Interior Designers- Initial Consultations, Why a Fee is the norm and what you can expect

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  – Maya Angelou -


As you can imagine in the world of interior design there is a constant stream of requests for services.  I speak to several people a week who need some form of design consultation.

Sometimes its a full scale  “We’re not sure where to begin, We need HELP….. Please!” kind of call.

Designer call – Designer phone

Other times its “I have an idea of what I am looking for, but I would love to have a second opinion to determine if what I want is actually possible and to get an understanding of costs so I move forward”.

Occasionally, its “I know exactly what I want, but I have never renovated and I think it would be best if I work with a professional regarding budget, trades, and project management.

And once in a blue moon its “I would love you to create a design concept for me that my husband and I could implement on our own.”

I will begin by saying no two projects are created equal and one client’s living room for example, will be vastly different from another’s in terms of the details, scope of work and overall design concept.

Fab floor plan-

I am admittedly, a little biased but I do believe some form of professional input is a good investment.

The “Do It Yourself” movement is huge right now and I get it!  I really do! In these uncertain economic times saving a few bucks here and there is important however, remember we can become so overzealous in our quest to save that we are no longer open to other viable options.  A designer can help you get what you want AND stay on budget.

Here’s How I can help …

Jennifer Brouwer Design charges a fee of $500.00 for a 2 hour, on site consultation. The goal of the meeting is to exchange information. After a walk through the space with the client, we sit down together and discuss in detail all the specific requirements for the project. The client details the problems areas to be addressed, their thoughts regarding solutions and identifies their “vision” for the space. We, in turn, offer information about how their goals can be reached, the costs involved and how it relates to their budget. We help clients prioritize their needs and determine the best use of their funds. Budget discussions are perhaps one of the most uncomfortable yet eye opening steps in the process. Many homeowners have no point of reference when it comes to renovation costs. A consultation meeting provides the client the opportunity to get accurate, realistic information regarding cost and timeline. If the client has underestimated the cost of their project we can help them find more cost efficient ways to reach their goals.   I have yet to be stumped on a solution when it comes to budgets!

Jennifer Brouwer Design follows up the Initial Consultation Meeting with a formal Proposal regarding the Scope of Work and Design Fees associated with the project. It is presented to the client for their approval and once the client has accepted the conditions the project is initiated.

JBD is a full service design firm and as such, we do not offer “design only” options. I prefer to stay true to my core values and implement my own concepts.

A new addition to our services is the Half Day or Full Day Consulting Package. If you have run into difficulty with specific aspects of your project, don’t know what to do next and have “hit a wall” so to speak, we will meet with you to review your plans, address the issues, help you find a solution and give you the confidence to carry on to the finish line.

Another unique, customized JBD to suit..

Hope this post was helpful, if you are starved more info please be sure to check out the short video on FAQ”S

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  1. Jennifer, I could not agree with your philosophy more! I am currently revamping my service offerings in a similar way, keeping full-service as the core of operations. It’s good to hear other designers are way ahead of my thinking!

  2. Bravo Jennifer! Its like the old saying – you get what you pay for. Your expertise is valuable as an interior designer. In the long run, that expertise is what saves a client costly mistakes and headaches. Keep up the great work!

  3. Jennifer- What a helpful overview. You are so smart to be clear on your process and how things work. It takes a lot of the uncertainty out of the world of working with an interior designer. Thank you for being so forthright.