Frequently Asked Questions on How to Find an Interior Designer and More

The following are commonly asked questions regarding how to find an interior designer and once hired, then working with them.

Q: How to find an interior designer?

A: Many people will Google “interior designers near me” to come up with a list of designers in their area. This is one way to find interior designers near you.  However, we recommend you take some time to do additional research in order to find someone that understands your vision and design taste.

In order to be really happy with the result you want to find an interior designer that listens to and understands your budget, design preferences and lifestyle.  All of these go into the planning of a successful interior design project.  Additionally, an interior designer will have expertise in home decor accessories, function of color, an eye for detail and ability to understand your vision for the entire space.

It’s important that you and your designer are on the same page with a lot of these details. We recommend interviewing two or three to be sure you have found someone who’s the right fit.

Most interior design companies will charge a consultation fee for this first meeting or interview.  This is because they invest a lot of time listening and discussion on your design project.

When you go in for the interview (also called a consultation), bring in a few photos of items you intend to use for design inspiration. Let the designer know about your specific quirks and personal preferences. By the end of the meeting, you should have a good sense of whether the two of you will work well together.

If you have a design project, we recommend you come on in to our studio and talk with one of our interior designers to see if they are the right fit for you.

Q: Why do I need an interior designer?

A: Whether you need a little help or a lot, from answers to a few questions on color selection or furniture layout to help on planning and completing a complicated remodel or new construction project, the advice and guidance of an Interior Designer from State Street Interiors is invaluable. Having a professional Interior Designer on your team who has the knowledge and experience of countless similar projects as well as the information and expertise for finding the exact products and trades-people you need to get the best result for your project is priceless.  Working with a State Street Interiors designer will help you move seamlessly and efficiently through the project, as well as help you prevent costly mistakes or side-steps along the way.

Q: I’ve never worked with an interior designer, how does this work?

A: Not a problem! This is easier than you may think. We schedule a phone call to discuss your project – what you want to accomplish, intentions you are trying to achieve, the function of your rooms, your style preference, timetables, budget, etc. If we agree that one of our designers can help we schedule an in-person appointment to visit your location. At the conclusion of that meeting, our designers have a clear idea on how to implement a plan that best suits your needs.

Schedule an in-person meeting if you have a design project you are considering getting help from an interior designer.

Q: When should I hire an interior designer?

A: While a good designer can help you at any stage of the design, it is most advantageous for you to begin your work with a designer at the earliest stages of the design. State Street Interiors can take your project from the initial point of gathering information on the requirements and needs that you have for your space, throughout conception, development, construction, purchasing and installation for every detail of your project.

Q: What should I have at our first meeting for my project?

  • Collect clippings from magazines and photos of furniture, home decor looks and accessories that appeal to you. Or the link to your Pinterest boards of your ideas.
  • Think about colors, styles and effects you like.
  • Know what you want to accomplish, what the room or house should do for you when finished.
  • Should it be formal or casual, traditional or contemporary?
  • Know your objective and lifestyle needs.
  • Establish a time frame in which you would like to work.
  • Have a budget in mind and be honest about it with your designer. Having a ball park figure is a good start.


Q: How much does it cost working with an interior designer?

A: Our design fees are based off the scope of work, and will be discussed after the first initial consultation meeting. The designers at State Street Interiors have experience on most projects and understand the amount of time needed to complete your project.

Some projects will determine a project management fee, comprising of an agreed amount of design hours, where other smaller jobs will be billed an hourly rate depending on the scope of work. State Street Interiors can work with any budget, and are flexible to fit your needs.

Q: Do you offer free consultations?

A: As much as we wish every service could be complimentary, we have to charge a fee for initial consultations due to the amount of time and energy put into the site visit and proposals we put forth. Generally a couple hours of design consultation is a good start to begin a new project. Even if you don’t continue to work with us after the consultation, most clients have thanked us regardless. The ideas presented during our initial consultation save you in terms of your time going forward, and help you by avoiding costly mistakes had you gone without seeking advice from a professional.

The initial consultation is well worth the financial investment.  You go away with new ideas and a new respect for what a quality interior design studio brings to your project.  Refer to our FAQ above on “how to find an interior designer.”

Q: Do you offer custom options?

A: Yes! Many of our services and vendors we offer, from upholstery to case pieces to drapery, is custom to give your home the uniqueness it deserves.

Q: What if I decide I don’t want everything custom?

A: That is absolutely ok! We work with clients who have different budget levels, and provide the best solution possible. Our studio showcases beautiful accessories to help finish a space, with comparable and affordable pricing. Custom doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive. Custom allows you to select the right fabric, finish, or size to fit your space. Regardless of what route you go, we will help you accomplish the look and feel you want.

Q: What if I order something custom and change my mind?

A: Unfortunately, custom orders are non cancelable. Custom orders require time, special products and skilled craftsman to make something that is unique specifically to your tastes. Most ready-made products and studio products at State Street Interiors may be returned with a restocking fee, but it depends on the manufacturer.

Q: How long does it take? 

A: Each project at State Street Interiors is different, so obviously the time it takes varies. Custom furnishing take an average of 10 weeks, hard window treatments take 3-4 weeks, custom drapery can take up 3 weeks for fabric and labor. Ready-made products, if in stock, can take 2 weeks. Remodeling jobs can take 3-4 months, depending on the scope of the project. During your design consultation, we can give you an estimated completion time when you begin your and adjust along the way as circumstances dictate.

Q: Can I use my existing furniture?

A: Of course! We encourage you to hold on to treasured pieces and will work with you to incorporate these items within your new décor. We have a flexible approach to design that honors and respects our clients’ existing pieces and encourage all our clients to repurpose as much as possible. One service we can provide is space planning. Our designers can input your floor plan into a 3D computer plan, incorporating your existing pieces and new ones to maximize your space and reduce layout mistakes.

Q: What cities do you work in?

A: We offer interior design services in the Quad Cities primarily, but have clients in Muscatine, Clinton, Iowa City, Geneseo, and beyond. If you are outside a 40-mile radius, we will determine if we are a good fit for what you need on your project.

These are our most commonly asked questions regarding how to find an interior designer and then once hired, working with them.  If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.