Design Process

Many people think an Interior Designer is simply a decorator that selects wall coverings, fabrics and furniture. That’s only part of it. Good, reputable designers also act as a project manager and advocate for you. With how busy everyone’s lives are, it is more difficult to find skilled and professional people to successfully complete your project. We lift that burden from you and champion your interests to the contractor, subcontractors, furniture representatives, and everyone!

Sensible Chic is an independent firm so we’re not affiliated with a furniture dealer or building developer. There are no conflicts of interest you need worry about. We receive no commissions for any products or services. All of our professional knowledge, experience, and contacts will work in your best interest to give you the most beautiful home you desire. Any furniture dealer can choose some furniture and pick some paint. But as professional interior designers, we emphasize functionality in conjunction with beauty and space planning to meet your budget.

“Because we’re acting as independent designers on the client’s side there’s no incentive for us to diminish quality or push product and furniture lines. We’re design-driven,” says designer Therese Patterson of Sensible Chic.

Sensible Chic takes a team approach to working with the builder and homeowner, but acts as representative for the client. “Homeowners need an extra set of eyes and an opinion that’s on their side. The architect creates plans to communicate with the builder; the interior designer makes sure these plans include what’s in the client’s heart.”

How do we do it?

Interior designers also help clients navigate all of their options. Many people are overwhelmed by dozens upon dozens of choices they have for hinges, drawer pulls, switch plates, light fixtures, tile and more. Once a general theme is established, we then edit the field of finishes so the clients can save time and headache and choose from a handful and not a hundred.

Although many of our clients are referrals, some are not only new to us but have never used an interior designer before. One of the first questions we get asked is “how much will it cost, and how do we get started?”

What is the process?

We start with an appointment to discuss your needs, take pictures and take measurements. The initial assessment meeting usually lasts about an hour to an hour and a half (and varies based on a client’s needs). After our assessment we will develop a design plan for your space. You will receive our recommendations on paint colors, floor coverings, window treatments, or whatever other advice you need ~ as little or as much design advice as you require. We will then return to your home to present and discuss our design plan with you. We charge $110/hour plus $40/hour for travel time in the San Diego area. In some cases, that is all the client wants.

In that instance, our clients prefer to pay us for the design plan (which normally takes about 6-8 hours to complete) and then do their own purchasing, construction, hiring and management of subcontractors and installation while referencing the design guide we provide them for material and color selection.

But in most cases, our clients prefer to retain us after the initial consultation, use us to manage their project, and purchase materials, furnishings, and services through us. By having us manage your project it frees you to concentrate on other priorities while we focus on managing the subcontractors, ordering the furniture and fixtures, and making sure every detail is tended to. We get paid directly for these services at the same hourly rate.

Either way you are going to get professional interior design services that will enhance the beauty, functionality, safety, and value of your home. When you are ready to make an assessment appointment, please call us at 858.472.0988 or send us an email or Contact Us and tell us how we can help make your home more beautiful.

Visit our Interior Design Portfolio and enjoy imagining what we could do for you!