How to choose your interior designer?

How to choose your interior designer?

Are you thinking of hiring a professional to carry out a reform or interior design project? According to Marie-Claude Parenteau-Lebeuf, an interior designer and general manager of the Professional Association of Interior Designers of Quebec (APDIQ), these are the important questions to ask at the first meeting.

What is the scope of your project?

When making an appointment, the designer should ask what type of project he has in mind, to get the first idea. During the meeting, he will become familiar with the place and will be able to assess whether it is necessary to touch the surrounding parts. So even if you just want to renovate your kitchen, you may need to modify an adjoining space to meet your expectations.

What is your way of life?

The designer will then ask more specific questions to adjust the design according to the dynamics of the residents. Who lives in the house? What is your routine, your way of life? For example, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and the family is usually together, either to do homework or to watch television, then the kitchen will be worked according to these criteria. The specialist will also have to plan the spaces in the short, medium, and long term, taking into account the situation and the age of each one. By asking the above questions, the designer should be able to better understand his personality and that of his spouse, if any. This is important because most of the time, decisions are made as a couple, one of the two may need more reassurance, but everyone must be satisfied. It is essential that there is chemistry between you and the professional, that the relationship is naturally cordial, and that you feel confident. Otherwise, it is better to turn to someone else.

What are your budget and timeline?

Redo first the kitchen, then the entrance hall, then the staircase… Costs add up quickly and major jobs often take several months. The designer needs to know what the budget includes (professional fees, labor, materials, contingencies) and whether it is realistic. They also need to know your timeline. Be as transparent as possible about his intentions for him to offer to schedule the job differently if necessary, particularly for cost or time reasons.

Where do you plan to live during the works (in case of major renovations)?

The reforms involve a lot of stress, of which many people are not aware. It is hard for the couple and the family. The designer must warn his clients that they will have to live in noise, dust, and discomfort for a certain time or that they will have to live in another place for the duration of the work. This is an important point because not everyone has relatives who offer to host them and it may be necessary to rent accommodation for a few months, which adds rental costs to the budget.

What do you expect from me?

From basic planning to turnkey contracts, the services that the interior designer can offer are extensive, so they should discuss them with you to know what type of assignment you want to entrust to them.

Good to know

  • The APDIQ brings together certified members. It is important to hire a designer who takes out professional liability and civil liability insurance.
  • Ideally, meet three designers before making your choice.
  • Designer fees vary based on your experience and the complexity of the project, from $75 to $150 per hour, but the price can also be a flat rate.
  • The discounts to which they are entitled from the different suppliers (materials, furniture, etc.) can offset their fees.
  • A meeting between you, the designer (who designs), and the contractor (who does) usually lead to constructive feedback and effective results.


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