Now For the Fun Part: Choosing a Designer

The construction phase is done and you’re ready to decorate! Here are questions to ask when looking for a designer you love.

Now that you have either suffered through, or delightfully finished, your project’s construction phase, you are ready to fill that beautiful space. So, now what? Well, there are plenty of avenues to take, literally. You can walk your neighborhood streets or mall to find individual pieces you like, or you can walk into your local design center. Another approach is to interview a few designers who are licensed and trained in space planning. Designers run the gamut, from your friend’s daughter who really likes to pick things out and calls herself a designer to a fully trained, certified and experienced NCIDQ, ASID designer. There is a huge difference!  

Here’s insight on what questions to ask a designer when interviewing them to decorate your new space.


  • Are you ASID certified?
  • At what level?
  • Is your certification current?
  • Do you go to Continuing Education to keep your ASID status and your knowledge of new product up to date? 


  • Do you work under contract, so we understand, agree, and have in writing the scope, budget, and timing of my project?  



  • How do you price your services and product we buy together? 
  • How do you account for your hours? 
  • How do you handle taxes? 


  • Do you have good installers? 
  • Who does the measuring?
  • What happens if the measurements are wrong and the product must be re-ordered because it doesn’t fit? 
  • Are your installers insured and do they have references to call? 


  • Do you warranty your work and if there is an issue what is your policy to handle it? 



  • What materials hold up best for the way I want to use this space and furniture? 


  • How do you work with natural light and how does it impact the longevity of products you choose for my space? Note, in Colorado, many materials will disintegrate in direct sunlight. A designer must know what products to use, how to use them and where to use them. 


  • Do you know if my wall textures can have wall coverings affixed to them properly?  

You get the idea. Just as you did with the construction phase, pay attention to the details and qualifications of those you hire to assist with the pretty stuff. In some ways, who you choose to assist you with this decor phase is even more important. Not all pieces of furniture, whether they are upholstered or what we call case goods—the non-upholstered pieces—are built to last. Many styles are considered disposable in the industry but are not identified as such to the consumer. Various companies use plywood siding instead of solid frame construction. After a few years of your family’s use, less standard goods can become damaged, show wear, or look saggy.  Your designer should know the quality manufacturers and tell you what you are buying.  

This is the fun part! But it’s imperative to equip yourself with knowledge, so the money you are budgeting gets well spent. And then enjoy your new gorgeous space! 

Judy Goldman is the owner and CEO of Design Studio Interior Solutions, a residential and commercial interior design firm based in Boulder, Colorado. View their profile or contact them at 303.652.1727.

Content for this article provided by Design Studio Interior Solutions.

Categories: Interiors