What to Look for when Hiring an Interior Designer – and why the Holidays are the Perfect Time!

I bet you didn’t realize that the best time to hire an interior designer is right now! That’s right – before the holidays, not after. But with an overwhelming amount of decorators and designers to choose from, how do you know you’ve found the right one? This week, I thought I’d take some of the impending holiday stress off of your shoulders and share a few tips and secrets that are often overlooked when searching for an interior designer.

So why are the holidays the perfect time to hire a designer?

Holiday styling
If you are hosting friends and family over the holidays, an interior designer can help you style your home to impress. Whether it’s sprucing up the guest room, styling a Thanksgiving dinner tablescape or impeccable Christmas tree, or even help with the gift shopping, an interior designer can relieve some of the holiday stress. Holiday styling can even be seen as a “trial run” before you commit to hiring the designer for a larger scale design project.


Home Improvements, Stress-free Demo
If you leave town for your holiday vacation, your designer can manage “getting things done” around the house using their trusted network of tradespeople. Home improvement projects can be intrusive and inconvenient, like cleaning or replacing carpets, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, etc. It’s the perfect time to get things done – you leave and enjoy your vacation while the designer manages the onsite work, and you return to a fresh, orderly home. Similarly, remodel projects are intrusive and can be stressful, displacing your from your home while construction workers rip out the old to make way for the new. Completing the demo while you are on holiday will eliminate much of the stress involved with seeing your home ripped to the studs! Hiring a designer now to facilitate the process will ensure a concrete design plan is in place and a trustworthy crew is lined up for the job.

(The finished product!)


(During construction)


Design Now, Enjoy by Summer
Designer furniture, fabrics, rugs, and lighting often have long production and shipping timelines. It is not unusual to wait 5 to 6 months for a hand-woven rug or a stunning sectional, especially if it comes from overseas or is custom made. So if your designer puts in the orders before the New Year, it ensures a summer installation. On top of the long lead times, many overseas factories close during the month of August. So if you wait until February to place orders, you may have to add an extra month onto the (already long) wait time.


What qualities should you look for when hiring an interior designer?

Customized Approach

The designer should offer to customize his or her design approach to fit your needs, taste, and budget. Do you balk at the current mid-century modern trend? Do you need a detailed budget sent to you weekly? Do you prefer paper copies to digital? The designer should honor these preferences while also setting realistic expectations from the start. The process will be more enjoyable for you, and you will receive a more personally-designed space as a result.


Problem Fixer

The designer should be willing to fix any problems free of charge (within reason, of course), especially if you are unhappy with work performed by subcontractors or a furniture piece isn’t what you expected. Some designers (like Coddington Design) will buy back furniture from their client that can no longer be returned to the manufacturer. Talk about client satisfaction!


Utilizes Technology

Whether it’s online meetings, sharing Pinterest boards, or offering 3D photorealistic renderings, the most client-oriented interior designers will be up to speed on current technology trends. This translates into time and cost savings for you! Coddington Design has been offering these services for years with tremendous client satisfaction.


Coddington Design, with offices in both SF and LA, is currently accepting new clients for the holidays – contact us today at 415. 285. 2821 or info@coddingtondesign.com!