We are looking for an interior designer and would like some advice on what we need to look for.

There are a number of criteria to consider in hiring an interior designer. Before selecting one, it is a good idea to interview a few. You will first want to set up an appointment to meet. It is usually a good idea to have the designer meet you at your home to get an understanding of what the project is about, or in the case of building a new home, to see how you are now living.

You will want to ask what professional memberships the designer has: ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and/or IIDA (International Society of Interior Designers). Membership in these organizations assures a high degree of professionalism.

Ask the designer to show you their portfolio of completed work. This will give you a good indication of the approach the designer has to a project. Don’t expect to see the exact photo of what you are envisioning for your home. Remember, that all the homes were designed to meet the tastes and needs of a specific client. Each client and each home is unique. A truly talented designer is able to facilitate many different styles to meet each client’s requirements.

It is important for you to explain what your expectations are from the designer and from the project. You will want to ask the designer to give you some feed back about the design process and the work involved. How long will the project take? What services will the designer be providing? How does the designer charge for the services? The designer should provide you with a clearly written contract. This agreement will outline the services the designer will be providing, the fees to be paid, and an explanation of what both client and designer should expect from their working relationship.

Look for someone you feel comfortable with. You will be working closely for the term of the project. You need someone that listens to you, someone you feel confident in and can trust, and is committed to providing excellent service. The role of the interior designer is much greater than to create a beautiful interior. Today’s interior designer should be very knowledgeable about all aspects of a project and is essential to it’s success.