Your new house is like a blank canvas – full of possibilities, and ready to be transformed into a masterpiece. Think of your interior designer (ID) as an art director who helps to mould your space into the home of your dreams. With so many interior design firms around, it might be overwhelming to pick the right ID.

Here are 4 questions you should ask your potential ID to see if he or she is the right one for you.

1. Can I see samples of your past work?

We’re assuming you’ve already done your homework, and checked out the design firm’s portfolio and online reviews. Still, you should ask for the designer’s past works to get a better sense of their style. This is especially as individual designers may have their own specialties, which could differ from their firms’. Check if their work aligns with the vision you have for your future home.

2. What is your working style like?

It’s equally important to understand how the designer works. Having this conversation early ensures everyone involved is on the same page before works begin. You may want to break this question down further, for example:

  • How will you present your proposals? Should I be expecting ideas to be presented in mood boards, 3D visualisations or other formats?
  • What would be the best way to contact you throughout the project – via text messages, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings?
  • How regularly can I expect updates on the project?

3. What does the budget for this project look like?

Money talk might make you sweat, but the last thing you want to do is burst your renovation budget! Do also check when and how payment should be settled, and budget for this in advance. If the quotation happens to exceed your budget, evaluate which items are absolutely necessary and which are things you could live without.

4. What is the expected timeline for the project?

After all, time is money (your ID will surely agree). Highlight all the factors your designer may want to factor into the timeline. Can works on your flat only begin after a certain start date? Are you hoping to move in by a specific date?

It would also be great if you and your ID can draw up key project milestones. Do check if they have other projects that they’re working on at the same time as well, and ask if these projects will affect the progress of your renovations.

With these four simple questions, you should get a sense of whether the interior designer is The One for you. Have other tips for our readers looking for an interior designer? Let us know at

  • Wong Li Ying

    Social media nerd who dabbles in writing, design, and photography. Spends an embarrassing amount of time on the internet, thinking too much about pop culture.

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