When choosing a designer for your remodel project, ask these questions?



Detail of a nosegay arrangement on a Chinese bench in front of a Chinese settee.

A luscious, sunlit detail of a simple flower arrangement on a Chinese bench in front of an intricate Chinese bamboo settee.

I meet with new clients week in and week out. Some have worked with designers before, but many have not. For those who have not, they often don’t know what they should expect when working with a designer. While this is not surprising, selecting a designer need not be confusing to the perspective client.


Here is a list of questions to ask yourself, or the designer who you are interviewing which should help you to move forward with your selection in confidence.

  • Are you attracted to the designer’s work? Does it look professional? Do you like the level of detail and the overall quality level?
  • Does the designer have the training, background and experience which will help you feel comfortable?
  • Does the designer have good references? Is this someone that his/her clients have good things to say about their working relationship? You can learn a lot about this person by taking time to read through these recommendations.
  • Do you like the person that your designer is? Is he or she someone that you would enjoy working with and spending time with?
  • Is the designer someone that is skilled at collaborating with the client, contractor, and subcontractors? Does the designer communicate well?
  • Does your designer have vision? Is this designer someone who is creative and full of ideas and ways to approach your design project?
  • Has this designer worked on projects similar to your project? Are they enthusiastic about your project? Is it a project that they would enjoy and is it a project that interests them both personally and professionally?
  • Dopes this designer have a personal style? Do they design in a particular style or will your project by a unique reflection of you and your style even though it may not be clear at first what that may be? A self-confident designer is going to be interested in interpreting who you are and develop a style/design solution that will suit you well.
  • Do you feel that this person can work with you—with what you know or don’t know? Are they willing to educate you about the design process and fundamental concepts of design so that you understand what is happening in each phase and can make the very best informed decisions that you can?
  • How hands on is this designer? Will they be personally involved in your project or will they only play an advisory role on your project? How many projects do they work on at a time? Will you be getting the attention that you expect and desire on your project?
  • Does the designer work with a list of reliable and talented subcontractors and associates who will help to bring the project to a successful and timely conclusion?
  • Is the designer’s billing rate a fair exchange for their talent, experience, professional knowledge?
  • Does the designer have a good record of working within the constraints of the project and the budget?


These questions should help you find your way to making a sound decision on who you would like to work with on your project. When you think about it, it really all comes down to the question of how much is this designer going to be invested in your project, the interpersonal relationship, and the overall quality of the finished product. Designers and architects like to say about design that ‘it’s all lies in the details’, which is true. Your job as client is to determine the business and design details that are most important to you and intend that your designer is on board with those needs.


Here’s to finding the designer who will be an excellent collaborator and communicator, and someone with great vision!


It's all in the details. Whether selecting a designer for your project or creating an intimate setting to enjoy the art of  making and sipping of fine Chinese tea.

Whether you’re selecting an interior designer  for your remodel project or creating a romantic setting to enjoy a fine cup of Chinese tea, it all lies in the details.



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2 Responses to When choosing a designer for your remodel project, ask these questions?

  1. Dennis Mateski says:

    This guy calls it like it REALLY is, free of all the creative hype so many designers fall back on to overwhelm clients.

    Look at his attention to details in his verbage (well thought out and clear) and his photos…. works of art.

  2. Great tips, I couldn’t agree more.

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