The FAQ’s of The Interior Design Process

Interior Design Process-Hire an interior designer at work
photo courtesy: ipost.com

What is the interior design process?

The interior design process differs from company to company. The majority will require a 1-2 hour consultation. Some designers charge for this upfront and will later, once hired credit the client back. What’s included in the initial consultation varies also. Once the job scope and the terms are determined and agreed upon both parties usually enter into a signed agreement. The designer will present the client with a design proposal including design ideas, estimates for budget, design plan implementation, floor plans… Decisions are usually made jointly and agreed upon by  both parties. When the designer is making large purchases and/or for items that are non-refundable it is customary to have the client sign off  for such purchases.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

An interior designer has a degree in interior design. Read my thoughts on this subject here

How do I know if I need an interior designer?

If you are having difficulties making a design decision and if…learn more

Are Interior Designers Only For Wealthy People?

No. You should be able to find a designer to help with large and small projects. Most charge by the hour and are willing to work within your budget. During the initial consultation you can inquire about what the designer would consider a reasonable budget for the project you want done. Interior decorators may charge less per hour than an interior designer. A small design company may charge less than a large firm. Location matters. A big city design firm may charge more than one located on the outskirts of town…I recommend you do your homework and inquire before hiring.

 * I am used to working with both moderate and large budgets. I’m available for large and small projects. My initial consultation may be all you’ll need.

What are your qualifications?

Go here to learn

How long does the interior design process take?

 Most professionals will work within the client’s time frame. Custom orders such as window treatments and furniture purchases may need a 2-8 week turnaround time. It can take as long as you would like it.  *I have clients that do one room a year and others that need several rooms done before a holiday. I let my clients know what a reasonable time frame is based on the scope of the job, the trades availability, custom orders, and special sourcing requests.

 How does the design process work for hiring contractors?

When hiring trades the process varies per company. Some designers have their own team of tradesman that they require you to use.  Other companies offer referrals.  *Marie Grabo Designs offers referrals, however you are welcome to get outside estimates.

How does the design process work for purchasing when using a professional designer?

Some designers make the purchases then send an invoice usually adding on a 10% sourcing fee. *I require a retainer upfront and send a receipt including the 10% sourcing fee. The retainer is an estimate for the products that will be purchased and is usually provided using a debit card, PayPal, gift card or check.

What’s included in an interior design consultation?

Not all designers and decorators follow the same protocol. It’s important to ask upfront. Go here to see what my decorating consultation entails.

Do I need to sign a contract?

Designer/decorators often do enter into an agreement in writing to define the job scope and agreed upon terms. It’s good protection for both parties.

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