Finding the perfect interior designer isn’t that different from finding a life partner. While you’re not going to marry him, you will have to live with his design for quite a while! For better or for worse, you’ll wake up to the paint colors and furniture he picked, and if you don’t choose well you’ll wonder why you ever agreed to see him after the disastrous first date!
Megaworld at the Fort gives these tips on how to pick the right interior designer:
How much experience have you had with designing for condos?
You’d probably ask to see his portfolio, credentials, and client references, but don’t stop there. Ideally, the interior designer should have specific experience with condos. He’ll know how to maximize spaces and be familiar with the guidelines set by condominium associations. He may even have kept abreast with the latest condo decorating trends or even had clients whose needs were exactly like yours. For example, if you’re a young couple expecting a baby, he may have decorated a condo nursery and can help you childproof your unit.The interior designer should have specific experience with condos, knowing how to maximize spaces and be familiar with the guidelines set.
What kind of look do you envision for our lifestyle?
You don’t have to agree on a design right away, but throwing this question can give you an idea of his personal aesthetic and how he reacts to your questions and ideas. You’ll be brainstorming many times over the next few months, so if you feel awkward at the first meeting, imagine what it’ll be like when you start feeling the costs and time pressure!You don’t have to agree on a design right away, but throwing questions can give you an idea of your desinger’s personal aesthetic.
If you execute that look, how much do you think it would cost?
Elaine F. remembers how she knew her interior designer was “The One.” She had interviewed several experts who had given her outrageously high quotes. “When I asked them how they’d lower it, they looked…offended. The one I picked immediately gave ideas on how they’d achieve that design with the furniture we already had. He even suggested that we take a trip to some provincial outlet stores! I liked his ingenuity and his willingness to work with my budget.”
What’s your work style/process?
Ask him to tell you about his last condo project and the challenges he met along the way. You’ll be able to see how well you will click. Is he comfortable with clients who are very involved in the details, or would he rather do the legwork and present a narrowed list of options? Does he want to be true to his personal aesthetic, or does he get a creative rush from collaborating with clients who have strong ideas as well?
There’s nothing wrong with any of these work styles–the most important thing is that they coincide with what you expect from the design process. Do you want to roll up your sleeves and be part of the nitty-gritty or do you just want to focus on the concept and let go? Do you have an idea of what you want (complete with pegs and mood boards!) or are you hiring him because of his unique portfolio?
What’s your payment scheme?
Ask about his fees and payment structures. Of course, you’ll have to compare rates, but remember that more experienced and talented designers will charge higher–and they are worth it. A very good designer will know how to combine cheaper fixtures and paint colors to look elegant and modern, and may even have a bigger network of suppliers who can give you what you need at your price.
These are five questions you can use to interview interior designers. However, in the end, you need to trust your gut feeling. Did you enjoy the interview? Do you think you can believe in his choices? Do you communicate well–can you see yourself raising your concerns, knowing he will listen and respect your inputs?
Remember, you are the client, and this is your home. Megaworld understands this. We ourselves put a lot of thought into the design of our townships, working with the country’s best architects who drew inspiration from the world’s most exciting cities (McKinley West used touches of the French Riviera, while Forbes Town Center took the standards of Singapore) and implemented an intelligent, efficient design. We created the kind of community you wanted to live in, and your interior designer will create your personal space within it. Choose well, because we believe you deserve a home you can be proud of.
Remember, you are the client, and this is your home. Megaworld understands this.