What is a Design Project?

Do you live near Chicago or Milwaukee?  Are you planning on undertaking a large decorating or renovation project?  If you answered yes to both of those questions, a Design Project is probably right for you.

With a Design Project, our design team can help you with all aspects of your project to ensure that you end up with the space that you have always wanted.

How Does it Work?

  • Schedule

    Ready to learn more and tell us a little about your project? Call or email us so we can learn more about you and what you are trying to accomplish.  If a Design Project is right for you, we will set up an Initial Consultation.

    Chicago: 773.304.4133

    Milwaukee: 800.776.3609

  • Meet

    At the initial consultation, a designer will meet with you for about an hour to discuss your project so that we can send you an estimate with the number of design hours we think it will take to work on your project. There is a $75* fee for this meeting.

  • Sign

    If you like the estimate and want to work with us, sign the contract, provide a deposit and we will begin work on your project.  If you don’t like our estimate and decide to go with another designer, we will be sad, but won’t hold you to anything.

  • Design

    It’s time to start your project. Our team of designers will work with you throughout the design process to come up with an awesome design that fits your needs, tastes and budget.

Is a Design Project Right for Me?

When you have a larger project that you need a lot of help with, full-scale Interior Design Projects are probably the way to go.  Here are some examples of common interior design projects we work on:

  • Assisting with furnishing a single room or an entire home.
  • Designing a new powder room or bathroom.
  • Helping you design the kitchen you have been dreaming about for years.
  • Picking the artwork and accessories that finish off your room.
  • Developing a furniture layout for a home that you are moving to.  We can help you decide which pieces to move, donate or discard.
  • Assisting you in finding and interviewing contractors.

How Much Will it Cost?

After stopping out at your place for an initial consultation, we will pull together an estimate for your project.  In the estimate, we will list all of the tasks that need to be completed (typically by room) along with the number of hours we think it will take to complete that phase of the project.  Your hourly rate is based on the number of hours we think the overall project will take.

Estimates will not include costs for materials (e.g. furniture, materials, artwork, accessories) or the cost for contractors to complete any necessary tasks. At this point in the project, it is too early to tell how much a specific item will cost.  If you are looking for estimates for your budget, here is a good guide for estimating costs of common home renovation materials.

All projects require at least 5 hours of design services.

* Please note, that due to the distance and amount of time needed to travel to some locations, a trip surcharge may apply.  Also, a surcharge of $45 will be applied to all weekend appointments.

  • Initial Consultation
  • $75*
  • Project Hourly Rate
  • $150/hour

What is a Design Project Like?

While working on over 200+ interior design and home renovation projects over the past few years, we have developed and streamlined a process to help you decorate or renovate your home.  Though this process may vary slightly from project to project, once you sign on with us your project will typically follow these steps.

Project Kick-off
Kathryn Cherne (Lead Designer) taking kitchen cabinet measurements

Kathryn Cherne (Lead Designer) taking kitchen cabinet measurements

After the project scope has been defined and the contracts have been signed, we can now start the design process for your project. During the project kick-off, you will meet the main interior designer responsible for your project.  The lead designer may be different than the designer that stopped by at your initial consultation.

The on-site designer will start off by taking necessary measurements of the job site and an inventory of any existing furniture and accessories that will be used in the new design. We will also work to refine your design vision and the scope of your project,  so that no detail is left out of the design.

Design Development

Design Inside will work on the development of your new space. Now that we have a deeper understanding of your design tastes, we will create a complete design that includes the necessary floor plans, elevations, furniture selections, material samples, paint colors and sketches necessary to convey the design to you and any contractors that may be involved in the implementation of the design. Our goal is to give you enough information to understand what the space will look like and confidently make a decision about the direction of the design.

Product Acquisition
Warehouse full of ordered furniture for various design projects

Warehouse full of ordered furniture for various design projects

After your final approval of the design, it is time to start the purchasing of materials.  During this phase, necessary products and merchandise will be purchased by Design Inside, yourself, and any contractors that may be involved with your project.

Chicago kitchen renovation project

Kitchen renovation project in progress

Once the products and materials have been received and the team responsible for managing the implementation has been engaged, implementation/construction can begin.  This may be as simple as arranging furniture and hanging artwork, or as complicated as building a new kitchen. It all depends on what type of project you have.  Depending on your project size and scope, implementation may be completed by Design Inside, yourself or contractor(s), or any combination of the three.


Even before the dust starts to fly, management of the project is critical to keeping it on track and on budget. Depending on the size of the project, you may elect to manage the project yourself. However, most customers hire us to manage things. Design Inside may recommend establishing time lines and payment schedules to motivate the timely completion of your project. We may also help to review work of the contractors, painters, installers, and arrange delivery of furniture and other merchandise during the implementation phase, all in an effort to help things move along smoothly. During this phase, it is critical to keep an open-line of communication and to inspect the construction as it is progressing. We heavily utilize email, text messaging, cell-phone pics and phone calls to expedite communication and to maintain the timeliness of you project.  Often times, weekly status meetings are required.

Bill Cherne taking final project photos of modern living room

Bill Cherne taking final project photos of modern living room

Once the dust has settled, the paint has dried, and the last piece of furniture has been moved into place, we will review the project to make sure that you are happy with the final result and come on site to take some photos of the completed project. Our goal is to make sure that we have met or exceeded your expectations and that you are happy with the look and feel of your new home.

Ready to Get Started?

Are you ready to have one of our designers over to your place?

Call Us

Do you have time to talk now?  Give us a call.

Chicago: 773.304.4133

Milwaukee: 800.776.3609

Email Us

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