How to hire a professional interior designer

Have you ever walked into a room and immediately felt impressed with the design, without knowing why?  Does scrolling through beautiful images on Houzz inspire you?  Do you often wish you could make your home look more like a finished HGTV special?  Knowing how, and when, to use professional interior design services can be a challenge for most home owners.  This post will give you some valuable suggestions.

Don’t wait until the end

Because so many construction projects involve complex design and planning work; the specifics around the interior of the space are often pushed to the end.  This can create conflicts between the structural and aesthetic decisions and can lead to costly change orders, or accepting an unintentional sacrifice.  Involve a professional interior designer as early in the process as possible.  Expose them to the general approach to the design and layout of the space, and seek ideas and suggestions that may impact interior looks.

All interior designers are not the same

The term “interior designer” can be used by virtually anyone.  Don’t base your choice of a designer solely on the recommendation of a builder, architect or contractor.  Do your research.  Are they a member of their professional organization?  Do they have an advanced degree in design?  How do they manage relationships with product and material suppliers, architects, and builders.  A good interior designer is a helpful guide through a complex process, and is capable of working in constantly changing environments.

Is their approach to design consistent with your vision

Different designers create in different ways.  Review their past projects to understand their styles and preferences.  However, I wouldn’t lose sleep over this one.  Look at their past work:  Do they create lovely things?  Do they describe past projects in terms of responding to their client?  Have they created settings in multiple different styles?  As with architects, a good interior designer understands scale, proportion, materials, and color.    

Can they work within your budget

Most experienced designers quote rates between $90 and $125 an hour.  Many also earn revenues through markups on products they procure.  Make sure you understand how an interior designer is quoting a project, and you have a clear understanding of the scope of services.  You should also explore the way changes to the scope may be handled.  The interior designer should be a good business person, as well as a good designer.

Deciding how, when, and maintaining consistent vision during a construction project can all be accomplished seamlessly when you a hire a firm with both architecture and interior design practices.  While truly separate disciplines, here at Springhouse Architects we work together throughout the entire project to ensure your project culminates in the very best design for you and your family.  

Using is a great starting point for collecting ideas.  Check out our Houzz profile  here:

Todd Reding