7 things you can do before hiring an interior designer

Starting a renovation, new build or decorating project is exciting and at the same time overwhelming. The fear of making a mistake is often paralyzing, causing unnecessary stress which of course takes away from the happiness you felt at the beginning. So you decide to ask for help and bring in an interior designer. Great! You won’t regret that decision but before you get to work, here are seven things you can do to get your project started on a positive note.

How much of an investment are you ready to make?
During an initial consultation this topic must be addressed. It is imperative in moving forward with a project. Knowing the dollar value of what you are comfortable with spending is a key element for a designer in narrowing down not only where they can shop but the types of fabrics and finishings that can be selected. It also saves time and money as neither are wasted looking for items that don’t fit the budget. Discussing your overall investment with your spouse or significant other will ensure everyone is on the same page . A designer will let you know how realistic that number is and what can be accomplished within that amount.

Put together an idea file
Most clients I work with know what they like, or at least what they don’t like. Designers have ways of assessing your current space, even how you dress gives an indication of your style, but we aren’t mind readers (although some days I wish I was!). Collecting images, tear sheets, websites, even blogs that you like is a great jumping off point in understanding your style and what appeals to you. Organizing by room, or category works well and be sure to note what about the room is appealing to you. Giving your designer as much information as possible will get the project off to a great start.

Assess your lifestyle
Knowing how you live, and everyone in the house for that matter, is essential to achieving a successful end result. Only you know the inner workings of your home, how you cook, eat, sleep, watch TV, store your clothes, what rooms get used the most…. you get the idea. This is all critical information to creating a space, or several that are personalized to your needs and lifestyle. Having a good sense of this prior to meeting with your designer is a great help.

Prepare to trust
When you hire a designer, you are bringing a professional into your home. A designer offers not only their opinion and advice but also knowledge and experience. Trusting their expertise will further enhance your experience. Second guessing, wanting multiple options and indecision all add time and in turn cost more money. Designers narrow down the choices to what they feel is best based on budget, lifestyle and the overall look that is being put together. Trusting their vision will yield fabulous results.

Create a need and a ‘would love’ list
With every project there are needs that exist and they must be prioritized, but let’s face it, there are wants as well. Get as much as you can out of your renovation, new build or re-decoration by preparing a list of both. Even the little details matter. “I need a place for recycling” > “I would love it to be in the the kitchen but easy to transport outside”. Communication is key.

Have an open mind
Designers will bring forth ideas you haven’t considered, show you things you’ve never seen before and pull it all together effortlessly, right?! That’s why designers are hired. Clients are typically less than satisfied with their space and realize they need help. Or they’ve embarked on a project that is far too overwhelming to take on without the expertise and knowledge of an interior designer. Keeping an open mind to the creativity that exists inside the mind of a designer will give you an end result that is sure to leave you feeling so great about your space you couldn’t image not hiring a designer for your next project.

Choose a designer that is right for you
I can’t stress how important it is to find the right fit between you and your designer. Look at this as a long term relationship and you’ll understand what I mean. You will spend hours together, planning, reviewing, preparing, debating, shopping…I could go on. Liking each other is critical. Respecting each other is essential. I have many clients who have become great friends and I value our relationship so much. And THAT is one of the reasons why I love what I do.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.


Comments 4

  1. You are so right! If every client thought about these points before entering into a relationship with a designer projects would run more smoothly and quickly. The results would be far more fabulous than the client could imagine.

  2. Nyla,

    I am so ready. I will overwhelm you with tear sheets and ideas. Can’t wait! j

  3. Great advice Nyla! This is definitely a formula for success.


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