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  • Jess Harrell

How to Choose an Interior Designer: A Guide for Finding Your Perfect Match

Making the decision to hire a full-service interior designer is a big one. Not only is it a significant financial investment, but it's an emotional one too. Your home is an extension of yourself, and you're about to hand over the reins and put a lot of trust into someone else to interpret your vision and make it a reality. So how do you go about finding the right designer for you? First, I highly suggest you interview 2-3 different designers just as you would if hiring a contractor for a big job. With that said, here are four tips on how to choose an interior designer. Complete with gifs, of course.

Do you love their work?

Head to their website and look at their portfolio. Are you in love with their work? No? Move along! Seriously, what are you still doing looking at their website?! Yes, interior designers can work with any design style. But, just like doctors have specialties, so do designers. Designers work their best magic when they stick to what they know best. It's crucial that your project goals and their aesthetics are a good match. You wouldn't go to a dentist for your physical, would you? Now, that would be awkward. Don't go to a designer with a neutral, minimal style and hope for an eclectic, colorful result.

Did they make you feel heard?

Almost every designer offers a complimentary call where you can chat with them about your design goals. They share their process and how they believe they can best help you. Take advantage of this. Did you feel heard when you were sharing your project goals? No? Move along! It’s super important you feel confident that your designer will make every effort to understand your vision. Find a designer that gets you.

Does it sound enjoyable to spend lots of time with them?

Would you like to grab a drink or coffee with this person? No? Move along! You'll be spending a lot of time with them, and if you can already tell you don't vibe well, it will not be an enjoyable experience. If you don't feel uncomfortable getting personal with your designer, they'll never be able to get to know you well enough to reflect your personality in the design.

What does the ol' gut say?

Lastly, trust your gut; it's smarter than you think. If you love the designer's style, but there's a little voice saying, "Man, I don't know about this." --- listen to the voice in your head. The end result would not be worth going through hell to get there. Or maybe it would be for you, because you enjoy a bit of torture. You do you!

Jess Harrell owner and lead designer at The Styled Domicile
Would you want to work with this weirdo? Yeah, me neither.

Don't forget; designers are feeling you out too. They're trying to determine if your project scope and their services and process are a good fit. They want to ensure that the job will be enjoyable for them too. You're my dream client if:

  • You love antiques, vintage, and plant life. I always include pieces with history and lots of greenery in my designs.

  • Pattern and color don't scare you. And even if pattern and color make you uncomfortable - you're up for being pushed out of your comfort zone.

  • You don't want your home to be basic and boring. You want to stand out from the crowd and have a space that's as unique as you are.

  • You don't take life or your home too seriously. You understand the importance of finding humor in things and are open to playful and quirky touches in your home.

  • You're ready to invest in quality furniture and materials that won't fall apart in a few years and end up in a landfill.

Alright, one more time for the people in the back. Ask yourself the following when considering each designer:

1). Do you love the designer's work? 2). Do you feel heard when talking with them? 3). Are you excited at the idea of spending lots of time with them? 4). What does your gut say?

If you can answer "yes!" to all these questions, you'll be on your way to confidently select the right designer!


Hi there!

I'm Jess Harrell, interior designer and founder of The Styled Domicile. I've got a thing for eating ice-cream straight out of the pint (Netflix and Chill or The Tonight Dough, please), embarrassing my kids (trust me, they love it), and making homes and the people that live in them happier. I'm all about celebrating what makes you different and throwing ordinary out the window.

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