It’s crucial that we feel an extreme amount of trust and mutual respect before we let someone into our home. With so many people claiming to be high-end competent interior design experts, how do you find someone not only reputable but, just as importantly, someone who shares your values? The key is to do your research and remember you’re the one doing the hiring.
Before giving the job to just anyone on the internet, you need to have an initial interior design consultation. Think of this as a chance to interview the designer to see if your tastes and beliefs align.
Unsure of what to say or do during this consultation? Here are our top seven suggestions for what to consider during this critical process.
- Have your own ideas, and an open mind.
When you meet with anyone, come prepared. Have your own ideas for the room(s) you want to redecorate, colors you love and don’t love, fabrics you prefer, and patterns you want to incorporate. And with all of this, be prepared to listen to someone else’s feedback. Maybe the colors you like won’t work well in the room you’ve chosen for reasons only a consultant would know. This is why you’re hiring someone, so listen to their comments and ideas.
Before giving the job to just anyone on the internet, you need to have an initial interior design consultation.
- Know your budget and be prepared to share it.
No one wants to talk about money with someone they don’t know, but it’s better to get this out in the open from the start so that you can be realistic about how much redecorating you can do and when. Perhaps you’ll want to work in phases with the living room being phase one, and, in time, the kitchen being phase two. A good consultant will know how to prioritize both your needs and your bank account.
- Ask them, “How do you structure your interior design projects?”
How a designer structures their projects will give you an indication of their time management skills. Show them a Pinterest board you’ve created and ask them to walk through their process with you. This will help determine if you like how they handle project planning and give you a sense of their communication style.
A good consultant will know how to prioritize both your needs and your bank account.
- Ask them, “Have you done similar projects?”
If you’re wanting to redo the tiny cottage you list on Air BnB, be sure the consultant you choose has experience working with rental properties and small spaces. They’ll know how to make the most out of little square footage and be aware of any city ordinances that could be cause for concern should you need to hire contractors/builders for any part of the project.
- Ask them, “How green are you?”
Are you someone who cares deeply about the environment? Be sure that your consultant does, too. Though many industries that affect a home redesign have moved to a more ethical way of doing business (manufacturing, building, etc.), you’ll still want someone who is ensuring that the products used in your home are low-impact, high-quality, and cost-effective.
- Ask them, “May I see your references?”
You may really hit it off with whomever you meet with, but remember, you’ll want to know that others who felt the same way ended up having a pleasant experience with them and were happy with the end result. Any interior consultant with a design portfolio has a list of references they are willing to share, so be sure to ask for names and contact information.
Are you someone who cares deeply about the environment? Be sure that your consultant does, too.
- Ask them, “Do you have a favorite trend?”
This last question is a handy weight to gauge their current and future aesthetic. Do their current favorites align with yours, or are they too trendy? If you tend to like a more traditional and functional style, this might give you insight into what you can expect if you’re looking for a long-term consultant relationship.
What it really comes down to in the end is trusting your gut. Is this someone you want in your house? Because, depending on the scope of your project, you can expect this person to become a close member of your inner circle for a significant time. Make sure it’s someone you like, respect, admire, and trust. After all, you wouldn’t invite just anyone into your home.