5 Things to Ask an Interior Designer Before Hiring Them

When looking for an Interior decorator, you and the interior designer should be the right match and be on the same page. The search for an interior designer is fun and exciting but the process of finding the right interior designer (for you) can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. 

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by designstiles.

Interior design is more than accent pillows, paint colors, or interior fittings. The combination of purpose and fashion to create a harmonious home that is tailored to your needs, personality and style are the ingredients to exquisite Interior Design. Most of all, it should be a true reflection of you and your family's lifestyle.

Irene Lovett

As a passionate interior designer to my craft and work,  I understand that hiring an interior designer is a commitment. This is why it is important to know exactly what you are looking for and someone who would be the right fit for your interior design project. Here are 5 questions to ask an interior designer before hiring them:

What interior design services do you offer?

This is a simple yet very important question. You want to make sure that you are working with a firm that is dedicated and excels in the services that you are looking for. 

Researching their portfolio and design services will help you better understand how their interior design firm will give you a good idea of their overall project experience and design style. You should consider looking for an interior designer with experience in space planning and interior architecture of every decor and furnishings. 

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by designstiles.

Some follow up questions you can ask are:

  • To what extent do you offer a “full service” design experience? 
  • Which do you prefer, the client is involved in the project or client is laid-back from the project?  
  • What is your project-management style like?

Follow up questions like these can help you better understand expectations before hiring and give you confidence the interior designer you choose is the perfect match for you Some interior designers prefer the client not to be involved in the actual project management aspects but there are clients who enjoy more involvement throughout the design process. It is good to know, from the start, of your project how your designer prefers to manage projects which will help avoid any project miscommunications or delays. 


What are your design styles and inspirations for your work? 

Asking this question is simply a way to get to know an interior designer. This is one good way to get to the heart of the personality, style, and aesthetics of the interior designer. 

You are digging the sense of creativity on the craft and where they are coming from. This is a huge question that can help you so much in your search for the right interior designer. 

You can also throw some follow up questions like:

  • What are your design signatures and your favorite design projects? 
  • In your design projects, what are your favorite colors to use? 
  • What part of the home is your favorite space and why?
  • Where is your favorite travel destination and how do those elements reflect in your work?
Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Designstiles.

How will you make me understand your design concept and ideas? 

It is vital that the interior designer is able to fully communicate the design concept and ideas to the client. So you will understand what the process will be and what will you be expecting from the outcome of the interior design project. 

Most of all, seeing and understanding the concept and ideas will make you comfortable with the plans before spending too much investment on the project.  


This is a broad question that you may not be able to get the exact answers that you are looking for. It is best to throw follow up questions that would give a better understanding of the interior designer’s process as a whole in dealing with the project. 

  • What happens if I don’t like the design?
  • How long will it take to complete the project? 
  • What are the specific details of every material and decor that will be used?
  • How many staff will be working on the project?
  • Can I see the actual samples of every material that will be used? 
  • Can I get demo access to the project management system?

There may be circumstances that along the way you and the designer will not be on the same page. So, it is best to know beforehand, how will your designer deal with uncontrollable situations and that both of you will be in a win-win situation.

It is also great to know who and how many people in the team will be working. Perhaps you may be just speaking your thoughts on the project but in fact, another designer will be assigned to your project. Seeing the materials to be used and having a visualization of the design plan of the project will be helpful. 

Can you work within my budget? 

This type of question can either make or break a deal if you are trying to decide on the right interior designer. Nonetheless, this is one of the important questions you should not miss asking the interior designer. 

Every interior design project you will do, be it small or big projects involves money.  It is just ethical for both the client and the interior designer to be transparent on the budget and cost of the project. Both should be on the same page on how much the project will cost and if the interior designer can work with the client’s budget. Unless the client will declare that money is not a problem but just to achieve and turn his dreams into reality. 

What would be the 2 main reasons why you will not go for a project? 

This question can be asked positively but I’d rather throw one negative question in order to find out how well the interior designer will carry himself or herself to answer such a question. This is also one way how they easily get the point of this question and give you a direct answer based on their personality and approach to every client. 

With this question, you will get to understand as well the limitation of the designer in dealing with the project. The professionalism of the interior designer can be gauge through dealing with negative situations. As well as how committed they are in every design project.

There you have the 5 things to ask an interior designer before hiring them. If you need help with your design project, contact designstiles today. Schedule your design consultation and learn how you can hire us by the hour design option. Click here to learn more:  https://www.designstiles.me/consult

girls pink bedroom by designstiles los angeles

Children's Bedroom Design: Timeless Ideas To Consider

Designing a children’s bedroom can be as fun for you to do as it is for the kids to enjoy afterwards. Children’s rooms are a whole new ball game for colors, shapes, storage ideas, and furnishings. Coming up with creative ways to include the practical elements of a bedroom is a fun challenge. 

You might even see how excited the children are when it’s finished, making the project rewarding. Whether you are looking for inspiration or considering a redesign, here are the things that you should know for designing a room that has everything a kid could want. The more innovatively you can combine fun and function, the better!

girl pink bedroom by designstiles los angeles

Make it a happy place

A child’s bedroom should make them feel content. Think unique color combinations, mixing fun patterns and incorporating some of their favorite animals or accessories in the room, which can easily be swapped out when they're no longer obsessed with aforementioned item.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by designstiles.

Ensure there is space for creativity

In this bedroom we redesigned, we incorporated a reading nook, a cozy little corner in this bedroom, as a place that little ones, or mom and dad could lounge in during story time. This encourages learning in a relaxed environment.

boys blue bedroom by designstiles los angeles

Let Imagination Run Wild

Kids bedrooms are for more than just bedtime! Their rooms should be fun and inspire creativity as well. Turn the space itself into an exciting place to be, rather than just a room containing a few essentials. I’d like to discuss more high end ideas vs. the traditional "little kid" stuff. 

You could build an indoor tree house that they can climb a ladder to get into. Paint their desk with chalkboard paint so they can show off their art skills! Make a building station that encourages critical thinking! Giving kids a creative space allows them to be imaginative and think outside the box. Parents lives will also be much easierif their children really enjoy being in their own rooms!

cosy girls bedroom by designstiles los angeles

Make it cozy

Kids need to feel safe and secure, so fill your child’s room with items they can use to self-soothe, like a large soft blanket with enough weight to feel like a hug. Bedding, pillows, and rugs should be soft to the touch, so feel all materials before bringing them into the room.

Have fun with wallpaper! So many options are full of personality. In the coral bedroom shown above, we used wallpaper on the ceiling to draw the eyes up, and truthfully, mother wanted to avoid her daughter peeling the paper if it were on the walls. By installing it on the ceiling, it created an element of surprise.

So let your creativity go wild when it comes to designing your child's bedroom, they do after all deserve the most beautiful room in the house.

If you’d like to talk about decorating a child’s bedroom or you want to add a touch of luxury elsewhere in your home then contact designstiles now for a free consultation!


I Like Your stILe: Betsy Burnham

Look through my boards on Pinterest and you'll spot several of Betsy Burnham's work.

To this day, her office is still one of my favorites, and even in yesterday's blog post, that first image came from her.

Her "unapologetic mix, that layers pattern, texture and periods" has made me a fan for years.

When her latest project was featured in this month's House Beautiful, I was super excited to be treated with such eye candy.

Heeeere it is.

Welcome home.

I'd call this serious curb appeal.


This image was grabbed from her website. Photo styling is a bit different in the magazine.

Lantern was meant to echo the original 1930s banister on staircase.

California cool in a 1930s Beverly Hills Tudor.

Sophisticated without being stuffy.

Um, hellow pink chinoiserie toile sofas, will you be my friend?

She mixed them with a faux-rattlesnake vinyl ottoman and corduroy chairs.

A zen feeling master bath.

My favorite space in the house is this teenager's bedroom. Yeah, teenager. I mean, ground me all you want if this is what my room as a teenager looks like.

The detailing on the bottom of that nightstand is beautiful.

I love all of this so much.

Great color combining.

I leave you with a quote I cut out from the interview.

Though guilty of a red wall (years ago), I couldn't agree more with her. And 110% agree about adding a little black.

Betsy Burnham, let's hang out.

Happy Thursday!

I Like Your stILe: Alisha Gwen

I discovered Alisha Gwen while watching the telly (that's short for television and longer for tv).

You know how people say, Oh, I don't watch tv, and you're like, yeah right. Just like you don't drink soda. I bet you do both.

I swear, I really don't watch tv. Housewives is about the only show I have any real commitment to. My confession to watching Jersey Shore doesn't count. I was hungover, verging on still drunk. Everyone makes bad decisions under the influence.

So Alisha Gwen is not a Housewife and I found out about her while watching another program. Okay fine, it was on HGTV. She was on this show called Showhouse Showdown and even though she didn't win, I loved her designs far more than her competitors.

Bold pattern and vibrant colors - a girl after my own heart.

A kitchen with two islands. Perfect for those who love to host.

Open shelving is a sure way to make you organized and only display pretty plates.

Classic furniture pieces updated with bright, modern colors and patterns.

I'm also one for quirkiness. Artichoke base lamps add a playful touch.

You can scope out more of Alisha's work here or follow along with her blog here.

Happy Thursday!

I Like Your stILe: Lucas Studio, Inc.

Lucas Studio, Inc. is a high end residential design firm in LA whose design aesthetic is comfortable and classic.

Yes, this sofa looks way more comfortable than my bed.

Wood nightstand with beautiful detail and soft colors create a very comfortable and classic look.

This fireplace is inviting us all in to get comfortable.

Loving the white tree stump used as a side table.

A more fun approach to their stile with pattern play and bold colors.

Holy antlers.

A hockey stick never looked so stylish.

Maybe I'll reconsider displaying TH's baseball bats.

Those open doors are saying, c'mon in and get comfortable.


Did you notice the turquoise headboard?

Groovy art.

Harbinger is their retail showroom. And based on these photos, I need to pop on in.

If you aren't in the Los Angeles area, you can view what goodies they offer here.

To check out more of Lucas Studio, Inc. click here.

Happy Thursday!

I Like Your stILe: Sayre Victoria Ziskin

I've had this picture pinned to Pinterest for a long ole time now and I now I know who designed it.

PS - you can follow me on Pinterest here.

SVZ Design.

You're so cool.

I'm really enjoying the retro vibe in this room, and you all know I love me some color.

Flamestitch wallpaper, you're so cool too.

I'm looking at you, hot pink frames and huge, oversized jacks.

Lacquered green cabinet and textural-looking wall.

Now for something a little more subdued.

And for my next act, something to make you hungry - a restaurant!

The Churchill is here in LA. Never been. I think I need to.

And that's the end of the show around here. More to see on Sayre's site over here.

Happy Tuesday!

I Like Your stILe: Oliver Furth

This room by Oliver Furth is tugging at my heartstrings and playing an acoustic version of You're Beautiful.

It's the right amount of feminine, color and pattern.

Here are a few more spaces designed by Oliver.

Look, it's like a teddy bear table.

Ha. We know this place all too well. It's Boulevard 3 here in LA. It's become a bit of an inside joke amongst some friends.

If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can check out Oliver's work in person at The Greystone Mansion Maison de Luxe until December 22. It's a house full of eye candy.

Happy Weekend!

I Like Your stILe: Nichole Loiacono

I checked out the latest issue of Adore last night and was completely smitten by the space Nichole of NL Designs created.

A PR firm never looked so stylish and glamorous. Are you guys hiring?

That big, gold frame was found on trash day! Originally a mirror, a hand-drawn logo now showcases the PR firm's name.

Coffee table was a Craigslist find. I have a pretty identical one still in its current state of wood. I'm really digging this gold and white look. I think we have a copy cat on the loose ie me.

Check out those dipped chairs. Bottom half of legs are gray.

Nichole's always full of inspiration on her blog, Parlour. Go and visit.

Now I don't ask for a lot of favors, but you guys have to listen to this song used for a behind the scenes video of "Rooftop Rendevous", a spread in the magazine.

Site says it's been played 170 times today. I'm sure they're all me.

Last night it was on repeat until it was time to go to bed.

I had TH help me hunt down the artists, Ack Kinmonth and Dee Bianchi.

After numerous bounced back emails, Dee's came through this morning giving me a bit more info. They're a songwriting duo who wrote this song specifically for this shoot.


I Like Your stILe: Carla Lane

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5188/5661268639_471d72d371.jpg https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5263/5661840250_b695593a63.jpg

Check out those stools!

And the bunny rabbit above the sink.

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5030/5661258743_946cfc4e21.jpg https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5101/5661260441_3ea43c7015.jpg

Today feels like mini people were having a party in my head and then a fight broke out. If I think too hard it'll make them upset and stomp harder, so I'm keeping it simple with my words here today. Kinda like I have all week, but that's for other reasons. But let's be honest, you come for the pretty pictures anyway.

Another anyway, I like this Carla girl's designs.

Colorful, fun, whimsical. We're practically design twins.

To learn more about what I couldn't put into words and check out more Carla projects, go here.


inFORM Yourself

Over the weekend I met Rafi, one of two designers who make up the Los Angeles-based design duo, FORM. Before becoming acquainted with Rafi's work, I was in the hysterical presence of his brilliant sense of humor. And when he called ME hysterical (twice, but I don't keep tabs) I was more flattered than when he complimented my wallpaper choice. I so wanna hang out with him all day e'rday. I came home raving about him to The Husband but I assured him that this boy does not care to swing on my swing set.

Rafi has brains, beauty, humor and talent with a bold, capital T. See for yourself below.



Now go check out more here