Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring An Interior Designer

K Wohler Interiors |

Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring An Interior Designer

If you're looking to enhance or refresh your home interiors, relying on an interior designer to create your perfect space ensures beautiful, professional results that reflect your personal style. An interior designer will plan, research, coordinate, manage and delegate tasks to handle projects to execute your design vision. The right designer will translate your needs and wants into a beautiful, functional space to optimize happiness and productivity.

Depending on what your needs are, interior designers also offer conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, research, communicating with the stakeholders, construction management, and execution of the design.

Working with a professional designer will reduce the stress associated with designing your own home. You'll be able to stay focused on what's important to you, knowing that the finished product will match your personality through a carefully crafted aesthetic.

If you’re looking to have the insides of your house or office redesigned, here’s a list of the top five things to consider before selecting an interior designer.


1. Working with an interior designer on a home improvement project can be a time and money saver if you plan the collaboration carefully.

For all the expertise and creative ideas an interior designer can offer, there are two questions you should ask yourself before you begin. What do you want, and how much do you want to spend? Once you’ve figured those things out, you’ll be ready to begin the process of hiring a designer.


2. Designer vs. Decorator and finding the right one for you.

Firstly, you should understand the difference between the two to better understand which one you may need. Interior design and interior decorating are often mistaken for being the same thing, but the terms are not completely interchangeable.

While Interior designers can play the role of a decorator, decorators do not play a part in the design. Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training. The work involved usually includes studying color and fabric, computer-aided design (CAD) training, drawing, space planning, furniture design, architecture and more. Upon graduating designers often apprentice with a registered and established interior designer before moving on to create their own companies. Designers are comfortable with spatial planning and can help design and renovate interiors, right from drawing up the initial floor plans to placing the last decorative accent. They don’t just enhance the look, they enhance the function of a room.

Interior decorators don’t need to have formal training or schooling because decorators focus primarily on aesthetics. Decorators don’t generally take part in renovations or structural planning. They come in after that part is complete and focus on the surface look of the space. Decorators are great for coming into a room and whipping it into shape. They can help clients decide on a style, choose a color scheme, purchase furniture, and accessorize. They’re often brought in to spruce up an existing space that needs to be updated or redone.

Now, having said that, making the right decision for your home will likely be more a matter of what you’re hiring someone to do than a question of job titles. The majority of formally schooled designers spend most of their time doing work that would be described here as decorating because it includes no renovation or structural work. At the same time, there are numerous decorating professionals with no formal schooling capable of working with contractors to perform whatever structural work may be required in a home while providing the same high level of aesthetic detail that a formally trained designer would. Given that, the best thing to do when faced with this choice would be to assess your needs and compare them against the services being offered before making a decision. i.e., make sure the designer you’re considering offers services that fit your needs. Some specialize in renovations, others prefer to work with new construction projects, and still, others focus on kitchen and bath design.


3. How will they manage your budget?

Firstly, if you’ve never done an interior design project before, you’ll need to do a little homework to determine a reasonable budget. Friends and neighbors who have done makeovers similar to what you have in mind — and are willing to discuss what they spent — can provide a solid basis for a ballpark number. Once you've done that, you need to be clear about your budget! I cannot stress enough about the importance of being upfront on how much you’re willing to spend toward your design project. The difficulty in getting clients to discuss their budgets is a frequent source of frustration for interior designers. Sometimes your vision for a design project will not match your budget. If you’re dreaming of a custom kitchen but have a budget of only $20,000, it’s probably not going to happen. A quality designer will help you prioritize your wish list, and show you what your budget will allow and how you can work toward your goal a little bit at a time.

Designers can provide you with ballpark figures on the cost of a particular kind of project; say a whole living room or a bathroom renovation. But with such a wide range in the quality and costs of materials, how much you end up spending is mainly up to you. At the end of the day, you have a certain amount to invest in your interior design, remodel or decorating project, and it’s part of your designer’s job to maximize that budget in line with your wants and needs. It’s also ok to ask how they plan to keep track of the funds and will they offer you choices at different price levels?


4. How long have they been in business and what experience do they bring to the table?

Many years of experience are an extremely valuable asset to an excellent Interior Designer or Decorator. The increased scale of the work and number of years the prospective interior designer or decorator has put in, the more knowledgeable they will be, and they will be able to offer you a greater number of variations in the kind of art and aesthetic decoration/design you wish to see for your own home.


5. Make sure they will design to fit your lifestyle.

Some designers are very set in their ways and aesthetics. They design and are known for having “a look.” They might specialize in only that specific look. I would never dictate my own style on anyone. My job is to provide guidance regardless of style – some clients just want direction and want to do most of the work themselves; others really hate the process and want me to do everything. My goal is to work with you as a partner to create your space. I start with these three questions to help me understand you and what you are looking for:

“Tell me what it is you’re looking for?”

“Tell me what you like about your space.”

“Tell me what you don’t like about your space.”

Your answer to these questions will help me understand your lifestyle and how we can design your space to fit it.


If you’re looking for an Interior Designer In Penticton, BC, reach out to the experts at K Wohler Interiors. With more than twenty years of experience, K Wohler Interiors offers interior decorating, furnishings, space planning, color consultation, custom bedding, window treatments, e-designs and other interior design services. I am more than happy to assist our clients in bringing their vision to life or helping them come up with one. To learn more about the services I offer, please click here. To get in touch with me, please click here.