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Questions to Ask an Interior Designer in Your First Meeting


Hiring an interior designer can be an exciting step towards realizing your project. Before you dive into the design process, you should have a clear understanding of your interior designer’s approach and expertise to ensure it aligns with the services you need and the aesthetic you want. We’ve gathered some questions we recommend asking to make sure an interior designer is right for you.

Fifth Avenue Pied-a-Terre - Pembrooke & Ives Modern living room with round grey sofas and navy...
Fifth Avenue Pied-a-Terre, Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

What is your design philosophy?

Understanding your designer’s philosophy is essential to knowing if their style and approach align with your vision. Ask the interior designer about their aesthetic, how they approach the design process, and what their main influences are.


What is your experience in the industry?

It’s important to know how long your designer has been in the industry and what types of projects they have worked on. Ask about their experience, qualifications, capabilities, and areas of expertise.

Historic West Palm Beach - Luxury hallway with arched doorways, floor to ceiling windows, and statement...
Historic West Palm Beach, Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

Can I see examples of your work?

Check their website before your meeting and also ask to see their portfolio. This will give you an idea of their design style and quality of work. If possible, ask to see projects that are similar in style and scope to your own.


How do you charge for your services?

Interior designers may charge for their services through an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a percentage of the total project cost. Ask your designer how they charge for their services and what is included in their fees.

Lost Tree Way - Modern kitchen in Palm Beach, FL home with stainless steel and white tones. Interior...
Lost Tree Way, Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

What is your design process?

Ask your designer about their process for designing a project and the deliverables for each phase of work. Knowing what to expect and when key decisions need to be made can help you prepare for the design process and ensure that you and your designer are on the same page.

Red Mountain - Dining room of mountain vacation home with organic-shaped black chandelier and rounded...
Red Mountain, Photography by JC Buck

How do you handle project management?

Ask your designer how they manage projects. Understanding the team’s structure and process can help ensure that your project stays on schedule and within budget.


What is the timeline for my project?

Ask your designer about the estimated timeline for your project. Though it may depend on the scope of work, availability of materials, and other factors, having a sense of the estimated timeline can help you plan accordingly and ensure a schedule is being adhered to.

Southampton Estate - Pembrooke & Ives - White and neutral modern bathroom with stone tub and vanity....
Southampton Estate, Photography by Read McKendree

What is the budget for my project?

A designer typically will prompt this discussion so they can set expectations from the beginning. After describing your vision, ask your designer about the estimated cost and how they will be managing your budget. This can help prevent any surprises or unexpected expenses during the project.


How do you communicate with clients?

Ask your designer how they communicate with clients and what type of communication you can expect throughout the project. This may include regular virtual or in-person meetings, email updates, or phone calls. Knowing how and when you can expect to hear from your designer can help ensure a smooth and successful project.

Leonard Street - Modern bedroom in Tribeca, NY home with grey accent wall, glass and brass lighting....
Leonard Street, Photography by Genevieve Garruppo

Asking these questions during your first meeting with an interior designer can help you better understand their approach and expertise, and ensure that you are both on the same page throughout the design process.


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