Questions you should ask your interior designer

If you are considering hiring an interior designer to do work for you on your property, whether it is a commercial venture or a family home, you want to make sure that you will be getting what you want from the experience, and that above all you can work happily with the person that you choose.

Being thoroughly clued up on how your potential designer works to see if they are a good fit for you and your project, and ironing out any worries or concerns before work commences is best, and that can be aided by asking the right questions before you begin.

Are you going to make me have YOUR designer home or mine?
Look at the designer’s previous portfolio and see if they do the same thing in each of the properties that they have worked on, or if they have variety and different styles or looks. You may prefer to stick with a designer who just does one sort of styling every time, as that is what you are after, or it may be a hindrance if you want something truly bespoke to you.

I have a new build home but want to use my old furniture, can you do that?
If you choose a designer to work on a new property that you are moving to, you will have to be clear exactly what you will want to be incorporated in the new interior design plan.  Your designer would require pictures and dimensions to be able to work it into the new scheme.

I’ve got a lot of ‘stuff’ that I still want to keep, mainly objects, can you accommodate it all into the design?
At the end of the day, the property is yours, and if you are going to live in it, you will want to surround yourself with all of the important and sentimental objects that you have collected during your life.  They should be able to work with you to find the best way to show off your items to the best.  If you don’t agree on how you see your home looking, then maybe they are not the designer for you.

I’m looking for something a bit different, quite wild, are you happy with that?
Your interior designer will work to the brief that you set them, that is their job.  They are going to try and interpret your dreams into a practical application in the form of colours, furniture, decorative objects and so on.

Can you source unusual pieces?
A good designer will be able to utilise knowledge, experience and contacts to find you the kind of artwork or accessories that you are hoping for.  Depending on what you are looking for, designers can arrange for companies to lend you an item to try it out, especially if it is expensive!

Can you make my home family friendly?
Yes, you can still live in a stylish home that is full of character and individuality whilst being practical.  Your designer should be able to suggest the best materials to work in your home that are hardwearing and childproof.

Do you get involved in the lighting?
A lighting designer is often utilised alongside an interior designer.  A good interior designer will have a decent understanding of lighting layouts and how to highlight areas of a room to their full potential.  If you have a new build or a listed property you should consult a lighting designer for more specific advice.

Are the architectural finishes something that you are involved with?
Architects and interior designers generally work together as an architect will have a vision for their building and the designer will help to bring that about.  Choosing the correct finishes to work within a property is a crucial part of the integrity of the building.

Do you get involved in the garden landscaping?
With ‘outsides coming inside’ in many design schemes, there will be need for a landscape gardener and interior designer to discuss and share ideas and ensure that they work together harmoniously.

Will you design other buildings?
Design projects often incorporate a number of different areas, including outbuildings or office spaces.  This should always be discussed from the beginning to ensure that everyone is decided on what the job entails so that there are no shock fees later on.