When you hire an interior designer, you’re putting your trust in them to create a space that embodies the taste and style of your dreams And while style matters, your designer’s expertise should improve the functionality of the space as well as integrating its best features.

No two designers are the same, and neither are their clients or projects. Most of us designers thrive on the adventure of a new space to design but many clients are apprehensive about making the right choice for a project. And I get it. Hiring a designer, especially in LA, is a major investment of time and money. Before taking the plunge, be sure to ask these five questions when hiring an interior designer in Los Angeles.

1. What inspires your designs?

Some designers find themselves inspired by urban life: the hustle and bustle of the city, the flashes of light, the noise. Others, like myself, root themselves and their inspiration in nature and travel. No matter where they draw their creativity from, you’ll often find these qualities embedded in a design.

Along with the answer to this question, consider which colors, textures, and personality appear throughout a designer’s portfolio. Do you like these distinguishing features? Are they timeless yet stylish enough for your home or business?

If you want them to go deeper, ask which of their projects best showcase their aesthetic.

2. How involved would you like your client to be?

Three foundational aspects of a client-designer relationship are hearing, being heard, and respecting one another’s time. While you want your designer to listen to you, you hired a professional for a reason, and trusting their ability is essential. You also want your project to progress in a timely manner so communication plays a huge role.

If you want to be more hands-on, look for a designer that seeks feedback frequently on the appropriate elements. If you want a designer that takes the reigns and runs toward the finish line with their goals in mind, be sure you understand their design concept well enough at the beginning to feel comfortable with giving up full control.

Keep in mind the more input your designer wants you to have, the more of your time and attention will be required. Be honest with yourself about how much of these precious resources you can devote to keep the project running smoothly.

3. How do you handle a budget and what are your priorities?

Where you want your money to go can be one of the most important factors when it comes to your project. This question helps you align your spending priority and clarify where your budget will be going. It can also serve as a preview of how comfortable you both feel discussing the monetary aspect of design choices.

4. Which of your projects presented the biggest challenge and how did you solve it?

Trust me: no project is without a challenge or two. (Or five!) While some designers take these challenges in stride, others tend to approach challenges as sky-scraping hurdles. Often the answer to this question separates the pros from the newbies. You want a designer that isn’t afraid to admit some designs come with challenges and how they have dealt with them because your project will likely have a few hidden tests along the way.

5. Will you be working on other projects simultaneously? How do you divide your time?

Sometimes designers can completely devote their time and attention to your space. Others work with a team and spread themselves across several projects. Both of these are acceptable as long as you feel comfortable with the arrangement.

You may ask if they’re local to Los Angeles and if their other current projects are in the area. This can give you a better idea of how they can divide their time. If your designer is out-of-state on another project, they likely won’t be as available.

If your designer works with a team, ask questions about the members of the group and what to expect from interactions with them.

Hiring a Designer in Los Angeles?

Will your potential designers think you’re rude if you ask lots of questions? Absolutely not. We get questions like these all the time. If someone acts like they’re too busy to answer you, that may be a clear indication of their priorities and working style. As a designer, I love when clients ask questions. I’m proud to share what I’ve learned along my journey.

Finding the right LA designer can make a world of difference. Don’t settle if you’ve interviewed several designers and didn’t feel that spark. It will come. Just be patient, take notes, and feel confident that you’ll know when you know. Want to find out if I’d be a good fit for your upcoming project? Please contact me to set up a meeting.