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

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Working with an Interior Designer - tips from interior stylist Lesley Myrick

Unless you’ve previously worked with an interior designer, you might not have any idea what the process looks like. 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 or stylist do, anyway? How long does it take? And what does it look like along the way?

Here’s what the process with Lesley Myrick Art + Design might look like from start to finish for a whole home project. Of course, each client and project is different; but this is generally what to expect.

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

Step 1: Email and/or Phone Introductions

If you’ve got questions about working with Lesley Myrick Art + Design, we’ll address them by email or a 15-minute phone call before you commit to your consultation. We want to make sure we’re an awesome fit for you and your design project. Working together should totally jive and feel great!

Step 2: Design Consultation

A 2-hour design consultation will kick off the 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, and answer your design and project questions.

Step 3: Signing of Contract and Collection of Deposit for Design Fees

A signed agreement (written in plain english) and deposit for design fees will officially kick off your project. Huzzah!

Step 4: 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 contractors into your space (under our supervision) to take their own photos and measurements.

Step 5: Creation of Floor Plans and Elevations; Sourcing Furnishings and Fabric

We’ll take all the information discussed in the design consultation 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.

Step 6: Design Presentation and Collection of Deposit 

After all the behind the scenes planning is done, we’ll present your design plan and estimate. A deposit for the materials and labor is collected so that products can get ordered and contractors can start their work.

Step 7: Placement of Orders

We’ll place all of the orders for furniture, fabrics, appliances – you name it. We’ll also give the contractors the deposits required to start their work.

Step 8: Start of Renovation and Construction

It’s go time!

Step 9: Review of Budget

It’s time to get into the nitty gritty of budgeting and make sure we’re on track. Once construction has started, there may be unexpected expenses arising – you never know what you’ll find when you start opening walls! This will allow us to adjust course as needed and make sure we can deliver the final result within your budget.

Step 10: Installation and Delivery Period

Contractors are busy doing their thing, and furniture will begin to arrive. This part of the design project can take a number of weeks – or months – depending on the scope of the project.

Step 11: Final Delivery and Styling

Once everything has arrived 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 12: The Big Reveal!

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.

Step 13: Resolving Deficiencies.

We’ll do a thorough walk-through of your space to address and resolve any deficiencies. 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.

Step 14: Project Closure.

When all deficiencies and problems have been resolved, we’ll officially wrap. Clients will receive final invoices and a project binder which includes fabric swatches, paint colors, and other useful information to have on hand.

Do you have a question about working with a designer that wasn’t answered here? I’m happy to help de-mystify the process – just send me an email with your question. E-Design (or virtual decorating) is a much different process since the work isn’t done in person, and if you’re interested I’ll do a separate post outlining that process too (just let me know). Happy decorating, y’all!

  • *So what’s the difference between an interior designer and interior stylist, anyway? In Texas, where I live, there is a title law that requires anyone who has the title of “interior designer” to have gone through certain testing and certification processes. This is a title law only, not a practice law. This means even if you’re not a certified interior designer you can still practice interior design, you just can’t legally call yourself an interior designer. That’s why I’m an interior stylist. I’m not a lawyer and this isn’t legal advice – just my understanding of the regulations in Texas. 

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