You’ve decided that you want help with your next project, but have no idea how to evaluate who to hire. Maybe you’ve met with a few, and they all seem good, but how do you decide? Here’s how to pick an interior designer that’s right for you and your specific project.
Many interior designers have multiple skills, but before embarking on a big project with them, it’s important to know if their strongest skills are what you need. So, when people ask me how they should decide which interior designer to hire, I give them my absolute favorite law school answer: “Well, it depends.”
The best interior designer for you is the one that has in spades what you lack; someone who can help you in your weaker areas. And for that, the answer comes back to knowing yourself. What is it you are looking for help with?
To give you a starting point, here are four main types of interior designer skillsets that I have come across. Of course, many people could fall into more than one category, but these are the relative strengths of most designers. It’s crucial that you pinpoint what type of person would work best for you when hiring an interior designer.
The Four Types of Interior Designers
Do you need The Strong Creative?
This designer has really great ideas, and is pretty confident in the execution of these ideas. They have great taste and you can trust that the finished space will be interesting and stylish. However, if speed of completion, organization, and budget are the most important factors to you in a designer, then make sure that this creative type is also good with those skills or has a support team.
Do you need The Organizer?
Perhaps you are super creative yourself and have a great vision of your space, but are not so great with the budget or timing aspects. If this is the case, make sure you lean towards hiring someone who has strong organization, reliability, and follow-through skills.
Do you need The Executor?
If you know exactly what you want, but don’t have the time or interest to do any of the sourcing leg work, then you need to hire someone who truly understands your vision. Some designers are terrific at understanding what their clients want and can execute the ideas flawlessly. These designers are not going to substitute their judgment for yours; they are going to do everything they can to fulfill your vision.
Maybe you just need The Bouncer?
Some people have their own vision and are pretty good at sourcing furniture, materials, and lighting but need someone with design experience to lean on and ask questions. The role of the designer in this case might be more like a trusted friend who has expertise in space, scale, and materials. This person can help you when you are stuck or can teach you some rules of thumb to apply to the project.
Like most things, it comes down to knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and what is most important to you and your project. Once you know that, it will be easy to figure out how to pick an interior designer that’s right for you.