrees, saying that the best working relationship is when it is a collaborative effort. But if a customer prefers to have more hands-off, then it is mandatory for them to inform how they want to be involved from the beginning.
2. Follow the "Rule of Three".
"My general rule is to meet three designers," says Markatos Löw. "You'll find that two of the people you meet are probably more likeable and one will cling to you." By not meeting with more than this number, the designer says it will be easier to compare different personalities and styles. Okin suggests meeting with at least two if not three designers to get a feel for different aesthetics, working style, and personality (which is important).
3. Let's get ready
Okin suggested bringing images of inspiration, a Pinterest board containing some of your favorite pins, and a floor of your existing space as a starting point. And show as much up front as possible. "The more aesthetic information you can share, the more it will help improve open communication," says Markatos Lowe. She suggests that you bring any plan, picture, or example of your choice to your first meeting.
4. Be honest about the budget
There is nothing worse than not discussing expectations and thwarting designer plans and shattering client expectations. Sinclair says that there is definitely a budget in mind (although it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how much it will cost to work through what you want "as long as you know about a budget If unsure, then before you do a little research to get a better understanding of things, "what things cost." A sofa can cost anywhere from $ 700 to $ 27,000. "
5. Follow your gut
You have to remember that you are not doing only one interview during this process because you are also doing the interview. Markatos Lowe says both sides have to feel comfortable with each other. "I also believe that it's a natural gesture - if it seems like a good fit, it's often the right designer / customer match," she says. Keep an eye on when it feels right and go with the person.
12 questions to ask an interior designer
1. Is there a particular style that you like or that you don't like?
2. How many projects do you work on at one time?
3. What is your internal structure, and with whom will I work on your team besides you?
4. How long would you expect the project to be completed?
5. Is our availability up?
6. Are you comfortable with ______? (Anything special for your condition such as dogs, children, clothing allergies)
7. What is your project management style and what would you expect from me?
8. How do you charge and what is included in your fee?
9. How can you keep track of my budget, payments and refunds?
10. How do you solve problems during the project? (Furniture is damaged, wrong piece was shipped, etc.)
11. Is your design green or environmentally conscious?
12. Can I have a customer reference?