5 Considerations for Choosing the Right Interior Designer: Questions to Ask

If you’re ready to take your interior design to the next level, it may be time to hire a professional. However, not all designers will be able to see your vision the way you do. For the highest chance of success, it’s important you find the best fit for your project prior to getting started. These 7 questions will help you make your final choice from a place of ease and confidence. 
What is your design process?

What is your design process?

Each designer has their own techniques to achieve your goal. However, some prefer a more hands-off approach, while others will value your input every step of the way. Ensure you ask about your level of involvement so you can plan ahead. If you want to be part of the process, be sure to mention it. That way, both of your expectations will remain clear. 

Also, ask about how their design style influences their final projects and determine if it really suits your aesthetic and needs for the space.

What are your fees, and what do they include?

Get clear about your budget and the costs involved before you get too deep in the details. This will help you remain clear-headed in your design decisions. Not all interior designers will charge based on the same criteria. In addition to materials, you’ll likely be billed for labor and administration. 

On top of these costs, the designer may pay the structure of their personal rates per project, per hour, or per the project’s cost. Each will substantially change the final cost depending on the project style. Get an idea before you sign on the dotted line. 

Do you have any references?

It’s important to check the references provided to you, and if they aren’t offered, ensure you ask for them. Inquire about how the past customers were treated if they were satisfied with the work, and for any photos of the finished work if possible. Look at any reference images of their past work. Would you be satisfied with the finished project?

If you’re hiring a professional for a commercial space, also ask for business-specific project photos as well, so you can get a better idea of what to expect. 

How long have you been designing interiors, and how many projects have you completed?


In addition to the final outcome of their work, it’s best to ask about their schedule and how they manage their time. If you have a tight deadline and they have many clients, you might want to reconsider if they’ll be as involved as you’d like.

Are you licensed and insured, and do you have any accreditations or awards that stand out to you?

Accidents happen, especially in complex projects involving lots of renovation. Ask about the type of liability insurance they offer in case your property is damaged in the process. 

Afterward, you can lighten the conversation by giving the designer the opportunity to talk about their accomplishments. Have they won any awards or received any prestigious certifications that make them a stand-out candidate?

How familiar are you with building or remodeling codes?

Each state, city, county, and even neighborhood has its own unique building codes. To avoid any costly mishaps, ensure they are up-to-date on the remodeling codes in your area. 

Will you have to play an active role in guaranteeing the codes are being followed or will they be able to handle the necessary permits?

What kind of materials do you typically use in your designs and why do you prefer them over others?

Quality materials can be expensive, but they can also bring an elevated look and feel to any space. Find out what their preferences are so you can know what kind of quality and cost to expect.