12 Most Commonly Asked Interior Design Questions
Here are the frequently asked questions for interior design from when to hire a designer, to what does the process look like, to how in the world to build a realistic remodel budget…
1) When should I hire an interior designer?
We suggest hiring an interior designer before or around the time of hiring an architect, builder, or general contractor. Knowledgeable designers enhance the project and work to ensure the end result delivers on your vision. We’re here to guide you and be your advocate throughout the process.
2) What’s the reason for bringing in an interior designer early into the construction or design process?
Let’s first look at what happens when you don’t bring in a designer—it’s like making a movie without a director. There’s no one holding the full vision along with its many details and no one sharing information with the team in a way they are used to processing it. With a designer on board, you have someone managing all the decisions and who knows precisely how all of the many pieces of your large project puzzle impact each other. An interior designer takes the big visions with all their small intricacies and orchestrates them to create the home of your dreams.
3) What role does an interior designer have in a home improvement project?
Our interior designers’ team is your unbiased, expert resource – your advocate and liaison between all your various services: architect, contractor, and tradespeople. Urbanology Designs communicates the information on the who, what, where, why, and how of your home to the right parties at the exact, right times of the project.
4) How do I translate my style and vision to an interior designer while also articulating my needs?
So glad you asked! This is one of our SUPER strengths. We take a deep dive into what you love, need, and ultimately obsess over. We’re able to uniquely translate this and give you results nothing short of exceptional! If you crave the unexpected, you are in the right place. To get there, we set up meetings to establish direction through inspirational elements. In those meetings, we ask lots of questions and listen closely to your answers. Your answers tell us so much of who you are, what matters to you, what you love, what’s sentimental, and what you want to express about yourself. After we get to know you, and through detailed consideration, we integrate images that communicate our ideas into a new vision for your home.
5) What is the lead time to get booked with an interior designer?
It is typical for Urbanology Designs to book out 4-6 months in advance. And depending on the season, we can be booked out much longer. As mentioned earlier, you want your interior designer on board early in your project. So make us one of your first calls to start the conversation and get on our calendar.
6) How much does an interior designer charge?
Urbanology Designs charges a flat fee based on the scope of work. You will know from start to finish exactly what you will invest in design fees for your home. Our clients love this peace of mind as it is much more common for interior design firms to charge an hourly rate.
7) What does full-service interior design mean?
Full-service at Urbanology Designs is entirely turnkey from start to finish. We will create floor plans, design boards, elevations, renderings, and finish samples to bring your design visions to life. You’ll get to see, feel and interact with it all to eliminate the guesswork as to the final product of your home’s transformation. Next, we take care of all the ordering, procurement, site observations, communication with contractors, and finally, installation!
8) Is the interior design process similar to what I see on those HGTV shows?
Reality TV shows are not real life and certainly not done in real-time. They’re entertainment based on real events. Reality design shows are certainly educational and fantastic at showcasing parts of the process and potential drama. But at the end of the day, they’re a highly curated result of months and months of production, including pre and post-production. The big, fabulous reveal is undoubtedly still the end goal and one of the absolute best parts of my job. However, it’s better to prepare for a realistic timeline of 6-8 weeks to finalize a design plan and around six months to complete your project, depending on the scope. In the meantime, enjoy watching the shows and gather new ideas for us to discuss!
9) How do you budget an interior design project?
The budget is where your project’s realistic picture begins, and we won’t start a project without one. Typical budgets range from $250K to $2M+, including furnishings, accessories, and design fees. Your budget is the map that shows us the right lanes to navigate in finding and delivering the best for your home. We will walk through the process of estimating your investment based on our extensive experience with interior design. Most of our clients will know how much they want to invest but may not know what is reasonable to spend on furnishings and fees within their project scope. We guide you through all of this with utmost transparency and design to your budget level. A useful resource for scaling a typical, whole-home design budget is “The Home Trust International“. It is your home, you decide what you want to invest, and we eagerly look forward to working within your investment range.
10) What if I don’t want full-service interior design and simply want an overall plan and to do most of the work myself?
11) Can I buy an item myself if I find it for less money and it looks similar to what the interior design plan specified?
Interior Designing is much like hiring a baker to make a wedding cake. You trust they are buying the highest quality ingredients and mixing, sculpting, and baking it all at the perfect temperatures and will deliver exactly what you budgeted and dreamed of. We are also a service, and part of the magic we deliver is keeping the original intent intact throughout the process. We work tirelessly to ensure all the many moving pieces come together at the exact right moments without sacrificing time, quality, or money. It’s tempting to do your own shopping to save money. Yet, in the end, experience has shown us it inevitably costs our clients in scale and quality mistakes, which results in buying items twice and experiencing frustration from the extra costs. If you prefer to do your own purchasing, we may not be the right designer.
12) Can you shop together with your interior designer?
That’s generally not the most efficient way to work with your Interior Designer. Regardless of what you might see on HGTV design shows (see the answer to #8). Hiring an interior designer provides you two crucial things – Removes the stressful burden of all the many complex decisions involved; and creates peace of mind because you’ve hired a professional to manage it all seamlessly and effectively from the original design vision to the very last item’s installation. Discover what our award-winning client service can do for you when you leave the shopping to Urbanology Designs!