How Do Interior Designers Work?
Hiring an interior designer to reinvent your home is a Big Deal, financially and emotionally. It’s exciting. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s adventurous. It’s a journey. But what happens, exactly? Here’s how it goes at Design/Solutions.
As a journey, an interior design project with an experienced and renowned team like ours at Design/Solutions is one that you can choose to be completely immersed in, completely detached from, or fluctuate your level of involvement in.
That’s your choice and it’s possible because you have a group of professionals who are completely immersed in and intensely committed to your project from the first meeting.
Right up front, we’ll say that on the subject of involvement, there actually is one thing we strongly advise against. That’s trying to micromanage the project. Can you imagine choosing to stay awake during a major surgery so you can direct the surgeon on what to do? That’s a bit of a dramatic comparison, we’ll grant you, but the result would be painful and disastrous all the same.
Collaboration? Definitely. We encourage that because we want to be sure from the start that you’ll love the results. By touching base throughout, we can all be sure to keep on the right path to realizing your vision.
Regardless of your involvement, we’ll hold your hand tight from the first day until the very end, when all that’s left to do is be happy and delight in your reinvented home.
It’s not for nothing that we’ve won the top Houzz awards for our portfolio and client satisfaction.
And, as you may have noticed… 5-star Google and Yelp ratings, as well!
At our first meet & greet, we talk about your interior design dreams. Everything starts with understanding, on the most personal level, what you envision for your home – either the entirety of it or a special space within it.
Maybe you don’t have a clear idea of what you want or maybe no idea at all. You just know you want a change. That’s okay! We’ll collaborate on creative brainstorming to craft a design that inspires you.
Once we establish your goals, we assess the “doability” of the project based on both the space itself and your budget.
Next, we provide expert guidance in gauging how much money you’ll need to put in a “lock box” for your design project.
Even our richest clients – and we’ve had quite a few 1 percenters! – take care to have a realistic, well thought-out budget. That kind of cautious financial planning is probably one of the main reasons they’re rich. The simple fact is that failing to budget carefully for any large expense leaves you dreadfully vulnerable.
Back to that surgery comparison. Imagine that you go into the operation and the doctor hears halfway through that you don’t actually have enough money to cover the entire procedure. He’ll still finish, right? Of course. But you’ll be in financial difficulty when the bill comes due.
However, to state the obvious, interior design is not life-saving surgery.
Unlike that necessarily unstoppable surgery, a design project that runs out of funds will, necessarily, stop where it stands. So bad financial planning for a house renovation could leave you not only with money troubles, but with an unlivable home where construction and architectural elements are halted in mid-completion.
With a foundation of extensive budgeting experience, we help you plan properly to avoid that nightmare scenario in favor of a calm and confident experience.
When it comes to finances, we also provide more than the customary project budget guidance. In fact, we go above and beyond the interior designer’s duty with a service that’s actually very rare to find in the business.
We analyze each property we work on, considering its location, price paid, market value, listed comparable properties, their features, and more. We do this to let you know if the amount you’re planning to spend on the design project – even if you can well afford it – doesn’t make sense from a cost-to-value perspective.
There’s a lot we hope you’ll remember us for, but being the designers that supported spending close to the market value of your property on one design project is not among them.
Many designers push and manipulate you into sky-high budget commitments. We, on the other hand, have built a hard-earned reputation of delivering sky-high quality while bringing our very happy clients’ costs down to Earth.
We’ll provide all the information you need to understand the workable budget that balances your wishes, the space, the property value, and your finances.
Based on our creative and budgetary conversations, as well as a review of design examples that you’re drawn to, at this point in the process we prepare a few design scenarios.
The goal here is to help us identify, together, the most appropriate path toward fulfilling your hopes and expectations.
With our guidelines in place, the fun part really takes off now — for you and for us alike. This is the phase of the job where we can let our creativity and imagination take on a life of their own. The possibilities for layouts, lighting plans, furniture selections, colors, finishes, and placements are countless.
To help you understand what’s going on inside our collective artistic mind, we provide detailed shop drawings, 3D renderings, and many other items that play a role in creating your interior design masterpiece.
As mentioned in the beginning, if you prefer to skip all this and just trust us to it, that’s fine too. We’re happy to take on all the fun. As seriously as we take our work and responsibility to you, we really do have a great time pulling together all the million pieces of the puzzle. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t.
That being said, we absolutely think it’s important to give you a way to see what we’re visualizing. It’s your home, after all. So it’s always available on request.
Time for a pause.
Before moving forward from imagination into execution, we must ensure that we’re all clear and on the same page regarding soup-to-nuts project costs.
It’s worth repeating that we will never unscrupulously push you to spend more than the budget we carefully established together.
As the project unfolds and all the ideas come to life with the input of various tradesmen, it will inevitably need a few adjustments. All the suppliers and each element of workmanship must continuously align harmoniously to meet your approved concept specifications and promised deadline.
We manage this process step-by-step to perfection, making sure the quality and essence of the design vision is retained throughout the necessary tinkerings along the way.
In case you’re wondering… Yes, problems occasionally occur that require resolution before the job can proceed.
In some cases, there ends up being no recourse but to revise the budget — and maybe even the concept — due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s sincerely unfortunate but this does happen now and then, as much as we plan and strategize to avoid it.
However, we pledge that we absolutely will not come back to you for a budget and/or concept revision unless we have exhausted all other options.
If and when this happens, we come ready with a few solutions to choose from, complete with their costs, impact on the approved concept, timeline, and budget.
Get ready for some serious happiness.
This is the part where you walk into your reimagined home and (in our typical client experience) become overwhelmed with emotion.
You’ll need a few hours, maybe even days, to soak it all in and process the extensive detail and craftsmanship that have gone into taking the concept from 3D rendering to 3D real life.
This is our happiness moment, too.
This is when we get goosebumps, and feel the satisfaction and fulfillment of doing what we do. It’s the moment that validates how much further we go than the competition to please our clients.