If you’re considering hiring an interior designer to make your home, it’s important to consider their credentials and references before hiring them carefully. A mistake can lead to delays in the project or even costly mistakes that will have to be corrected down the road. 

This guide will walk you through the five factors you should consider when choosing an interior designer for your project to avoid paying for services that don’t meet your expectations.

What Type of Space Do You Need Help With?

There are several types of San Francisco designers; choosing one will determine what your designer can help you with. While some designers do it all, others specialize in one type of space, like kitchens, bathrooms, or bedrooms. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop kind of professional to manage all your design needs, it’s helpful to know which room you’ll need help with first.

Will you have Furniture Already?

If you’re planning to have furniture when you move in, or if your space is still a blank slate, make sure that you talk with your designer about what furniture will work best with her design style. If you’re thinking about having custom built-ins, you’ll want someone who understands what materials and finishes go well together. 

On the other hand, if all you want is wall color, then a very conceptual designer might be able to help out.

How Much Room Do You Have For Design?

Most interior designers work by foot; they charge a certain amount per square foot, and you’ll pay a bit more if your rooms are bigger. If you have a large space to fill, your room count is important when hiring an interior designer. 

It may be in your best interest to hire someone who specializes in designing big spaces (such as 10,000-square-foot mansions) rather than someone who typically designs 500-square-foot condos.

How Many Rooms Are You Planning To Work On?

The budget you create for your project will determine how much you can spend on a designer. Decide how many rooms you’re planning to remodel and use that number to guide your budgeting process. For example, if you plan on redoing all of your bedrooms, plan on spending between $1,000 and $3,000 per room.

Is there a Budget Set?

Meeting with a designer without knowing your budget is like meeting with a realtor before deciding what neighborhood you want to live in. Just as in your home search, you must set a budget first.

Does it matter if this is your first time using an interior designer?

Working with a professional designer has many benefits, even if you’re a first-time client. They’ll know how to listen for what you want in your home and how much leeway you have in terms of budget and timeline. 

Working with a designer will also give you insight into styles that would work best for your space, which could help inform future renovations on your own. Your designer will work with other designers who specialize in aspects like landscaping or lighting.

Bottom line

Think carefully about your lifestyle, tastes, and price range to choose a designer who’s a good fit for you. For instance, if you have pets or young children, it’s good to work with someone familiar with pet-friendly materials and childproofing techniques. Or, if money is tight, don’t choose someone whose portfolio is full of pricey items—you could end up spending more than you wanted.