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Starting an interior design project is an exciting time, but the process of hiring an interior designer can be overwhelming. With so many choices out there, where do you begin? Knowing what to ask in...

Living Room Designed by the Laura U Design Collective

Starting an interior design project is an exciting time, but the process of hiring an interior designer can be overwhelming. With so many choices out there, where do you begin? Knowing what to ask in that very first meeting is crucial. After all, you're establishing a long-term relationship with the people who will be creating your dream home.

What to Do Before Hiring an Interior Designer

Before meeting with anyone, it's important to have a clear idea of your likes and dislikes. This will help both you and the interior designer to understand your preferences and eliminate concepts that won't work for you. You can start the conversation by:

  • Browsing interior design magazines like Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Galerie Magazine, and Veranda.
  • Searching for interior design ideas on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Googling "interior designer in [your area]" to find local designers and media coverage of the best design in your area.
  • Visiting art galleries, antique shops, or fashion boutiques, where you can find inspiration and see the designer's ability to translate your vision.

Before your meeting, take the time to look at the designer's website and social media profiles. By doing so, you'll be able to get a good sense of their style before meeting with them in person.

What to ask a designer in your first meeting

The Interview Process Begins…

There are interior designers who specialize in a singular style, while others draw inspiration from their clients. It's important to choose a designer whose style matches your vision. However, it's also worth considering a designer who practices in a variety of aesthetics, as they may be able to stretch your comfort zone and bring new ideas to the table. Connect with firms whose portfolios align with your taste. Most firms offer consultations via phone, email, or in-person. At Laura U Design Collective, we have a client questionnaire that we prefer to complete prior to an in-person meeting. This helps us determine if our services align with your needs. If we aren't the right fit, we're more than happy to refer you to a colleague who is. Now, let's dive into the 8 essential questions you should ask when hiring an interior designer.

1. How would you describe your design style?

When hiring an interior designer, it's crucial to understand their design style and how well it aligns with yours. Some designers specialize in one particular style, while others draw inspiration from their clients' preferences. At Laura U Design Collective, we find inspiration from our clients and what they enjoy. It's important to interview a variety of designers and ask to see their portfolios, especially if you have a specific style in mind.

2. What design services do you offer?

It's important to know what design services the firm offers and if they align with your project needs. Some firms specialize in specific services, while others have a more comprehensive approach. At Laura U Design Collective, we address design at every stage, from architectural planning to the final touches of decor. We offer services such as space planning, interior architecture, custom furnishings, fine art advisory, and more. It's important to consider all the services you would like to have in order to make your home feel complete and to listen to the design professional's suggestions.

Average costs of a designer graphic

3. How much do you charge and can you work with my budget?

Budget is an important aspect to discuss at the beginning of the design process. It's essential to find a designer who can work within your budget. It's helpful to interview different designers to get a sense of what your project should cost. At Laura U Design Collective, we focus on large-scale luxury home projects, and our pricing varies based on the client's preferences and the scope of the project. It's crucial to have an open and honest discussion about budget to ensure that both parties are aligned.

4. How will you present your design concept and ideas?

Designers use various methods to present their design concepts and ideas, such as drawings, mood boards, or interactive digital presentations. It's important to ask the designer about their process and how they will communicate their ideas to you. At Laura U Design Collective, we have a signature process that includes discovery, inspiration, design, procurement, installation, and the big reveal. We also utilize platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to share inspiration photos and maintain open lines of communication with our clients.

How to source for inspiration before design meeting graphic

5. Who will be working on my project and how are they selected?

It's important to know who will be working on your project and their backgrounds. Some designers work individually, while others have design teams. At Laura U Design Collective, we utilize design teams consisting of a Senior Interior Designer or Senior Project Designer, Lead or Associate Designer, and a Designer. Our designers work closely together to ensure that every aspect of the project is well-executed. Our founder and creative director also oversee every project, reviewing design concepts and attending walkthroughs. It's important to have a team that understands your design style and communication style.

6. What happens if I don't like the design?

Sometimes, the initial design presentation may not align with your expectations, and that's okay. It's important to communicate your thoughts and feelings with the designer. Design is an evolving process, and it takes time to curate an interior that is perfect for you. Stay open-minded, provide feedback, and be honest about how you're feeling. A good designer will go back to the drawing board and present a fresh design that better suits your vision.

7. Have you ever worked on a project like mine before? Do you have success stories?

When hiring an interior designer, it's important to know if they have experience working on projects similar to yours. Ask for testimonials and look at their portfolio to see their previous work. At Laura U Design Collective, we respect the privacy of our clients, so we may not be able to share their homes online or on social media. However, we do share their interiors with potential clients during design meetings. Positive testimonials and successful projects are indicators of a designer's expertise and the impact they can have on your design.

Always tie the portfolio back to the budget question graphic

8. What kinds of clients do you like to work with?

It's important to understand the type of clients the designer prefers to work with. Be honest about your expectations and vision. At Laura U Design Collective, we love working with clients who appreciate good design and are looking for a partner to manage all aspects of the design process. We specialize in entire homes, historic restorations, large-scale renovations, and new construction projects. It's important to find a designer whose ideal client aligns with your vision and needs.

Hiring an interior designer is an exciting and rewarding process, but it requires careful consideration. Communication is key, so don't hesitate to ask questions and express your preferences. If you have an interior design project, we would love to hear about it. Contact us via email, phone, or our client inquiry form. Let's create the home of your dreams together!