What your Interior Designer MUST ask you
You have finally decided to redecorate. You know you are not that great with colors, fabrics, and all of that decorating stuff. So, you have admitted to yourself you need help and have hired an interior designer. Are you worried that they are going to change your home into a big pink fluffy mess? Don’t just sit aside and let your interior designer make all the decisions. We are here to show you how to tell apart from a mediocre decorator from one that will fit your needs!
Interior designers are like therapists. You have to tell them personal things about yourself and invite them to your favorite niches at home. Don’t worry though, you won’t end up laying on a couch answering “how does that make you feel” questions, but you will answer questions like, what are your personal needs, likes and dislikes, how do you move around in your home, etc.
Our team has come up with 12 questions that ANY designer should always discuss with you. If you notice they are not trying to get to know your preferences, throw them out and move on to the next one on your list before a train wreck hits. However, if it is your neighbor’s friend from down the street who you decided to try out and can’t banish, then it is your responsibility to get this vital information out to them. However, you should interview a couple of interior designers before hiring one to get a feel which one would be the right fit for you. During this interview process, keep in mind to set the tone as “what can you do for me” and not the other way around, because remember you are the priority. Look for the questions they ask you and see If they match up with ours, to find a winner on your list!
1. What do you love about this room?
In worse case scenarios, the stereotype holds true that a designer will walk into your home and shake their head and declares, “Everything must go!” If that happens, walk them to your door. Luckily, most designers do not have that attitude and begin with learning about what you want and not impose their tastes on you.
For example, you are sitting in your living room sipping tea, and your designer asks the million-dollar question, you will say that you love the grand piano near your stairway. Awesome! This is a focal point and a great place to start. The rest of the room will compliment that one piece. This could be with black doors and a white sofa.
2. What do you hate about this room?
It I important to let your designer know what you want to change about your room and what you are willing to get rid of. This will help knowing what to replace. This all comes to personal taste because one might say they hate the grand piano, so they will redecorate the entire room. It is your house, so your likes and dislikes are what matter. They should not try to change your mind either.
3. What colors do you love?
For example, we are still in your living room sipping tea, and you want to be surrounded with walls of neutral colors and a touch of a bright color.
4. What colors do you hate?
Do you want your living room walls to be a bright neon pink with glitter on them? Probably not, be sure to go through the rainbow and pick out colors you cannot stand.
5. Do you have something or want something to be your color inspiration?
This question really gives direction to the design process. Your color inspiration could be furniture, fabric, dishes, vases, etc.
6. Do you have a look or style you want to create?
Believe it or not but you can make your home your own spa and set a relaxation mood. This is perfect for someone who has a high stress job. It is also okay to not know what you want. If this is the case, make two piles of your do’s and don’ts. Look through photos online and pick rooms you would love for your home and ones you absolutely hate. Show these to your designers so they get a better understanding of what you are looking for.
7. How do you use this room?
For example, let’s say we are now in your bedroom and you would obviously think this room is for sleeping. However, you also enjoy watching TV in bed. So, furniture placement, technology and free space all need to be considered. If you are redoing your living room, will it be used only during the holidays, entertain guests, or used daily for watching TV? Which brings us to our next question.
8. How important is your TV watching chair?
This may seem odd to have in our top 12 but this has actually become very important in the design of a room. A majority of people are attached to their special chair in the living room and will not let it go. If this is not important to you, then it won’t be an issue.
9. Are there any special needs that should be considered?
This can be for if an elderly person needs a firmer chair, or accommodating wheelchair accessibility, or even allergy issues.
10. Do you want to accomplish this all at once or in phases?
This design process can be very expensive so you might want to do step-by-step phases so you do not pay for everything at once. Your designer will let you know what furniture pieces to get first and which ones are crucial to have in the beginning than to that one candle that could wait towards the end of the process.
11. What’s your budget?
Don’t be shy and just tell your designer. This should be established in the beginning or you might be very upset at the end when your bill comes through. To avoid that, set your budget. This brings us to our very last question, where it is your turn to ask a question.
12. Is this a realistic budget to accomplish my vision?
A good designer will be honest with you. You might be disappointed by what you hear but this is much better than ending up with a bank breaking surprise at the end. If your dreams and budget don’t match, often your designer will offer suggestions to get started on your project.
An interior designer will help you get the result you are looking for, no matter how big or small the project may be. But make sure your designer is asking you the right questions, if they are then you have found a match!