How to Choose the Right Interior Designer

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer

Choosing an interior designer is a leap of faith. You are trusting another person with the look and feel of your home. It’s no wonder that searching for the right interior designer can feel overwhelming. How do you find the best design professional to transform your space?

We want you to feel inspired in your home, so we curated a list of topics to consider when making the first—and most important—decision of your interior design project.

What is the Difference Between Interior Designers and Interior Decorators?


An interior decorator focuses solely on the appearance of a fully built space. If you are not making any structural changes but want to update colors, furnishings, and accessories, an interior decorator can help.

An interior designer possesses technical and structural skills in addition to aesthetic and design expertise. He or she will collaborate with your contractor or architect to facilitate changes to the structure and appearance of your home.

If you are contemplating structural changes to a room, renovating an office, or building a new home, you need the knowledge and talents of an interior designer.

For renovations focusing solely on surface updates, interior designers possess specialized training to assist with space planning and decor. Some states have regulations that require interior designers to pass an examination and register before providing professional services. Designers often also belong to national industry organizations.

How to Choose the Right Designer


When making substantial changes to the appearance of your home, you need more than a good interior designer – you need the right professional to realize your vision.

Ask yourself the following crucial questions when choosing an interior designer to make the best choice for your project.

How Do You Define Your Style?


Do you prefer spaces with rustic air or a sleek industrial design? Do you take comfort in a traditional environment, or do you gravitate towards modern or minimalistic rooms?

Most talented interior designers have experience with a variety of styles, but it helps to choose one whose signature aesthetic aligns with your own. Shared style preferences bring a smoother flow to the design process — your interior designer will be more likely to have insights into the best fabrics, products, and resources for your project.

If you don’t have the vocabulary to articulate your vision, let images speak for you. Make a file of the looks you like. Scour magazines or the internet for new ideas. Save pictures from Pinterest and Instagram of colors, furniture, and material that speak to your sense of style. Your interior designers will use these photos to inform their creative process when assembling an aesthetic for your home.

You should also consider your own approach to creativity and the design process. Are you willing to keep an open mind and consider the designer’s suggestion, or are looking to hire a designer to execute a precise look? Do you aspire to emulate the latest design trends, or do you lean toward more traditional decor?

What Is the Scope of Your Job?


The size of your project may impact your designer selection as well. Whether you plan to renovate one room, multiple rooms, or your entire home, you need a professional who is equipped to handle the scope of work.

If you have a small project, you may enjoy a one-on-one relationship with your design professional. For a more significant refresh, you would likely benefit from a larger design firm with one point of contact to handle project management.

What Is Your Project Budget?


Most homeowners need to balance their design aspirations with their budget.

An awareness of your budget will save you from disappointment and protect your designer from frustration.

If your only concerns are high-quality, long-lasting upgrades, you and your designer will have nearly unlimited options for products and materials.

If you have some flexibility budget-wise, you can work with your designer to make strategic choices about where to compromise and save.

With some creativity, you can even get great results on a tight budget by upcycling existing furniture pieces and shopping for unique items at a reasonable cost.

What is important is that you and your designer are on the same page regarding financials from the start. Discuss specifics such as hourly rate, expense reimbursement, and payment structures early in your relationship. While it is not as much fun as choosing colors and furniture, it is key to a quality professional relationship.

What is Your Timeline for Interior Design?


You may have an idea for a change to your home but are in no particular hurry. On the other hand, you may want to spruce up your house for a significant life event.

When choosing an interior designer, make sure your timeframe and the designer’s availability are in synch. Some professionals create small projects within larger ones to manage expectations.

The one thing you do not want to do is force a designer to rush a job. You may not be happy with the results, which is not good for you or the designer.

Are You Hands On or Hands Off?


There is no right or wrong way to collaborate, however, it is important to initiate a conversation with your designer about their management style and their preferred way to work with clients.

Professional design is a skill, but the project in question is your home. Designers are accustomed to working with a variety of clients with different levels of participation.

Some clients embrace the design process and make specific decisions at each stage of the project, while others step back once they approve an overall design.

Whatever your personality as a client, it’s important that you find an interior designer who is a good fit for your collaborative style, or else you may struggle to work together.

Ready to Choose the Right Interior Designer?


Having put a great deal of thought into your project and searched online for potential designers, you are likely to have narrowed your list to a few favorites.

Before making a final decision, be sure to check the designer’s bona fides with local professional organizations. Also, ask the potential designers to provide you with representative images of past work and testimonials from clients. You may even be able to tour a home he or she has worked on for a first-hand view of their craft.

Contact DHD


DHD provides extensive architectural and interior design services to suit your taste. Please contact us at 914-744-7720 or david@dhd.nyc.

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