Top 10 Things to Consider When Hiring an Interior Designer


Guest Blog Post by Melissa Tossell, Sanura Design & Furniture Bank Volunteer

Ever wondered how to be best prepared to get the most of your time with an interior designer for your next home project? As a professional, here’s a list of the best 10 things to think about before you hire your next Designer:


Oh my! What a contentious subject. As a Designer I can make the most out of any budget, but we can’t help unless you have a number in mind. Maybe it’s just a price range, but our favourite clients are those that have reviewed the numbers and know their budget. They always get the most out of our services.


Which rooms/spaces will they be helping you with? Keep in mind that spaces that are connected via an open plan (for example a Kitchen open to the family room) might be better done together. Keep in mind materials such as hardwood flooring might involve more rooms in your home.


Do you have house guests coming for the summer? Does this need to be done for Christmas? Are you going away on vacation for a few weeks and would like the work done while you’re gone? Consider when you need the project to be done, and keep in mind shorter timelines can be more expensive.


The best possible situation when dealing with a professional you’re paying to help you with something as personal as your home- is to be honest. Consider what you expect out of the relationship, project, and design and be honest with your Designer. The more we know, the better the experience will be.


Where will you be staying? This seems like a weird question, but consider for a moment that your kitchen and living room are being completely gutted and redone (oh how exciting!). Can you live without a kitchen and living space for a few weeks? We don’t recommend living in a home during major renovations, and if you can make arrangements to stay with family or a friend, it will definitely save your sanity in the long run.


Another weird question. Consider that in many relationships the person in charge of the budget and the person in charge of how everything looks are sometimes not the same person. Does your family dynamic mean you’d like your kids to have input on the project? Make sure everyone important is present when meeting with your Interior Designer.


Besides the obvious (mobility restrictions, vision problems, physical limitations), we also like to know about existing conditions within your family. (Autism spectrum, Aging parents, etc) Also, consider future needs- will this be your forever home? That might mean designing for “aging in place”- meaning you won’t have to move out when you get older.


What are your habits like with them? Do you need flooring sturdy enough for large dogs? Do you have pets who love the sofa and you need it to be easy to clean and durable? What do you need for your furry (and other non-furry) family members to be happy in the space?


Are you a busy person who needs the whole project off their plate? Do you have a creative side and would like to have a hand in selecting furniture? Would you prefer to purchase furniture, materials, etc. directly or would you prefer the Designer took care of that?


We’re here to help, and above all, make your experience a wonderful one. Try not to take the whole process too seriously- not everything will go perfectly, but we’re trained to handle it.


  1. Interior Designers of Canada: This website is set up by the Interior Designers of Canada and is a great resource for finding fully qualified Interior Designers. You can review their work and filter by location to find Interior Designers near you.
  2. Houzz: This is a well-known website where you can find Interior Designers, Decorators, and Stylists. You can review their work, filter by locations and look at reviews from other homeowners. Professionals aren’t pre-qualified so credentials can vary. Look for affiliation badges from organizations like CDECA (the Decorator’s association) and IDC (the Interior Designer’s association).

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