The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Working with an Interior Designer

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Working with an Interior Designer! Take a look at what really goes into a design project.

Unless you’ve previously worked with an interior designer, you might not have any idea what the process looks like. So, here’s the complete beginner’s guide to working with an interior designer.

I totally understand when people are hesitant to invest in a design pro – after all, there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes that it’s easy to be unsure of where your money is going. What does an interior designer do, anyway? How long does it take? And what does the process look like along the way?

Here’s what the 10-step process with Lesley Myrick Art + Design looks like from start to finish for a full-service project (we call this our “Design Comprehensive” package). Of course, each client and project is different and we’ve got different design packages for different needs and budgets; but this is generally what to expect.

Atlanta interior designer Lesley Myrick shares the (totally free!) Complete Beginner's Guide to Working with an Interior Designer. Take a look at what really goes into a design project.

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Working with An Interior Designer

Step 0: Complimentary Phone Consultation

This is the pre-game: we want to get to know you and your project! This free 20-minute call with yours truly is a chance for you to make sure that Lesley Myrick Art + Design is an awesome fit for you. We’ll ask you to share a little about your project with us, we’ll recommend the best design package for you, and you’ll be able to get all of your questions answered. Working together should totally jive and feel great – the complimentary phone consultation is like our “first date”.

Step 1a: Design Jumpstart session

A 2-hour design consultation called a Design Jumpstart will kick off your project. We’ll review your existing floor plan, recommend a new plan (if needed), discuss what type of furniture to purchase, talk about window treatments and finishes, help create a livable budget, come up with a design direction and vision, and answer your design and project questions. The Design Jumpstart is the launching point for you to gather expert advice and resources to continue on your own, or it sets the foundation for our work together.

Step 1b: Signing of Agreement and Payment of Design Fees

At the end of our Design Jumpstart session, a signed Professional Services Agreement and payment for initial design fees will officially kick off your project. Huzzah!

Step 2: On-Site Measurements and Photos

Lesley Myrick Art + Design will take detailed measurements of your home, as well as thorough reference photos. This is also the time that we’ll invite your contractors into your space to take their own photos and measurements and discuss the scope of the project.

Atlanta interior designer Lesley Myrick shares the (totally free!) Complete Beginner's Guide to Working with an Interior Designer. Get an insider look at what really goes into a design project.

Step 3: Design Planning + Concept Meeting

We’ll take all the information discussed in the Design Jumpstart and use it to design your floor plan; choose furnishings, fabrics, and finishes; select appliances and light fixtures; and create cost estimates for every necessary aspect of your design. This is the part of the process where a TON is done behind the scenes, and the client sees very little immediate results. We know it sucks to wait, but it takes time to do this right and make sure every last detail is covered.

Once we have a design direction and some initial selections made, we’ll schedule a meeting to present our Design Concept and get your feedback on where things are headed before buttoning up all the details.

Step 4: Design Proposal Presentation and Collection of Payment

After all the behind the scenes planning is done, we’ll present your design plan and proposal. Payment for all the goods you approve is due and we’ll get busy procuring your items!

Atlanta interior designer Lesley Myrick shares the (totally free!) Complete Beginner's Guide to Working with an Interior Designer. Get an insider look at what really goes into the 10 steps of a full-service design project.

Step 5: Procurement

We’ll place all of the orders for furniture, fabrics, appliances – you name it. We manage allllll the tedium of ordering, tracking, receiving, and inspecting your furniture and decor.

Step 6: Construction + Site Visits

It’s go time! This is when your contractors will get started with their work. We’ll pop in for site visits (usually weekly) and be available via phone and email to discuss the project with your contractors and answer their questions. This part of the design project can take a number of weeks – or months – depending on the scope of the project.

Step 7: Furniture Installation + Styling

Contractors are done doing their thing, and now the pretty stuff will arrive! Once everything has been delivered on-site, our team will arrange and style everything for the big reveal. Your home will go from construction zone to finished magazine-worthy space practically overnight.

Step 8: The Big Reveal + Walk-Through

TA-DA! At the end of the day you’ll walk in the door to see your home completely finished. (Cue angels singing.) All your patience will have paid off when you see the incredible transformation! Your home will feel totally amazing. And it’s all yours to enjoy. We’ll also do a detailed walk-through with you and create a punch-list of deficiencies that need to be addressed.

There are always going to be a few minor things to take care of – this is totally normal. Sometimes furniture arrives damaged, or an issue arises with work that’s been done. This is the time to fix those pesky problems and ensure you’re over the moon with your new home.

Check out this (totally free!) Complete Beginner's Guide to Working with an Interior Designer. Get an insider look at what really goes into the 10 steps of a full-service design project.

Step 9: Professional Photography

Your stunning space deserves a moment in the limelight! Right after the big reveal when your home is perfectly styled (usually the next day) we’ll bring in our rockstar photographer.

Step 10: Resolving Deficiencies + Project Wrap-Up

When all deficiencies and problems have been resolved, we’ll officially wrap. Clients will receive a project binder which includes fabric swatches, paint colors, and other useful information to have on hand. And of course, a little thank-you gift from us.

Do you have a question about working with a designer that wasn’t answered here?

This complete beginner’s guide to working with an interior designer is just scratching the surface. If you have a question or are you’re interested in starting a design project (no pressure to marry me, it’s just a first date!) you can book a complimentary consultation call right here.


WHAT DOES IT REALLY COST TO DECORATE A HOUSE?

Get ready to kickstart your interior design project and plan your budget like a boss! Download our FREE super helpful guide with room-by-room furnishing budgets and printable worksheets.