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3 Things To Have Ready When You Call An Interior Designer

So you’re ready to tackle a home design project. Now what? There is a high probability that you’ll need professional assistance from an experienced interior designer, decorator, architect or maybe even all three.

The very first logical step would be to search for professionals in your area and then reach out to a variety of professionals to find the best fit and get going on the project.

That initial phone call is essential in figuring out if the professional has the correct skills and personality for you and your specific project, and if your personality and project is the ideal fit for that type of professional.

Experienced remodeling pros know the correct questions to ask you to help get out the particulars of a project, but to maximize your time during that first phone call, here are a few tips interior designers would love for you to have ready to talk about.

What's Your Budget?

Most Interior Designers will tell you that how much money you’ve budgeted for your project will likely be the starting point that will drive conversations with interested professionals. It’s crucial to be open and honest about what you’re willing and able to spend, otherwise a professional can’t give you an precise quote on fees, timelines and much more. Even a somewhat rough estimate of what you had in mind for the project is a lot better than nothing. Do some research prior to reaching out to professional to get a sense of what an assortment of remodeling projects cost. Keep in mind that moving plumbing, taking down walls and other major renovation choices will add drastically to the cost of a project. In addition, you’ll also want to take into account labor, design fees, permit fees and other similar factors.

The most crucial thing clients could do during their first meeting with an Interior Designer is to be completely honest. Some clients overstate their goals, project size and budget, only to discover after that the designer has spent a great amount of time and money putting together a presentation that the client wasn’t really prepared to spend as much as they initially said.

A handful of clients might not understand how the level of quality can greatly affect the price of something. You have to take into consideration that this is true for renovations as well as furnishings. Even if you have no idea what your very own project might cost due to a variety of complexities, it’s good to just be ready to talk about cost. An experienced interior designer can help you fill in the gaps.

Most of the time the client has no idea about budget, but my job is to help them by being straightforward about the reality of how much their project will actually cost.

The Scope of Work

Do some thinking about how major or minor a project you’re looking to take on.

  • Which rooms will you be renovating or redecorating?

  • Are you looking to just paint some walls and add new furnishings?

  • Are you looking to renovate a kitchen and bathroom at the same time?

  • Build a new custom home? Tear down walls?

Typically, the more specific you can be, the better and easier it'll be to move along the process. Our Interior Designers will often tell you that if you’re looking to add a new deck or patio, you’ll want to be prepared to talk about the size and quality of materials you have in mind.

If you’re looking to renovate a kitchen, you’ll want to talk a little about what you want to replace or update — things such as countertops, cabinets, backsplash, floors, add an island, take down walls, move plumbing etc.

Knowing the Type of Professional You Need

It’s also crucial to know a little bit about the level of professional help your project needs. Being familiar with some of the ins and outs of your project will also help the professional figure out if they have the correct skills for the job.

If you’re looking to just decorate a master bedroom with new furniture, curtains, paint and art, you might be seeking out an interior decorator. If you are trying to renovate a kitchen, you might need, depending on the scope of work and details, a team that includes an interior designer and architect, as well as a general contractor. Aa design professional, most of the time will have a referral or can introduce you to the right professional. In addition, most Interior Designers want to know if they need help selecting hard finishes such as plumbing, electrical, flooring, cabinets and paint, or soft finishes like furniture, accessories and drapery. Once again, this information helps the professional figure out if your project is a good fit for the professional, which is crucial for the success of the project. The more information you get on the first call, the better you can gauge if you are a good fit for the client or not.


It may seem like a good amount of things, but the more you’re prepared during that first call, the better your project is situated to get off on the correct foot. When in doubt or uncertain, speak to as many interior designers as you can until it feels right.

Remember, a renovation or redecorating project takes a good amount of time, and a lot of that time will be spent with your designer and other professionals. There should be some general chemistry and understanding from the beginning.

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