You have a space, but you don’t love it. We understand that. We also understand that it can be difficult to know how to choose a designer and who to work with in the business. If you don’t know the person personally in can be intimidating to know how to chose and what to look for in a designer. And we have to be honest, not every designer is for every person – and finding that “right fit” can be hard. That’s why we asked Becca (our creative space designer) some of her suggestions on what you can ask your designer before you hire them.
1. Can I see a sample of your previous work?
Start with looking at some of their past work. Not only will this help you decide if they are the right designer for you, but as you look at their work comment on the things that you like and/or dislike. This can also help your designer get to know you, and help them know if they are the right fit for you. If they are the right person for the job. And a bonus to this is that as you are looking at their past work and commenting on the things you like and dislike will help your designer start to understand your style.
2. What project are you most proud of?
This can help you continue to understand their design style. Make sure you follow up with the question, why are you proud of it? This will help you continue to understand who they are as a designers and what they like most about their projects.
3. How much experience do you have with this type of project?
Everyone has to start somewhere, so we’re not saying that you can’t hire a new designer. After all we started in our own home with no experience at all – and we made mistakes because of it. You want to know what you are paying for. You want to understand what kind of experience they have before you agree to the price they are asking. If they have more experience, they are likely to make less mistakes and are worth paying a little more. And if you’re trying to save a little money on the designer, or you may be trying to help a new designer get started, just know who you’re hiring.
“A good designer will always design plans that are beautiful, functional, practical, and on budget.”Becca (our lead designer)
4. How practical is this design idea?
Asking about the practicality of any given design is always a good idea. Is the material they picked out cleanable. Does the new design require a lot of maintenance and upkeep? Does the new lay of your house work practically for you and your needs? Trust us, a good design is only a good design if it works well and practically in your home or work space. As Becca stated, “a good designer will always design plans that are beautiful, functional, practical, and on budget.” Don’t feel bad asking for samples or photos of any particular item in the design that you aren’t sure about.
5. What do you think about this budget?
Designers have a reputation of going with all these high end, very expensive items, so it’s good to clearly communicate if you are on a strict budget. A good follow up question to the budget question is, what items they think are the most important to “splurge” on. As you look at each item, don’t be afraid to ask about it or ask for a less expensive option.
6. What is your estimated time frame that you could complete this project in?
Trust us, we understand delays and in todays world, you need to expect delays. Most of the time the delays are not your designers or contractors fault, however you will still want to ask what time frame they estimate that they can complete the project in. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a half finished office space for two years.
7. What kind of team do you work with?
A good designer has a team of contractors, painters, construction teams, plumbers and so forth. That’s one of the benefits of working with a good designer – they don’t do it on their own and so you don’t have to try to weed threw the hundred of options on the internet.
We understand that starting the design process can be a scary one. But if you can trust your designer and the team that they are working with, it can also be an exciting process. To look at mood boards and finally start putting your vision for your space into words. We understand the love of a new order arriving and installing the new fixtures and painting that wall that you’ve always hated. We’d love to see if we are the right fit for you, if you’re in Pennsylvania and you’d like to work with us you can learn more here.