7 FAQs About Working with an Interior Designer 

Whether you’re considering a custom new build or large renovation, having an interior designer is a huge advantage for creating a beautiful home. Interior design is more than picking out fabric swatches and admiring tile samples. We take on project management, product ordering, scheduling trades, and overseeing installation. 

If you’re ready to invest in a home with a thoughtful design that supports your best life, you may be wondering where to start. So today, I’m sharing answers to your most frequently asked questions:

  1. What is included in your interior design service?
  2. How do I know if working with an interior designer is right for me?
  3. Will you work with my builder and architect?
  4. How long will my project take?
  5. Do I have to order furnishings through you?
  6. Will we go shopping together?
  7. How do we start working together? And when?

Let’s dive in…

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1. What is included in your interior design service?

We serve the greater Vancouver area with a full-service approach to interior design for custom homes and large-scale renovations. This means turnkey service from concept to final reveal:

  • Design concept and space plan designed for style, functionality, and flow
  • Design of custom features and interior architecture (like built-ins, wall paneling, etc.)
  • Construction documents, like elevations and electrical plans
  • Hard materials selections (counters, flooring, cabinets, hardware, etc.)
  • Custom furniture design and furnishings selections
  • Project management and site visits in conjunction with your builder
  • Furnishings procurement, inspection, storage, and installation
  • Final accessory styling and reveal day
  • And all the details in between

Yes, this is a full-time job! And one that we happily take off our busy clients’ hands. Which brings us to…

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2. How do I know if I’m ready to work with an interior designer?

Hiring a full-service design professional to plan and manage your project isn’t the right choice for everyone. It depends on your desired level of involvement and your approach to the home itself. Here’s what I have discovered over the years:

You will experience the most benefit from full-service design if:

  • You’re the kind of person who loves to trust and delegate to experts
  • You don’t have the time or desire to lead the project and make a thousand decisions
  • You don’t want to see all the choices, just the best ones
  • You have a big-picture idea of what you want from your home (functionally and stylistically)
  • You’re prepared to invest in a home that lasts and supports your best life

You probably won’t benefit from full-service design, if: 

  • You want to lead the project and stay hands-on every step of the way
  • You don’t know what you want and would prefer to see all the options out there
  • You want to shop for materials, fixtures, and furnishings yourself
  • You plan to purchase all retail furnishings and quality isn’t a high priority
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3. Will you work with my builder and architect?

We have worked hard to build an experienced team of builders, architects, and contractors with whom we work well and trust for their craftsmanship. While we are open to working with your existing builder and architect, we require a preliminary meeting to ensure we are a good fit — which benefits everyone! 

If you don’t have your builder or architect contracted yet, we’d be happy to bring in our favourite experts to collaborate with us. (Are you building a custom home? Read about where to start and who to hire.)

4. How long will my project take?

This is a difficult question to answer, mainly because it depends on the project. However, to give you a rough estimate, let’s look at the equation by phase:

Design Phase: For smaller projects, you can expect a minimum of 6 weeks from the initial consultation to the day we present your design concept. For larger projects, we often require 12-16 weeks for the design phase. 

This timeline might seem long, but remember that we are collaborating with your architect, creating floor plans, custom features, and electrical plans, and defining every detail in the space before a single hammer is lifted or order is placed. That’s how you get a home designed uniquely and perfectly for you.

Procurement Phase: Once we place the orders and you’ve approved the designs, you can expect another 3-6+ months for products to arrive. With supply chain interruptions, this can be more, but we will keep lead times in mind when making selections to avoid delays wherever possible. 

Implementation Phase: Construction times vary and are out of our control. However, we generally see that new homes take anywhere from 18 months to 3 years for your home to be complete, including adding in the final accessories and decor that make it extra personal. Large-scale renovations will usually take slightly less time. This is the industry standard for this level of customization.

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5. Do I have to order furnishings through you?

Yes, and I have to say, this is one of the big benefits of working with a designer! We have a vast network of exclusive vendors and suppliers that we trust for their high-quality products, customization options, and impeccable customer service. 

Procuring your furnishings through us saves you countless hours on placing precise orders, communicating with vendors on status reports, tracking shipments, receiving deliveries, storing the pieces until your home is ready, and then overseeing the final installation. This may look like a short list, but it involves many hours of work, details to organize, and at times, people management. 

Wondering what furnishings investments look like? You can download our Home Furnishings Investment Guide for some typical ranges by room.

6. Will we go shopping together?

As exciting as that sounds (and you know I love shopping!), this isn’t something we will do together, mainly because it doesn’t achieve our goals. Many of our exclusive vendors aren’t available in Vancouver. Plus, putting a design concept together is such a nuanced endeavour that shopping for a few items together isn’t going to give you that cohesive, designer-quality experience anyway.

 Instead, my team and I do our best work in the studio, where we have our own library of samples from those vendors (mentioned above) that we trust and stand behind. Our team narrows down the thousands of options into the very best presentation for you and your family. No time wasted. Just a cohesive, stunning result.

However, when we present your design concept to you, we will have samples of our selected products (like tile and fabrics) for you to look at and feel for yourself. It’s not the same as shopping, but I guarantee you’ll feel an even greater sense of excitement and anticipation!

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7. How do we start working together? And when?

Working with a designer is a big commitment, and honestly, a fairly intimate process. You’re opening your home to us, after all, and we take that responsibility very seriously. That’s why all of our projects begin with a Discovery Call — to see if we’re a good fit — and a Design Consultation to discuss and plan your project.

During this 2-hour working meeting, we gather info, create the scope of work, get to know your design aesthetic, tour the home (if it already exists), and sign an agreement for engagement. If you are building a new custom home, this is the moment when we would review architectural plans and discuss any changes we feel would need to be made to achieve your goals.

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Looking to start soon?

It is never too early to start interviewing the candidates you hope to involve in your home project and get on their calendar. If we’re on your shortlist, I invite you to reach out and book a complimentary 30-minute discovery call with me here. I can’t wait to meet you and hear about your dreams for your home!



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