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Hiring an Interior Designer

I recently received a call from a young couple asking how the process of working with an interior designer works. This is a question that people often wonder if they’ve never worked with one. It can seem a bit overwhelming, as you may have questions about the process and whether it’s worth the investment.

What are the steps of the interior design process?

The process typically begins with an in-home consultation. Prior to the meeting, it’s helpful if you gather inspirational photos and determine your project budget. During the consult you’ll talk about your vision for the space -- how you would like it to function as well as how you would like it to look and feel. You’ll also discuss your budget and timeframe, and the designer may take photos and measurements at this time. If both designer and client think it’s a good fit, a contract that outlines the project scope and estimated design fees will be drafted and signed.

Then the fun begins! Based on all of the information collected, the designer will create and present a design plan that may include floor plans, mood boards and samples. After getting your feedback the plan may be revised. Once the plan is finalized and approved, ordering begins. Coordination with other trade professionals such as painters, flooring and window treatment specialists and general contractors takes place.

After all work on the space has been completed and furniture and other design items have arrived, installation will occur. Then the designer will add finishing touches with art and accessories to complete your new space. It’s so fun to finally see the new space come to life!

Cozy rec room with what’re walls and warm wood tones.
Rec Room inspiration from Studio Mcgee.

Basement renovation by studio McGee with white walls and warm wood tones.
Via Studio Mcgee.

Is it worth it to hire an interior designer?

The answer is definitely -- yes!!

Have you ever ordered an expensive piece of furniture and then regretted it not long after it arrived? Working with a designer can prevent you from making expensive mistakes. They can enable you to see the overall vision for the room before you start spending money. Some people find the process of choosing furniture and making all the decisions involved with designing and renovating a room overwhelming.

A designer will take the stress out of the process for you by coordinating the project and people involved. In addition, they should have access to furniture lines and brands that are available only to designers, resulting in a unique space that doesn’t look like everyone else’s!

How to choose an interior designer

When selecting an interior designer, look online at the designer’s website and social media to see if you like their general aesthetic. While the end result of your project should reflect you and your personality and interests, the designer will likely have certain styles and colors that they like to use. Do you like the photos in their portfolio?

It’s important to choose someone that you think you will enjoy working with. The process of designing or renovating a space can take a fair amount of time and investment. During your initial call and meeting with the designer ask yourself: “Is this someone I will enjoy working closely with for an extended period of time?”

Ask friends and neighbors for referrals. Is there someone you know whose house you love walking into because it looks or feels so good? Ask them if they used an interior designer and whether it was a good experience working with them.

Finally, make sure your budget and timeline are a good fit with the designer’s fees and timeframe for completing the project.

Floor plan for a basement renovation.
Floorplan of a basement renovation project we’re currently working on.

Theo & Co Design mood board for a basement renovation.
Mood board for the basement renovation project that shows furniture, lighting and paint.

Stay tuned for photos of the completed project!

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