Home Destinations Planning On Renovating Your Holiday Home?

Planning On Renovating Your Holiday Home?

by Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande

Embarking on a journey to transform your family holiday home into a heavenly retreat is an exciting venture, and choosing the right interior designer is paramount to its success. In the realm of home aesthetics, the expertise and vision of a skilled designer can make all the difference. To ensure a harmonious collaboration and bring your design dreams to life, it’s crucial to pose the right questions before making a commitment.

In this blog post we have the pleasure of interviewing Christen Chen, Owner at Sonntagmorgen Design. Together we explore the top 10 questions you should ask an interior designer before entrusting them with the task of crafting your dream home. From understanding their design philosophy to clarifying logistical details and budget considerations, these inquiries will empower you to forge a successful collaboration and achieve the holiday home you’ve always envisioned.

Whether you are planning on renovating your entire home or just a room or two, whether it’s giving it a complete overhaul or just a refresh, join us as we unravel the key inquiries that will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect interior designer for your unique style and needs. The dream home you’ve always envisioned

vision board


The Top Ten Questions To Ask An Interior Designer Before Committing

What type of spaces do you design? 

Most designers focus on either commercial or residential projects. Commercial projects vary in complexities with experts covering different industries. Residential projects can be challenging depending on size and technicalities. If you want to build a swimming pool or a home theatre, for example, do make sure you find a designer who understands the challenges of these installations. 

What type of services do you offer? 

In general, design services can be broken down into space planning, furniture and fixture selection, renovation and installation. Some designers only provide the design while you do your own purchasing, some provide full service where everything, including art pieces, are sourced for you. Some designers are willing to accept projects as small as one room, while others only take large projects. 

What is the design process? 

You do not want to attend a design meeting, then to walk away not knowing next steps or when you will hear from the designer again. Ask about design turnaround time, furniture lead time, how/where he or she sources their products, and how the design will be presented. 

How much can I be involved in the design? 

Know if you are a hands on or a hands off client. Then ask how the designer typically interacts with his or her clients during the design phase. Find a designer who can take charge if you only want to say yes or no. Work with a collaborative and communicative designer if you are one who is very invested in the process.  

What is your design philosophy?

This might seem like a fluffy question but it is actually quite important. Some designers could focus more on aesthetics, and some more on functionality and efficiency. Some believe in bold, personality-stating design while some take a more minimalistic approach. Designers can be very versatile, but not all designers are comfortable creating spaces that are polar opposite of their design belief. 


What if I change my mind or don’t like the design? How many changes can you make? 

It is human nature to change our minds. Some design firms have a very rigid number of design changes they will make. Have a thorough conversation with the designer on the style and direction before design work begins to reduce the need for major revisions. Read the contract carefully when you receive it. The number of revisions and extra payment should be clearly stated in the contract. 

How do you charge?

There are multiple ways a designer can charge for services – by square meter, by hours or a retainer. There are designers who charge a standalone design fee, and some bundle the fees with renovation and furnishing. Payment plans also differ from designer to designer. Make sure you ask upfront.   

What is your turnaround time?

There will always be a time lag from concept to design, from revision to revision. Ask the designer what the turnaround time is so you don’t end up waiting endlessly. 

How long will the whole interior design project take?

This varies on the size of your project, lead time of furniture chosen, the availability of tradesmen, and if any design and renovation work coincides with holidays. Things are typically much slower in the summer months and December. 

What contractors do you work with?

If you are looking for a designer who also handles the renovation and installation, it is important to know that the crew he or she works with is experienced and the designer will ensure quality outcomes. 

Last Note

Putting your dream holiday home together can be a long, arduous journey. Find a designer who is responsive, communicative and who you are comfortable with will make the process much more pleasant.

Christen Chen is a Munich based Interior Designer. Her studio, Sonntagmorgen Design, serves clients across Germany. She also consults and provides design services within the European market.

Christen Chen