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9 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Interior Designer in Connecticut

Choosing an interior designer to help decorate your home the way you want it to be decorated? Don’t become overwhelmed with making the right choice because we will provide you with questions that you need to ask an interior designer before hiring them.

Continue reading this article to find out the questions that you need to ask before making your final decision.

1. Ask for Their Portfolio

One of the first things you need to do before deciding on the interior designer that you’re going to hire to decorate your home is their portfolio. The portfolio will detail all of the work that they’ve done in the past through pictures.

Viewing their portfolio will give you a better idea of the type of design style that the designer specializes in. From there, you can decide whether their design aesthetic fits the needs and wants that you have for your home. While some designers specialize in signature looks, others do not.

2. Do You Have References?

If the designer doesn’t have a readily available portfolio to provide, the next best thing you can ask for is references. These are like testimonials from people who may have worked with the designer in the past or may have hired them to design their homes. Particularly inquire about projects that are similar in location or scope of work as yours.

After they provide you with the references, ask the designer to give you some time to check the recommendations and get back to them with your decision.

3. How Long Does it Take You to Complete a Project?

Interior design projects vary and so does the time commitment it takes to see the vision through. Full Service furnishings can take 4+ months whereas renovation can take 6-18 months depending on the scope of work. When asking this question, you’re particularly looking for clarity from the designer. Do they have a streamlined process? Are they aware of what their minimum timeline is? Do they execute the project all the way through? If the designer has a track record for taking longer than expected, you may want to consider hiring a different designer to complete the job that you’re hiring for. 

At House of Savoy, we’re well known for our highly-structured design process that was built with nearly a decade of design experience. We are a Full Service firm, meaning that we’re with you from concept to completion. We take a lot of time at your design consultation to go over our process and the timelines you can expect.

4. What are Your Interior Design Fees?

Every designer has different pricing models. Some designers will charge you hourly, others will do a flat design fee and in some cases, you’ll get a combination between the two. As design is a luxury experience, it’s best to speak with each designer you’re interviewing better to understand their pricing model and the benefits of that.

You’ll also want to inquire about the frequency of billing. Whether the fee is due in full upfront or split into equal payments, understanding this information upfront will allow you to begin your design project with full and complete understanding.

We like to plan with your best financial interest at heart so we’ve adapted a pricing model that reflects the work your project will require while following a payment that allows us to get the finances out of the way in the beginning so that the design experience can be an enjoyable one. To learn more about our pricing, please click here to inquire.

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5. What’s Your Favorite Design Style

Asking the designer what their favorite design style is will help you decide whether they’re able to meet your needs. If they specialize in one style, you should ask if they’ve ever designed an area like the one that you want them to design.

Here at House of Savoy, our philosophy blends modern furnishings, earthy color palettes, diverse textures, and natural materials to create comfort and a sense of togetherness in your home. We focus on timeless and classic looks sure to be in style for years to come. We factor in our client’s personal style woven through design philosophy.

6. What is a Must-Have for Your Designs?

There are times when an interior designer has to have pops of color throughout the home or focus on a more neutral palette. You should ask this question to gain a better understanding of the level of attention that they pay to detail and what their parameters are for working together.

For example, a designer may want to use neutral paint colors to go crazy with placing smaller details around the home that feature lots of colors. Or the opposite choosing a brighter hued paint color and using neutral colored accents around the house.

You may also come across minimums for the number of rooms designed or the minimum investment amount. We like to pride ourselves on rich, layered looks so we set investments amount that allow for bespoke touches throughout your project. It’s always fun to share a story about how a unique one-of-a-kind item was sourced specifically for you in mind.

7. How Will You Communicate With Me?

Being able to communicate with your designer in case something doesn’t go as planned is crucial. You need to know how the designer will demonstrate the design and any changes in design that need to be made.

When the designer wants to make changes to the design, will they provide you with a visual representation of the changes they want to make? Will they communicate with you before spending more money?

All of these things will make a difference when it comes to time and money. If the designer doesn’t communicate well, then you will want to consider hiring a different designer. It should be understood that the pandemic is changing communication forever.

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8. Who Does Your Team Consist Of?

The size of a design team significantly impacts your decision-making process.

Larger firms can complete projects faster due to their extensive resources but at a higher cost. Their designs may be less personalized, relying on templates to maintain efficiency.

Smaller firms, while taking more time, offer a more personalized experience, dedicating greater attention to your specific needs and preferences. Their fees reflect their thoroughness without added overtime or rush charges.

Additionally, knowing the team size helps you understand who you’ll interact with throughout the project. Larger firms may have varied contacts, while smaller firms offer more consistent communication, ensuring your vision is clearly understood and implemented.

At House of Savoy, we have a small but mighty team featuring your Principal Designer (Kimberly) and her team to help her facilitate your design implementation effectively and efficiently. Additionally, we have a well-rounded construction team with highly-skilled and thoroughly vetted craftsmen ready to implement your whole home renovation.

9. What Contractors Do You Recommend?

If you’re looking for other work to be completed on your home, you may want to ask the interior designer what contractors they recommend to complete the work you need. The contractors that they recommend are people that they’ve worked within the past who are typically tried and true. One of the greatest benefits of working with an Interior Designer is access to their resources so you’re not hiring and vetting multiple people and hoping the synergies work.

When choosing an interior designer, there are tons of things that you need to consider. You’ll want to ensure that you make the right decision or have wasted money on a design you’re not satisfied with or finishes in home that can’t be undone without added time and cost.

If you’re looking to hire an interior designer, we’d love for you to inquire with us to be sure we’re the right fit. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


Hi, I'm Kim

Full Service Furnishings & Renovation Specialist
Helping busy professional families in Greenwich, Darien, West Hartford, Connecticut & beyond craft durable homes built to last.

House of Savoy Interior Design Services

As a busy professional with children, you understand the value of your time and being in organized, functional spaces. At House of Savoy, we provide comprehensive design services catered to your large-scale design and furnishings project. You want a space that gives you comfort and ease and we’re here to deliver that. Inquire to get started.

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