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6 Questions to Ask an Interior Designer Before Signing Your Contract

Ready to work with an interior designer or decorator on your next project? Before you begin, it's helpful to know what to expect before your project starts. One designer may have a different approach or process than the next, so here are a few questions you'll want to make sure you're clear on before you get started:


Background Photo Credit: Amanda Hemstreet Photography

Do you design projects outside of your "signature style" or aesthetic?

Whether a designer tends to focus on certain styles or color palettes (whether traditional, modern, coastal, or bold and bright colors versus light, neutral palettes), it helps to have an idea of their signature style and if it aligns with your desired look for your own home. Review photos of projects shared on their website, portfolio, or social media. We’ve worked on client projects with a variety of design styles, and have a thorough “getting to know you” process before we begin your project to ensure we’re aligned on your desired style and aesthetic. 

Photo Credit: Amanda Hemstreet Photography

How do you charge for your services?

Depending on the interior designer you're working with, there are different ways designers are compensated for their services. Some designers charge hourly for their design services and send monthly invoices, while others charge a project fee based on the size and complexity of your project, and may collect a deposit for your project to begin. Either way, you will want to know before your project starts when you will be expected to pay for your design services over the course of your project. 

What will I receive with my design service?

Photo credit: Amanda Hemstreet Photography

Regardless of what you are hiring an interior designer for, whether it's a full room design with furnishings and window treatments or assistance with your remodel, you’ll want to confirm exactly what you will receive with your design service:

  • Are in-home meetings, showroom appointments, etc. included? 

  • Which room(s) in your home are included in the project? 

  • Will you receive design or space planning visuals like a floor plan, design board, or 3D rendering? 

  • What specific furniture or décor pieces will the designer be selecting for you? 

  • Will you receive any paint, fabric, tile, area rug, or wallcovering samples so you can view materials before purchasing? 

  • Will the designer handle all of the purchasing, tracking, delivery, and customer service on your behalf, or will you be purchasing your new furnishings and décor directly?

At CNC Home & Design, we provide a project proposal and detailed service contract to help clarify any questions and provide a more seamless design experience.

How much will my project cost?

It’s helpful to have an estimate from your interior designer on how much you can expect to invest in your project - not only in terms of their design services, but also what you might expect to invest in new furnishings and décor, materials for your remodel, or even estimates from other professional services such as a contractor, painter, or electrician. Having estimates of all of these expenses before starting your project can help from a financial planning perspective, so you have an idea of what to expect and what your project will take to accomplish before it begins.


Photo credit: Amanda Hemstreet Photography

When will my project be completed?

Depending on the size and complexity of the project, interior design projects can take six months to two years, from planning and strategically designing all aspects of your space, to scheduling and completing work with trusted trade professionals such as contractors, electricians, wallcovering installers, etc., to handling all of the purchasing, tracking and delivery details and overseeing your project to completion, when the last furniture piece is delivered or artwork is expertly placed on the wall.

To help our clients plan for these timeframes, we share a project timeline before their projects begin, providing a realistic expectation of when their dream spaces will come to life, what to expect along the way, and when they will get to celebrate their newly refreshed spaces!

Photo credit: Amanda Hemstreet Photography

How will we communicate during our project?

What's the best way for you to contact your interior designer? Should you call, text, or email? Will you be meeting in person or over Zoom? How should you expect to receive communication and updates on your project, and how frequently?


We understand that your time is valuable, and communication is the key to success. To ensure no project detail or approval is overlooked, all designer/client communication on your project occurs within email rather than text message. 

Every Friday, we email a weekly update to each of our current clients with a summary of what was completed on their project that week, what to expect next week, and any outstanding questions or items requiring their approval. 

Digital copies of project files and documents are also available for reference in our online Design Studio software for their convenience. 

Photo credit: Amanda Hemstreet Photography


We would love to learn about your next project, and see if we're a good fit together. 


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