The 5 Questions you Should Ask Commercial Interior Designers
Finding the right commercial interior design team can feel like hiring a new employee of your own, and it is most definitely just as important. Does their design vision align with what you and your company want? Are you both on the same page? What services do they offer?
Just like hiring an employee, you want to ensure the commercial interior design team you hire is the right fit for your business. Whether you own a quiet dentist’s office, a coffee shop franchise or a bustling restaurant downtown, designers should be working to improve your business first and foremost.
Below are five questions you should ask while interviewing commercial interior designers to determine if they’re the right fit.
How does the commercial interior design team/firm decide which projects are best for them?
This is the designer equivalent of asking a potential employee: “why do you think this role is right for you?”
A commercial interior designer who evaluates your business and project will share their priorities with you. This will illustrate how they handle projects, their services, communication style, personality, design strategy, and other elements. The commercial interior design process can take a few months, or even a year depending on the project, so it’s important that the experience is smooth for everyone involved.
Does the commercial interior design firm have experience in your industry?
Asking what a design team’s existing and past clients were will give you insight into what industries they serve. An experienced commercial interior design team can mention a number of projects off-hand, procure a list and even link you to their past projects or client testimonials.
While interviewing design firms, ensure you review each portfolio carefully. This is like the commercial interior designer’s resume. Previous experience will give you and other decision-makers a clearer sense of what they do and their results.
Don’t hesitate to view projects that are similar to your business. For example, at Janks Design Group, our past projects include businesses such as bars, restaurants, new condo developments, dentistry, homes, ice cream parlours and more!
What was a past mistake they made with a project? How did they handle it and what were the takeaways?
You’ve likely heard or asked this question before in an interview. Working with a commercial interior designer requires trust and the ability to problem solve on the spot. It’s important to learn what the design team has learned from previous mistakes and what their response is if something goes awry.
Commercial interior designers may have preventative measures in place to mitigate past issues. For instance, a team could have close connections to reliable contractors and tradespeople and provide immediate solutions without charge if anything doesn’t go according to plan.
What is their approach to Project Management?
An experienced commercial interior design team should have a systematic approach for your type of business. Breaking down each phase of the project should be communicated to you early on to avoid confusion and surprises.
Phase one should include a strategy, plan, timeframe and accurate cost analysis. Expenses should be negotiated before unexpected expenses arise for the client. Ask if the quote outlines any logistics outside of interior design. Costs like additional consultants, changes during construction, permit fees and more should be discussed prior to signing off on a commercial interior design project.
We ensure to share our process openly with our clients at Janks Design Group.
Are they Communicative and Responsive to you? Do they prefer client involvement?
Good communication is never underrated, especially while working with a commercial interior design company. Working with a design firm is more than selecting paint colours and materials, it’s a two-way conversation about your company’s vision, branding, culture, values and goals. It shouldn’t surprise you that these building blocks of your company influence your interior design.
Having a contact who’s accessible to your firm and who comfortably addresses problems will help you achieve your design goals. At JDG, we communicate using presentations, 3D models, detailed floorplans, specification packages, material boards and more. This allows our clients to review the design before any construction so we can make any changes if necessary. It is MUCH easier (and less expensive) to make a change early in the design phase, rather than amidst construction.
If you’re looking for a commercial interior design team for your business, then don’t forget to reach out to us and see if we’re the right design company for you!