How to plan the first meeting with your Interior Designer
Planning to renovate or build your space is always an exciting venture. Getting ready to interview an Interior Designer would make anyone feel like they are just a few steps away from achieving their dream home.
It also brings in the jitters along with the excitement. You prepare yourself to discuss everything from how you want the space to feel down to the detailed requirements of the furniture and accessories.
It is prudent to get to know the designer pretty well before you hire them to do the job. It will help you in the long term throughout the renovation process. That is why it is crucial to know what questions to ask your interior designer in the first meeting itself.
However, if you feel unsure about how to break the ice with the designer, you need not worry. We realize that for many of you it feels like stepping into uncharted waters.
To help you out with that, we have come up with some pointers that you can talk about when you meet the designer for the first time. Let’s have a look at them:
Things To Consider Before Meeting An Interior Designer
Before going for any meeting, you need to have a concrete idea about what you like and don’t like. Having a clear idea of do’s and don’ts makes it easier for both parties to determine the design styles that work for you and the styles that don’t.
Here is how you can determine your likes and dislikes when it comes to designing:
- Research, Study, And Make Notes:
Have a look through Interior Design Magazines. Browse through their collection of designing ideas. Make note of which ones you find pleasant and which ones do nothing for you. There are online publications available as well for you to check out.
Browse through the internet for trendy interior design ideas. Most Interior Designers upload their best works online. Be it social media channels or their own business websites. Check them out to determine which designer’s style speaks to you more.
- Locate Prospective Designers: To find Interior Designers near you, you can Google “Interior Designer near you”. You will find websites of Interior Designers situated in your locality in the search results. Take a good look at these websites and portfolios. Fix a meeting with the designer that suits you.
- Sought Inspiration: Make a trip to any Art Gallery, Antique shop or even a Fashion Boutique to get inspired.
- Be Prepared: Most Interior Designing firms offer a consultation (oftentimes free of cost) over the phone, via email, or even in-person. Usually, there are questions interior designers ask clients to help them determine whether their services align with what is needed by the client. You might be asked to fill a questionnaire prior to an in-person meeting.
Conducting The Interview
Once the meeting is fixed, you make a list of questions for interior designers that you want to and should ask when you meet. Let’s have a look at these questions:
Question 1: Describe Your Designing Style.
The first and foremost one to ask the designer is to describe their designing style in detail. What steps do they undertake to achieve it? By asking this question, you are testing the ability of the designer to describe their vision. The answer to the question also helps you determine whether their vision aligns with your own vision of home design or not.
Question 2: Ask About The Designing Services Offered.
This is crucial to determine whether the firm you are interviewing excels in the services they offer or not (especially the service you want). Do they have the specialization? You also get to know how the firm sees itself.
Question 3: How Would You Manage Within My Budget?
Imagine you are already halfway into the designing process and you find yourself running out of money. That is why the discussion about the budget must be done in the very beginning itself. It helps save time, effort as well as money. However, determining a budget is not an easy task either. It requires careful planning and observation.
To get a general idea of how to determine your budget you can interview multiple Interior designers and get a baseline for what it should be.
Question 4: What Are Your Service Charges?
On top of the budget, you will also be paying the designing fees that involves the cost of the design team who is managing your project. Besides that, there will be taxes, tariffs, retainer charges, shipping charges, and any updates on the material costs. The servicing cost may vary depending on the firm. All these costs need to be reviewed in the initial meeting.
Question 5: What Is Your Mode Of Presenting Your Concepts And Ideas?
The designers have their own modes of presenting their design concepts. Some use drawings, some have mood boards, and some make use of interactive digital presentations. You can determine which of them present their ideas clearly which are easy to comprehend and visualize.
This process is a great way to keep the lines of communication open between the designer and the client.
Question 6: Who Will be Assigned with The Project? And, If The Project Goes To A Design Team, How Will Be The Selection Process Conducted?
Interviewing a designer of a particular firm doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she will be the same person who will be assigned your project. A firm is equipped with several professional and experienced designers specializing in different Interior Designing Fields. A firm is liable to assign the project to anyone one of them or a team of designers depending on the requirements of the project concerned.
You need to make sure that the assigned designer or the team has the necessary credentials as well as the background to handle your project. In the case of a team, it is imperative that each one of them understand your communication and design style. It is necessary because you will be involved in a long-term work commitment.
Question 7: What If I Dislike The Design Presented By You?
The very first design presentation can go wrong in many ways. But do not get discouraged by it. Talk to the designer and explain what you did not like about the presentation. The subsequent presentations are more than likely to go as expected, if not better.
Design is versatile and dynamic. It keeps evolving and so does your personal style. Hence, it takes time to curate a design that is just perfect for you. You need to stay open-minded to understand the designer’s perspective in designing. Be prepared for some design risks you may undertake and be honest with your opinions.
Question 8: Have You Worked On A Similar Project In The Past? Can You Show Me The Finished Product?
This helps you find out the testimonials on their previous projects. You can also find them on their websites. But by asking for those in person, you can ask more questions to get the “behind the scene” stories and gauge their reactions. Testimonials help you determine whether the designer has had a positive impact when it comes to designing or not. It also helps determine whether the clients find the designer easy to work with or not.
Oftentimes, the clients request not to share the pictures of their homes online or on any social media. You will only get to know about them from the designer in-person. You may also get the opportunity to have a look at the projects that the designer has not shared online for one reason or the other.
Question 9: What Is Your Usual Client Base?
What type of clients does the firm generally handle? Every firm or designer has their own ideal client that they prefer to work with. Get an idea of what kind of project they prefer handling.
Out there, you will find designers that have mastered a singular designing style and others that take inspiration from the clients. If you are the one who knows what you want, go with the former. However, It is always recommended to step out of the comfort zone and work with a designer who works in a variety of aesthetics.
If you are not satisfied with the answers provided by the designer, it is better to move on and look for other options. Communication is essential for establishing a good designer-client relationship because hiring an interior designer is a long-term work commitment.
The designer whose style suits your individual style is out there somewhere. We welcome you to visit us at WallsToHome Interiors and get in touch with our design team if you have any questions about designing. We love to discuss homes!