A client typically approaches an interior designer after being referred by a friend or finding the designer online. The client takes his time by researching about you, checking your website, online reviews on Google, and your LinkedIn page. Then he calls you or requests for a face-to-face meeting to ask you about your work, the cost to get the job done, and how you can get started. He gives you a tour of his property and tells you what he wants to see in his home.
These summarizes the process that clients go through before they seal the deal with the interior designer. Most clients don’t have any design expertise or background, so even if they tell you what they want in their property, the details they give are often incomplete or unclear. Sometimes, they are not possible or realistic, considering functionality, aesthetics or budget factors.
As the designer, it’s your task to guide your clients through the thought process and help them communicate with you what they want to achieve with this project. Here are questions to ask before you get started:
- What’s your budget?
The client should be able to give you a price range, so you’ll know what design options and materials you can include in your work.
- What are your timelines?
Ask when they need to have the project completed then tell them whether it’s doable. Some clients would want to complete the jobs sooner for major family events like having a baby in the family, organizing parties at home, and the like. If they want it completed sooner, let them know if it’s possible and how that would affect the cost.
- What do you like and not like in your current home?
This gives you a quick idea about your client’s preferences. But go beyond the “what” and ask the “why.” Why do you like this particular design? Why do you want this color? Why do you want this piece of furniture here? Some clients don’t really know what they want, but once you ask the “why” questions, it tells you a lot about their desires, motivations, and lifestyle. These factors should be considered in your design.
- What colors do you like?
Clients have color preferences. Once they tell you what they like, you can then suggest color palettes and show them how these would work in your design. Use 3D renders or 3D rendering services to demonstrate how these color palettes would work.
- How do you plan to use this room?
Asking them how exactly them plan to use a space will help you design a functional space. For example, ask about how they plan to use the living room. Will they be working here? Will kids be studying here?
Asking the right questions before you start the project ensures clear communication, so you can satisfy your client’s design needs from the beginning to the end of the project. This also minimizes the need for revisions.