Feeling overwhelmed at the idea of hiring an interior designer, even though your space desperately needs a makeover? We get it. After all, partnering with a designer means that you’re putting your trust in someone else’s hands to perfectly interpret your unique style and bring it to life. But whether you’re thinking about renovating your entire home or refreshing a single room, a good designer will implement thoughtful and stunning solutions, creating a space that inspires happiness.

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s everything you need to know about working with an interior designer to achieve the space of your dreams. 

What Can You Expect from Working with a Designer?

When you partner with an interior designer to give your home a much-needed refresher, the most important thing is to be prepared. Do a little homework ahead of time so that you know exactly what you want—or don’t want. Find some inspiration images for each room, and figure out what you love about each one. You should also be ready to answer the following.

  • How you want your new space to function: Do you love entertaining with weekly dinner parties, or would you rather watch Netflix on the couch with the family? Do you need quiet spaces for working or creating? Is your home a high-traffic area? Do you have any special needs? Think about the primary use of the rooms that will be getting a makeover, and whether you want to keep them that way or change up the way they function in your home.
  • Which design styles you love most: Crazy about midcentury modern? Can’t get enough of the Texas farmhouse look? Decide on your aesthetic, whether it’s a single theme or a mix of your favorites.
  • What sort of timeline you’d like to stick to: Depending on the scope of the project, your interior designer may need months or even years to bring your vision to life. If you’re asking for structural renovation and want custom items ordered, you’ll have to be okay with the project taking as long as it needs.
  • How much of a budget you have: Realistically, you should be prepared to cover the cost of materials, as well as any additional labor costs. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the costs of tax, assembly, and freight—and tax and freight alone generally cost at least 18.5% before assembly labor. Remember that while hiring additional labor can help get the work done faster, it will also increase your bottom line.

What’s the Process Like?

You’ve decided to commit to a makeover for your home—so where do you go from there? It’s all about communication and collaboration, baby. Most designers follow the same basic steps, but here’s how it will shake out at J.Fisher, from our first correspondence to the final, finished project.

  • Design brief: The first step is the brief, a detailed questionnaire that introduces us to you and what you’re looking for in your project. Is it a new build, renovation, or just some help elevating a room’s current style? You’ll also answer some questions that help us get to know your style and vision.
  • Photos/videos: During this phase, you’ll send us photos of your home—or give us a video walkthrough—so that we can start our brainstorming and planning in a way that’s specifically tailored to your space.
  • First meeting: This is when we create our game plan, covering your goals and ideas for the rooms involved and the forecasted timeline of the project.
  • Contract and budget: The final step before we work our magic, this is when we iron out the financial details and create a budget for your project.

What About Cost?

Since most designers own their own businesses, they set their own billing structures, so costs vary among them. However, it generally works in one of two ways. In the first option, the designer will charge an hourly fee and commission. In the second payment option, the designer will charge you a design fee for the project plus cost, as well as commission. Any designer worth their salt will provide you with a detailed budget before the designing begins, so getting a cost breakdown will be pretty simple.

The most important thing to remember is that elevating the style and function of your space will ultimately be more than the sum of its costs—it’s an investment for your home and the way you enjoy it.

Looking for Austin Interior Designers?

Hiring an interior design services pro to redo your home is a big deal. But the most important thing is to choose someone who has both the savvy experience and a jaw-droppingly impressive portfolio. Whether you have a detail-specific vision in mind or have no design plan to speak of, we’re here to enliven your space for a dream makeover that’ll keep you inspired.

Get a head start by filling out this easy design brief and then reach out to us to schedule your consultation. We can’t wait to see how your space comes to life!


J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!

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