Determine what your needs and goals are for the project. Make a list of what you want the outcome of the decorating project to be and what kind of budget you have to work with. Communicating with prospective interior decorators will be easier if you have an idea of what type of decorating project you have in mind.
Ask friends or family members who have hired an interior decorator for recommendations. Visit your friend or family member's home to get a first hand look at the interior decorator's work. If you like what you see, call the recommended decorator to set up a consultation and to ask any questions you may have.
Stop by your favorite furniture store to see if they have an interior decorating service. Larger furniture stores often employ interior decorators that can professionally decorate your home using the store's furniture and accessories. Keep in mind that if you use a furniture store's interior decorating service, you will most likely be limited to using their products.
Interview prospective decorators to make sure that the decorator has experience in the type of decorating project you need. The interior decorator should be an effective communicator and someone who listens to your needs and concerns. Look at the decorator's portfolio to see if his work demonstrates the talent and creativity that you're looking for in a decorator.
Consider hiring an interior designer who has a formal education in interior design and is certified by the American Society of Interior Designers (see Resources below). While many interior decorators have years of experience in decorating, there is no professional certification for decorators. Unlike interior decorators, interior designers have received formal training on how to read blueprints and are knowledgeable about structures.
- Ask prospective decorators to provide you with at least two references.