How to Hire an Interior Designer

Interior Designer Susie putting the finishing touches on a professionally designed bedroom.

What happens when you hire an interior designer? 

An in depth look at how to hire an interior designer, including billing and more!

This week on Instagram I talked about how to hire an interior designer, specifically from my clients’ point of view. The response was overwhelming! So I’m here to answer all the questions and give you a behind the scenes look at what to expect when you engage a designer’s services.

Our Process

Hiring an interior designer doesn’t need to stressful. In fact, our clients frequently tell us how much fun they have! Whether you’re looking for local or virtual interior design services, the process is very similar and the design fees are the same. 

First thing you’ll want to do is reach out to your preferred interior designer. Be sure to check their social media and website for a look at their past projects and client reviews. More times than not, designers are booked out months in advance so be sure and do this sooner rather than later. If they are unavailable, usually they can refer you to another professional. 

Interior Designer Susie and Design Assistant Raegen styling a bedroom in Dallas, Texas.

Schedule a Design Consultation

When you email our team, my design assistant will set up a phone call to get some more information from you about your space and design wishes. She can answer any questions you might have at that time. If you’re local, she will set up an onsite visit with me. If you’re out of town, we will schedule a Zoom call. These consultations are a flat fee of $200 and last about an hour. We will talk about your space, your needs, your style, etc. We can give you generic advice on this call as far as paint colors, furniture arrangement and any other quick fixes that we can see right away. 

Interior Designer Susie and Design Assistant Raegen
Meet Raegen, My Design Assistant!

Moving Forward with a Designer

If you choose to move forward with us, you will be given a design contract. This binds you to pay for our design services by the hour. Right now we bill at $200/hour with other designers in the area billing at $300+ based on years of experience. We always give you a good faith estimate on how many hours we expect our work to take and you can certainly cap us at any budget that you may have already in place. 

If virtual, we will ask you to email us measurements of your space. If you’re local, we will take these measurements during your consultation. 

Initial Designs & CAD Drawings

In a couple of weeks, depending on our work load, you will receive your initial designs. These include floor plans, 3D renderings and mood boards that express our professional vision for your home. The next step is a back and forth collaboration on minor adjustments that you would like us to make and/or changes you want us to implement. Keep in mind that these revisions are billable hours. 

Once we have landed on designs, we will put our work in CAD (computer-aided design) if you need it. These are construction documents that a contractor will need to correctly remodel or build out your space. This is also billed hourly. 

A sample floor plan

Your Interior Design Tool Kit

At the end of the design phase, you’ll have quite the tool kit! Not only will you have a virtual representation of your design, but you’ll have a shopping list of finishes and selections. You’ll also have construction documents (if part of your design) that you can hand to a contractor. This is vital when getting bids so that you can compare apples to apples. It’s also helpful because you can begin to order things like light fixtures, faucets and accessories, some of which are on a 16 week lead time. 

Material and Finishes for the Miller Bath
Materials and Inspiration for the Miller Bath. See the full result in our winter 2021 edition of HomeMade, The Makers’ Almanac.

Ready to Bid Your Interior Design Project

If you are local, we have our contractor come out to bid the job for you, and I highly recommend his work and his crew. 

What else can I answer for you? Have you hired a designer or would you hire an interior designer? We’d love to hear from you!

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