The early stages of the interior design process tend to be the most important. They’re also the most difficult to navigate. It’s hard to imagine the final product when you’re staring at a blank canvas.
That’s where an in-home design consultation comes into play. Some call it a home visit or a house call, but what it boils down to is an interior design expert who comes into your home, takes measurements, and creates a beautiful room plan.
Here at Circle Furniture, we offer free design services as well as home visits if they’re applicable for your project.
Before we dive into what you can expect from a home visit, we want to explore some things to consider before you start the process.
The first is that, although we offer a free service, not all of the retailers you go to will offer a complimentary home visit service.
Some may charge around $300 for a house call. If you work with an interior designer, they will charge by the hour, generally starting at around $125. However, interior designers will also get involved with renovations, finishes, tiles, and more.
Before visiting a showroom or considering a home visit, it’s important to consider your budget for the project and have a general idea of what you’re looking for in terms of furniture.
And when it comes to finding a designer, it’s all about developing trust. Like any relationship, you’ll know when you click with someone.
Before a home visit happens, our designers will sit down in the showroom with you to hear about your design goals and preferences.
Prior to coming in, we recommend prepping as much as you can so our designers know what you’re working with. What do we mean by prepping? Bring in pictures of your space, paint colors or fabrics you’re working with, and rough dimensions of the room if you can.
It’s also helpful to bring pictures of homes that inspire you (look at Houzz, Pinterest, or Instagram for inspiration). When you come prepared, our designers can help you in the most efficient way possible.
Generally, we reserve home visits for someone who’s designing a section or the entirety of a room or a larger project. In other words, if you’re just buying a chair, chances are you won’t need a home visit.
A home consultation is helpful for someone who isn’t sure what to do with their space and needs the expertise of a design consultant to create a detailed plan for them.
After walking around the showroom and discussing preferences (and perhaps even choosing a few pieces), our designers will set up a time to do a home visit.
A home visit typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour; although some designers stay longer if it’s a larger project.
During the home visit, the design consultant will take measurements and note all of the small details that go into making a functional room plan. Cheryl explains, “We’ll take measurements and take note of where outlets, windows, and other obstructions are.”
Betsy adds, “We also look at traffic flow and measure pieces that will be staying in the space. It’s important to get a feel for the rest of the house; the color and style have to flow together not just in the room but in the whole house.”
Besides taking measurements, they’ll take pictures of the space, and bring in fabric or wood samples. Cheryl notes that bringing samples is important because “lighting is everything.” What looks grey in the showroom may look brown in your house.
After visiting the home, our designers take all of the information back to the showroom and start cooking up a detailed room plan. Once they’re finished, they’ll set up a design presentation at the showroom within a week.
This design presentation is the culmination of everything they’ve gathered—a detailed and functional room plan with furniture, accent pieces, fabrics, and anything else they want to include, like paint color.
Both Betsy and Cheryl suggest that anyone who’s involved in the decision making should be at the presentation to simplify the process.
Betsy says, “Once we give them our room plan, they can purchase the furniture all at once or, like many of my clients do, buy the larger pieces first and then layer in the smaller pieces and accents.”
No matter the size of the design project, our goal is to help streamline the design process and take some of the decision making off of your shoulders. Our design process leads to a curated room plan unique to your space and preferences; which is why our designers take time to understand what you love—and what you don’t.
Cheryl says of the design process, “It’s really fun because we bring out whatever the customer wants. When you go to their house you get a better feel for the space and a sense of what they like. It also helps to avoid mistakes down the road when you plan and take measurements ahead of time.”
Regardless of the size of your project, we invite you to come into your local showroom to get a feel for what you’re looking for, get inspired, and talk with one of our design consultants.
Author: Julia Maiman
Julia is a writer, blogger, and believer in the smell of old books. She has been crafting stories since she could put pen to paper. She is also a lover of dogs, traveling, and Led Zeppelin.