Finding a Designer: Style Match

The thought of looking for designer can be intimidating. Where do you look? How can you be assured of a good job? As part of our series “Finding a Designer” this entry will explore the most daunting component of securing a great designer: Style Match.

If you’re looking for a great designer, your biggest concern may be: “If a stranger designs my space, will it match my personality and style?” Good question! With the right designer, you can rest assured—even if you yourself don’t know what your style is. Here is what to do:

Collect information from the designer’s clients. It’s not enough that the designer executed some beautiful spaces. Each client is unique, so were the designer’s solutions cookie-cutter or were they carefully tailored to that client’s specific needs? Does the finished space reflect the designer’s personality or the homeowner’s personality?

Consider if the designer is a good listener. The designer’s first task is to absorb a ton of information from the homeowner, so being a good listener is a must.

Look at the designer’s past projects. If the designer has a diverse portfolio then there is a greater chance that he or she is open to client input and carefully considers the client’s personal taste.

Ask about philosophy: How does the designer perceive his or her role? Do they work with a sledgehammer or by finesse? Is it evident who will feel at home in the space—is it you or the designer? Remember: a talented designer is able to identify and express your personal style—even if you cannot articulate it yourself.

Finally, a responsible designer will let you know whether your project is a good fit for their firm. If your prospective designer shows interest in your project, ask why he or she feels that you and your project are a good match.

Next up in our “Finding a Designer” series: Experience Match.