Before Getting Started, Ask Yourself These 7 Interior Design Questions

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated February 25, 2022
A bright boho interior with a mustard wall matching an armchair
Photo: Hugo Goudswaard / Photodisk / Getty Images

Before you design your dream home, ask yourself some Qs

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Interior designers know that posing questions to clients is the best way to find out what they actually want for their homes. But if you’re flying solo, you can improve your own interior design judgments by asking yourself those very same questions. 

For example, you may think a loft-style, open house plan is what you want, until the right question makes you realize that cozy and comfy spaces are actually what you’d prefer. When in doubt, these common interior design questions will help you think like a pro and light your way to the home of your dreams.

1. How Do I Want My Home to Feel? 

When answering a question like this, the goal is to be as specific as possible. Start by taking note of the adjectives that come to mind. This could include anything from “dark and moody” to “light and airy.” 

Once you have a sizable list, return to every item and build upon each one. What exactly about your home do you want to be moody? Probing deeper may make you realize that a dark paint color for your walls is what you’re really looking for, or maybe that moody isn’t actually the vibe you’re interested in after all. 

After you’ve gone through your list and expanded each separate item into its own category, you’ll start to have a better picture of the kind of design style you’re trying to achieve overall. 

2. What Kind of Colors and Textures Do I Prefer? 

Once you know what type of feel you want, turn your focus to making it into a reality. And, in order to do that, you have to start figuring out what kind of colors, patterns, and textures fit within your theme. 

Look at Instagram accounts or design magazines to find what you like. Start saving your favorites and, when you have plenty stowed away, take a look at them side by side to best determine the right fit for your particular space. 

3. What Do or Don’t I Already Like About My Space?

Before you start making changes, take stock of your space. Write up each different element, from the flooring to the crown molding, and make a note of your likes and dislikes. Looking at your home in this way may open your eyes to pre-existing features that you actually enjoy, but don’t automatically think of. On the other hand, it may also give you the clarity of mind to ditch your least-favorite objects once and for all. 

4. How Do I Use Certain Spaces?

A yellow armchair in a room with hardwood floors
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Even if you’d like to design every space to the nines, the truth is that some rooms are more about function than style. You may be dreaming of soft, white carpet in your living room, but realize that wood floors would be better for handling your kids or pets.

5. What Home Elements Are Most Important to Me?

Determining which objects are most important to you will make it easier to decide where to invest your time and money. Make a list of everything in your home that needs to be taken care of, and rank each item in order of importance. That way, you can see where your priorities lay in the interior design process plainly written out. 

6. What Can I Live Without? 

While you’re already making a list of the fixtures in your home, take this opportunity to reevaluate certain items. Whether it’s a new TV or a fresh paint job, seeing them all the way at the bottom of your list may make you realize that you’re actually better off without them—and give you a bigger budget for the interior design projects that you do want to do. 

7. Will This Design Trend Look Dated in a Few Years?

Though hopping onto the latest interior design trends can be tempting, take a beat before you rush into anything. You may be really into the idea of a millennial pink accent wall right now, but perhaps regretful of the decision in the not-so-distant future. One of the most common interior design mistakes is following fads, so always give a trend a moment to grow to see if it has any staying power like Shaker Style or if it’s nothing but one-hit wonder.

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