1. What's the overall look you want to give your home? There are many ways to answer this question....are you looking for a casual look or more formal? Is your style Contemporary, Traditional or somewhere in between? Are you looking to create a coastal look or a vintage or cottage look? Do you like soft, muted colors or are you more bold? These are all things you need to consider and communicate to your interior designer.
If you have trouble putting into words what you are trying to create (as many of us do!) start by creating a notebook full of magazine pages you have ripped out that you like. Go to the paint store and grab some paint chips that you like.
If you are more computer savvy, check out Houzz.com and Pinterest and start putting together "Idea Books" with pictures that you like. Take a look at my Houzz profile Mandeville Canyon Designs on Houzz
2. How will the space be used? This is where I encourage you to do some deep thinking. There are certain ways we many want our space to be used or how we may want it to look, but the reality is we are all busy and have families. So, what we may picture in our mind may not actually be realistic.
Give this some deep thought. Does an office need to couple as a guest room from time to time? Do you entertain a lot? Do you need your dining room to also function as a homework station for the kids?
These are very important things to think about and discuss with your designer so that the end result is not only beautiful, but it's functional too!
3. What is your budget? This may be the hardest question to answer, as you really may have no idea. My husband once warned me to never give them a budget because they will always spend it! The truth is, a good designer will use this as a valuable tool in determining your overall design. Even a ballpark figure allows for everyone to stay on the same track as far as materials and labor, and helps to prioritize. Thus allowing you to get the most bang for your buck!