Ask These 6 Questions Before Hiring an Interior Decorator

By Clair Jones

interior-designer-help Whether you’re tackling a small apartment or an oversized estate, making your home’s interior design look Pinterest-worthy is not as easy as it looks. Could an interior designer solve your problems, or will you end up paying too much for furniture that doesn’t fit your style? Before you start designing your new place or booking an appointment with an interior designer, ask yourself these six questions:

1. How Much Furniture and Decor Do I Already Have?

If you already have furniture and decor, an interior designer may not be helpful, as he or she will have to work with what you have. There are only so many ways you can position a couch in a room, after all. If your new place is a blank canvas and you have only minimal furniture, an interior designer can help you identify your personal style and ensure your furniture and decor flow nicely from one room to the next. interior-design-room Photo by burrs&berries/Flickr

2. How Large Is My Space?

While there is an art to decorating a small apartment, it may not be cost-efficient to hire an interior designer. Interior designers frequently charge by the hour, and they may require a minimum number of hours. You may need only two hours of work for your apartment, but if there is a five-hour minimum, you’ll end up paying for more than you need. If you are moving from a small apartment to a large home, an interior designer can help you fill the extra space you now have and find new furniture that works with what you already have.

3. What’s My Budget?

When considering your home design needs, establish a budget. On average, an interior designer costs between $50 and $500 per hour, depending on their experience. If your total budget is under $500, it will be difficult to purchase home furnishings and pay the designer’s bill, too. If you have a large budget and need to purchase a significant amount of furniture, an interior designer can help you find the right pieces and stay within your budget. interior-design-laundry Photo by Maegan Tintari/Flickr

4. How Specific Is My Taste?

If you prefer unique homegoods and imported pieces that aren’t easily found at local stores, an interior designer can save you time and money. Designers have access to connections, resources, and merchandise not readily available to the general public. If specialty pieces aren’t as important to you, you may be better off doing the shopping for yourself.

5. How Much Time Do I Have?

Are you looking to immediately move into your new place, or are you willing to slow down the process? While the interior designer will take some tasks off your plate, you still need to provide input and check on the progress. To ensure you like the decor and to avoid any surprises, dedicate time on your calendar to work closely with the designer. Furthermore, an interior designer will require more than a weekend of work. He or she will research trends, shop for new items, and ask for your feedback. If you hire an interior designer, don’t expect to settle into your new home with all of your furniture within a week. interior-design-living-room Photo by Maegan Tintari/Flickr

6. What Are My Other Resources?

Do you have a friend whose design taste you admire? Are you willing to dedicate time to Pinterest? If you don’t mind searching the Internet for DIY interior design tips or asking a stylish friend for help, you can find a happy medium between blindly decorating your home yourself and spending the money on an interior designer. Have you worked with an interior designer before or tackled the task yourself? Tell us about your interior design experiences in the comments.