Interior Designers Reveal Their Biggest Pet Peeves

Disclaimer: This article is made possible through the honest and heartfelt sharing of the interior designers and contractors that we have worked with before.)


Planning to work with an interior designer for your upcoming renovation project? Here are some pet peeves of interior designers that are good to know.

Interior decorator are not interior designer

1. Interior Decorators Are Not Interior Designers  

Let’s make this clear, interior decorators are people who buy pretty items and style the house to make it look good. Interior designers maximise the functionality within a space so that the house looks good even without frills. While there may be some overlap between the job scopes, the job of interior designers requires much more skill and is often underrated by “wannabe’s” who self-proclaim to be interior designers. Come on let’s give them some credit. 


2. Indecisive Clients  

Ever heard of the phrase “too many cooks spoil the broth”? It’s the same thing here. Roping in more parties for design advice is not a good idea. It is impossible to please everyone with different tastes and preferences, and ultimately it would only lead to decision paralysis as there are too many options being presented. 


Being decisive also helps to ensure smoothness in the renovation process. Taking a long time to make decisions would only drag out the timeline and delay the completion of the project. So once a design has been decided upon, try to stay off the internet which could often distract and make people doubt their initial choices.


3. Clients With Unrealistic Budgets

Interior designers are not fairy godmothers. If fairy godmothers can’t even perform magic without their magic wand (the wand makes them magic), how could we expect interior designers to work their magic without a reasonable or realistic budget? Oftentimes, we encounter resale homeowners who wish to renovate the whole house in less than $20K, which already is way too little for new Built-To-Order homes that typically cost less. Businesses exist to make a profit, so clients can’t expect them to give discounts on everything, sacrificing their own margins for the sake of the client.


4.Close-minded Clients

Interior designers are literally experts in design. We think they are more than qualified to issue good advice for your renovation project. While it is awesome for a client to know what they want out of the renovation, the design process should be made of 2-way communication between the client and the designer, and not a one-way street.


5. Interior Designers Are Not Mind-readers

It is totally fine if a client is not 100% sure with what they want to go for, but the most important thing is to be upfront with the designer about it. If the clients themselves are unsure of what they want and can’t communicate it properly with the interior designer, … well, let’s just say that the job of the interior designer is to design and not the decipher codes. 



Before meeting with your interior designer, try to look for design inspiration to figure out your likes and dislikes. The ultimate nightmare is when clients say they “trust” their designer’s taste, and claim to give them free reins in running the show, but nothing proposed seems to satisfy them because even the clients themselves don’t know what they like. Hence, the client should define some parameters for the designer to focus on. 



6. Fussy Clients

As mentioned, design is a conversation between the designer and the client, and miscommunications are bound to happen, making it hard for designers to nail the design on the first try. So is it common practice for the interior designer to do revisions on the design until the client is satisfied, but how many revisions would be considered too much? This differs for each designer, so it's best to check with them before you start to work together.


7. Impatient Clients

Depending on the scale of the project, most renovations could take any time between 8-12 weeks to complete. Approach the interior designers early so that they have sufficient time to come up with quality designs for your home. The designers would not be able to come up with the best designs for your space if they are being rushed all the time. 


8. After Hours Texting 

Interior designers are creative people, and they understand that inspiration may strike at any moment. However, there are some boundaries that should not be crossed when it comes to contacting interior designers. After all, they are humans too, and need their rest.

Interior Designer After Hours Texting


9. Disrespectful Clients

Ever so often interior designers encounter disrespectful clients that cause a rumpus when things are different from what they expected even before trying to understand the rationale behind why the designers chose to do things in a different way. In such situations, the interior designers are in a dilemma about how to handle the situation. These are all avoidable scenarios as long as the client seeks clarification politely when needed.


10. Not Receiving Payment On Time

Clients are not the only parties that interior designers have to deal with. They also have to ensure that their subcontractors get paid on time. So do adhere to the agreed terms of payment as agreed in the quotation and take initiative to inform the designers of upcoming payments. Paying the designers promptly is a mark of respect and shows that the client appreciates their hard work.  In return, the interior designers would return the favour by working hard on the project too.