1. Do you see eye to eye financially?
Make sure the fees and budget are really spelled out at the beginning and keep in mind that lower fees do not always mean you are getting the better deal. Often this means you are getting less service, less experience or even worse, lots of change orders and up charges after the project begins.
There are many ways that designers charge for their services: hourly, percentage, cost plus, lump sum or some combination. The particular type of job and client often dictate the type of billing. Just be sure that you know how much and how frequently you will be billed. Are you expected to pay a deposit or retainer? Do you need to pay for the furnishings and accessories up front? Ask a lot of questions so there is no confusion and money does not come in between you and your designer.
price point of your home?
Also, make sure your designer has done work in homes in your price-range. It is very different to work on a job that is for a 2000 sqft home than for a large 20,000 sqft luxury mansion. The resources, contractors, furniture, and overall client expectations differ. Of course talented young designers need to be given a shot at jobs that might be larger than their typical job, but be sure they are motivate and talented enough to handle it.
If you are planning to hire someone you do not know and do not know their reputation, then it is important to have some type of referral. This can be from someone you know such as a friend or family member or it could be someone the Interior Designer suggests you talk to. Make sure you ask important questions such as, “Did they deliver what they promised?”, “How did they handle any problems or difficulties that arose?”, “Did you feel that they were honest and upfront with their fees?” I think the most important question is, “Would you work with them again?”
The bottom line is that your Interior Designer is there to make your life easier and the experience of designing and decorating your home more fun. Choose wisely and you will not regret it. The right designer will save you time, money and a lot of frustration.