Starting any interior design project is exciting.
You are looking at Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube to decide what your home should look like.
You are also frantically, doing Google searches and asking around for interior designers and firms to carry out the design.
However, individuals and families need to understand that a successful interior design project is dependent on finding the right designers!
If you do not get designers that are suited to your personality, share your vision, or believe in inflating budgets, you are looking at problems.
One of the ways you can make sure that you have the right designers on board is by asking them a set of questions. These questions should be addressed right at the beginning of the selection process.
According to experts, this can help offer a ton of clarity on whether the designer will be the right fit for your project.
In this article, we are going to help homeowners select the best interior designers for their upcoming projects. Specifically, we are going to list down ten questions that should be asked before signing on to a designer or a firm.
List of 10 Questions to Ask an Interior Design Firm Before you Sign Them On
- Question 1: What are the Design Services that are offered by the firm or designer?
We all know how there are so many different variations of what interior design can be.
Someone might just look at replacing their furniture, while others might be more interested in creating a new and separate space right from scratch. This means that you might want a firm that has experience of home renovation as well.
This is why you need to start off by asking what kind of services are offered. Align the same with what you are looking for.
- Question 2: What are your usual charges and will my budget fit in your scheme of things?
A major problem that home owners experience in any interior design project is inflated budgets.
You need to make sure that the interior designer or firm is able to execute your project within your budgetary limits. This is why having a clarity on the fees and charges of the design firm becomes essential.
If you are not able to lock this down, there is no point having any further discussions. You do not want to be going overbudget at any cost.
- Question 3: Where do you seek design inspiration from and how would you define your style?
Designers are creative artists that always have a certain muse. The muse can be nature, or science or anything else that helps them come up with the design.
You do not want answers like, ‘I go with what is trending’ or that ‘Renaissance Art Deco is what I prefer’. You want an interior design firm that is broad in its design language.
According to leading atlanta interior designers, brilliance in design stems from what the customer wants and needs.
- Question 4: How are you going to present the design options, varieties, and proposals?
You can say a lot about the quality and credibility of a firm by how they present their designs. The best designers use technologically sophisticated 3D modeling to create realistic interpretations.
Some designers also use old-school PPTs to showcase their design proposals.
Depending on whether the designer is showing you drawings, mood boards, or 3D models, you can gain a fair idea about how good and professional they are.
- Question 5: What kind of experience do they have (number of years in the field)?
One of the foremost ways to understand the capabilities of an interior design firm is by looking at their experience.
While experience might not be the best parameter to judge someone’s creativity, it can shed light on determining how professional they are. Experienced designers have in place proper processes, procedures, and protocols for formulating and executing work.
Experience also allows them to troubleshoot problems as soon as they emerge in the best manner.
- Question 6: Do they take client inputs during the design formulation and execution stage?
You might be surprised but a majority of interior designers do not take any client inputs! They think that taking client inputs would derail the project and lead to time and cost overheads.
You do not want to be working with a design firm that has a strict policy like that. At the end of the day, it is not the designer that would be staying in the house or paying for the design.
If you are doing it, you have every right to be heard and your opinions accommodated by the designer.
- Question 7: Can you show some references from past work that can highlight your abilities?
You do not want to be going with a designer or a firm that does not want to share with you their past work credentials.
The best designers are more than happy to share client references with their prospects. They know that this can help them build credibility and make influence the decision of the clients positively.
Ask specifically for projects that had been executed by them in the past. This will help you get a good idea about their expertise.
- Question 8: What happens if you do not like the final design and want changes?
You can never rule out this possibility. No matter how careful you are, there are major and minor changes that can take place from the presentation to the execution part.
Most designers work constructively to accommodate client requests that are rational and logical. This does not mean major overhauls.
It includes certain slight changes that do not offset the budgets or time in a major fashion. If the client and firm are not in agreement, both need to take positive steps.
- Question 9: Do the design firm and designer follow a timeline of a detailed schedule?
If there is one thing homeowners worry about during their interior design project, it is the timeline!
They know that this is something that is not respected. If a firm or designer is not following a detailed timeline or schedule, it can create a lot of worries for the family or inhabitants of the house.
Make sure that the work is proceeding according to a pre-determined and agreed-upon schedule. Ask the firm for specific handover dates so that you do not have any problems.
- Question 10: Who is going to be assigned to my design project and what is their experience?
In most instances, a design firm will allocate a lead designer and an assistant to oversee the project.
You need to get this in writing because firms are notorious for reassigning their best designers to projects that pay more. You do not want to end up at the mercy of workers. This is why you need to put this question across to the firm.
You can also do your background research to find out more about the designer that is being attached to your project.
The Final Word
As you can see from the list of questions, we have tried to cover all major problems on design. Asking these questions during the interview stage will help you get a lot of ideas. This will be able to help you determine whether you are going ahead with the right firm or designer. If you have any more clarifications that need to be answered, let us know in the comments below. We will be more than happy to assist you in your journey to choosing the best interior design firm.