As interior designers work with their clients to create their ideal space, they must take into account their preferences while still listening to their unique sense of style. Whether you're just launching your interior design business, or have been around for years, implementing an interior design client questionnaire as part of your onboarding process will help you better understand the project needs, your client's vision and even help you draft a client-winning interior design project proposal.
To help you create the perfect new client questionnaire, we'll go over the main aspects you must discover about the project and what questions you can ask your prospective clients during or before the initial interior design consultation. But before we get into it, let's quickly define what exactly is an interior design client questionnaire and how it can be helpful for your business.
Note: Bonsai's all-in-one product suite is the perfect tool to streamline your paperwork end-to-end. From client onboarding, invoicing and payments, to complete tax and accounting solutions, we help you save time and take your business to the next level!
What Is an Interior Design Client Questionnaire?
An interior design questionnaire is a list of questions you should ask potential clients before you decide to work for them. Client questionnaires can be sent before you even schedule an initial consultation or sign an interior design contract as it gives you a great opportunity to filter out those clients who might have expectations you can't meet, or may not have enough budget. This questionnaire should allow you to learn about the preferences of your possible client in interior design and coordinate your ideas so that you are on the same page right away.
Without a design questionnaire to use as a guide, you may end up giving your client something they don't like. Additionally, it's a great tool to provide a point of reference throughout the project, making sure the expectations and deadlines are being met. But what are the right questions you should ask your potential client?
What Questions Should an Interior Designer Ask New Clients?
In order to get a good idea of the project and the activities involved in it, you'll need a well-defined set of questions that dig deep into specific aspects of the design process. As you get more and more details, you'll be able to identify any project's red flags and make sure you are a good fit for it. There are three main aspects that will help you gather all the information you need; the project scope, current design and style preferences.
Let's take a deeper look into each of these aspects and provide some example questions to help you create your own interior design client questionnaire.
Defining the interior design project scope is an essential aspect of your client questionnaire. You want to discover the nature and type of the project as well as the functionality that each room will have and the client's budget. Inquire about which rooms you will work on, and the people who will be using them as well as any deadlines and expectations. Here are some questions you could include to gather this vital information.
- Can you describe the project's objectives and scope?
- Who will be making the decisions on this project?
- Please list the names and ages of each family member. (this will help to come up with tailored design ideas)
- What is the project's nature? (Complete remodel, upgrading, new construction, redecoration, etc.)
- What kind of project is it? (Commercial, residential, hospitality, etc.)
- What is the estimated budget for this interior design project?
- What spaces (rooms) will be included in the project? What is their intended use?
- When do you hope to have the project completed?
- Are there any challenges with this project?
It's super helpful to know what your client enjoys (or dislikes) about the current space. For example, they may have a spacious room that they wish to make cozier, or they might want to keep a large painting so you'll have to adapt your design style to it. Additionally, you might need to talk to them about shifting it if it truly doesn't fit the desired design aesthetic. Try including the following questions to find out more about their current space.
- Please specify the room's length, width, and ceiling height.
- Do you have any furniture, accessories, collectibles, or sentimental artwork that you must keep?
- What do you like about the existing room design?
- What do you absolutely dislike about the existing room design?
- Do you or any members of your family have special needs? (wheelchair accessibility, need for dim lighting, trouble with stairs, etc...)
- Is there a priority or must-have for this area?
- What technological requirements do you have for this area? (surround sound, computers, home theater, etc...)
You must develop a solid understanding of what your client's like and dislike regarding design styles in order to deliver a final product that they're happy with. Of course, this can be the most challenging stage of the design process because you and your client might end up having different opinions on particular designs or methods. It's important to identify areas of disagreement in the early stages of the relationship so you can allow enough time to reach agreements before you begin working on the interior design project.
Here are some example questions you can include in your client questionnaire.
- Do you anticipate paint, accessories, furniture, or lighting? How much work will be done? How extensive will the design be?
- Is there a color pallet you prefer? (neutrals, pastels, blacks, olive greens, ocean colors, etc...)
- Is there a color pallet you dislike?
- What type(s) of design do you like best? (contemporary, electric, vintage, bohemian, etc...)
- Are you opposed to any design trends such as minimalistic, nature-inspired, dual-purpose rooms, etc...)
- Do you have any inspirational images of designs you would like for us to base on?
- What kind of "feel" or atmosphere do you want the place to evoke?
- What types of flooring do you prefer?
- What types of artwork do you prefer?
- Do you have a favorite pattern? (zigzags, polka dots, stripes, etc...)
Create the Perfect Interior Design Questionnaire With Bonsai
Are you ready to create your own interior design questionnaire? Make it simple with Bonsai's custom freelance form builder. Our forms are fully customizable so you can make it your own by adding branding elements and including as many questions as you need with your preferred answer format (text, single or multiple choice).
You can create a generic online questionnaire and have it embedded into your business website to generate leads and quickly qualify more clients. For personalized questionnaires, simply create a pre-designed template that you can easily modify to add client-specific questions and share it with them via email or URL link.
Start your 14-day free trial to get this and many more excellent administrative tools especially designed for small business owners and independent professionals in your industry.