When we are seeking services from any professionals, it is far more tense, complicated and stressful as compared to products purchasing. We all would like to think that we are rational, responsible adults by carefully studying every terms on every printouts. Whether it’s doctor, hairdresser, lawyer or wedding planner, it all applies.
Unfortunately, we don’t give enough credit and consideration to criteria related to emotions, even though studies have shown that purchases are made mainly based on emotional satisfaction than practical solutions. For me, it’s not about choosing one over the other but a balanced evaluation of both. In short, a decision (regardless of its outcome) that will make you sleep well at night. Priority and values you hold dear differs for each home owner.
What is important is to be aware of them (your own values and priorities) so that you don’t disregard other factors that will affect the interior designer, architect or contractor that you will end up hiring.
Do they lean towards a particular design style in their works?
Are they an all-rounder?
Is there one of two of their project that stands up and you want to head towards that direction?
Are they able to commit to your budget from the start?
Do you have a clear budget in mind?
Always account for items that you need that is not under contractor/ designers scope (loose furniture, curtains, moving services, cleaning)?
3. Personality, communication
Are they someone you can comfortably exchange ideas with?
Do they get you?
How do they react when you make changes or reject ideas?
How involved do you want to be in this project and are they up to the task?
Are they willing to coordinate purchases that you will make yourself (tiles, electrical fitting, bathroom fittings)?
Of course there are more nuances and points to consider, but I hope that this will help you get started and think of the bigger picture.
Don't need to learn from your own mistakes. Learn from others' mistakes.