january 16, 2020

Q&A with Bria: Everything You Need to Know About Hiring an Interior Designer!

If you’ve ever been interested in hiring an Interior Designer to help you with your home, this post is for you! We understand that the whole process can be a little bit daunting in the beginning when figuring out where to start or what to ask. Good news is, you’re not alone!

Today, Bria is answering some of our most frequently asked questions regarding hiring a Interior Designer. She’ll be sharing both a general overiew as well as ones specifically regarding Bria Hammel Interiors and how we work.

What does it cost to hire an Interior Designer?

I hate to be vague, but it really depends on what type of project you have and and how your designer bills.

For us, some projects we bill by the hour and some we do as a flat fee. Most importantly, you need to be clear about your expectations and the scope of the project. That way, the estimate the designer can give you will be extremely clear. We always remind our clients that the work an Interior Designer does is not just in front of you! 75% of the work is unglamorous and behind-the-scenes.

Designer Secret: Here in the Midwest, it is fair to estimate that 1-3% of your construction budget goes towards design fees while for renovations, it’s more like 5-10% of your construction budget.

What if I can’t afford to design my entire home at once?

This is completely understandable! We know, it’s an expensive process and we don’t turn projects away based on this. We have plenty of clients that come to us with multiple projects and we tackle them one at a time. We always say that it’s important for us to touch one room completely head to toe so that you can really understand the transformation we can make and that our clients can witness the services we have to offer to it’s fullest extent.

How do you work with clients that are out of state?

We treat our out of state projects like any other project. It doesn’t change much about our process but instead of driving to a meeting we fly. 😉 It’s important to us that we have face time and meet all of our clients in person so we do require travel when we take projects on. For presentations, we can certainly do things digitally but we’ve also had our clients come to us and we’ve been known to travel with suitcases of samples. Haha! Over the years, we’ve really perfected our out-of-state project processes and have become super efficient! As for our fees, they don’t change. The only difference is that we charge for travel expenses which ends up being around 1% of the total project.

How long does the whole process take?

Again, it obviously depends on your project and the scope of work! For us, our on boarding phase for most projects is anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Our design phase depends on what type of project it is. When it comes to furnishings, we strive to deliver all furnishings within 12 weeks from time of order. I will say, some of this depends on how quickly our clients can make a decision and if they are prepared with their vision!

Why would I hire a designer like BHI instead of going somwhere like Restoration Hardware or Ethan Allen who offers design services?

A few reasons! 1. They can’t do construction. 😉 2. When decorating, you are limited to a very small pool of home furnishings by sticking with a company that offers on a selection of pieces. With an Interior Designer, you are not limited to certain brands or styles and it allows us to tailor our selections on budget, aesthetic, lead times, and quality. So many different factors!

Do you only spec Brooke & Lou for your projects?

Absolutely not! We created Brooke & Lou to allow ourselves to reach people who might not be able to afford/or need design services. Becuase we’ve curated the collections, Brooke & Lou does offer some of our favorite items so you might see a few in our projects but we want our projects to be completely custom. This is one of our favorite parts of our jobs as designers and a huge reason why our clients hire us!

Will I be working specifically with Bria?

I oversee all of our projects and it’s important to me to oversee and meet all of our clients needs. I’ve developed our team to have everyone working in their expertise and passion. So, while I’m more heavily involved in the onboarding/design phases, my lead designers and design assistants are experts in project management and I’ve learned that that’s not my forte. 😉 We have a team of 18 uniquely talented women who all play a special and cruicial role in our business and we couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of them!

What if my style is different than yours?

We believe that a great designer should be able to design for any aesthetic! For BHI, I don’t think we have a true, signature style. If anything, ours is livable, approachable and tailoring it off of our clients lifestyle. From there, we can do that in a traditional, modern, preppy, transition application.

What questions do you have about hiring an Interior Designer or BHI specifically? If you feel like we left anything out feel free to shoot us a DM on Instagram or leave a comment below!






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