How to Choose an Interior Designer

NYC interior designer standing inside a bathroom showroom

So, you’ve decided it’s time to spruce up your space and bring in the big guns – an interior designer. But wait, how do you choose the right one without falling into the design disaster trap? Fear not, for I am here to guide you through this journey with my years of experience working with clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Hawaii, and other locales. With more than 20 years of experience in interior design and house flipping, here are five learnings:

Tip 1: Swipe Left on Design Disasters

Ah, yes, the design disaster – a term I’m all too familiar with. My own apartment has been through more design faux pas than a catwalk in the dark. To avoid this tragic fate, do your homework. Check out potential designers’ portfolios. Make sure that their design aesthetic fits with what you’re looking for, and if not: swipe left faster than you do on a questionable dating app profile.

Tip 2: Budgeting Blues

Picture this: you’re staring at a gorgeously designed living room, imagining yourself lounging in luxury. Then reality hits – you need to watch your bank account . Been there, done that. Set a budget and stick to it. Your wallet and sanity will thank you later. A good designer can work wonders within your financial boundaries without turning your dream home into a financial nightmare.

Tip 3: Chemistry Check

Finding the right designer is like finding the perfect dance partner – chemistry is everything! Schedule a meeting, grab a cup of coffee (or something stronger), and see if you vibe. Your designer should understand your style quirks and eccentricities, and you should feel comfortable enough to spill your design dreams without judgment. If the conversation feels as awkward as my attempts at small talk, it might not be a match made in design heaven.

Tip 4: Reviews, Darling, Reviews

In the age of the internet, information is power. Read reviews, testimonials, and any design gossip you can find. If a designer has left a trail of disappointed clients, it’s definitely a red flag. Opt for someone who has glowing reviews and a reputation for transforming spaces into works of art that fuses functionality.

Tip 5: Consultations: The First Date

Think of the initial consultation as a first date – awkward yet exciting. This is your chance to get to know your potential designer, spill your design fantasies, and see if they can turn them into a reality. If their design ideas leave you more bewildered than my attempts at assembling IKEA furniture, it might be time to politely decline a second date.

And there you have it: Choosing an interior designer doesn’t have to be a daunting task (I should know as an interior designer myself). Follow these tips, trust your instincts, and remember: while no one is perfect, you should feel heard and seen in your design wants and needs! I’m always so excited to see people rediscover a space with the right interior design so, happy decorating!


About Jarret Yoshida

Jarret Yoshida has worked in the New York interior design world for more than two decades. With a varied portfolio of projects including residential and commercial spaces, he draws inspiration from his Asian interior designer heritage to create stylish, welcoming, and sophisticated design solutions.

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We can’t wait to hear more about what you’re dreaming up for your space. Every project begins with an “Ask Me Anything” call, where you can tap into our expertise about what’s possible for your project and budget. We welcome you to book an appointment today!