Designer Matchmaking

Dear Billy:

How do I find an interior designer? More important, how do I know we’ll be “simpatico”?

Trust your gut! Chances are, you will be spending a lot of time with your designer, and you should instantly feel comfortable. Communication is the key. Choose a designer you feel is listening to you and can relate to what you are saying. Of course, reputation is paramount: Work with a designer or firm that has an established track record. I would recommend working with someone who is certified by the state or a member of a professional organization like the American Society of Interior Designers ( (ASID) or International Furnishings and Design Association ( Ask to see examples of the designer’s latest projects. Chances are you won’t see your dream house, but look for versatility, flexibility and design integrity. A talented designer will be able to help you express your look and lifestyle to create an environment that will be uniquely your own. Avoid cookie-cutter designers who do pretty much the same look for everyone and expect you, the homeowner, to fit into their style. Your home should reflect you, not necessarily the interior designer.

— Billy Beson