How to work with an Interior Designer

You’re ready to breathe new life into your space. To create somewhere that reflects you and works for the way you and the people around you live. 

But where do you start? Aren’t interior designers aloof and a bit scary? Won’t they judge you and your home? 

Some might. We definitely won’t. At Lewis Knox we’re experts who are passionate about the work we do. But central to the success of every project are our clients. Getting to know you, what you love, and what your vision is, means we can deliver a design that’s unique to you. 

If you’ve not worked with an interior designer before the process might seem daunting, but we’re a friendly bunch, our design studio is relaxed – and the kettle is always on. 

So how does it all work? Every project is different but we’ve put together some answers to common questions and an outline of our process. 

Dive in and have a read. When we start talking about the possibilities for your space, we’ll discuss how we’ll tailor the process for you – and we’re always on the end of a phone to talk things through. 

When should I hire an interior designer?

We believe that a synergy between architecture and interior design is key to delivering stand-out spaces. So for us it’s never too early. Getting an interior design team involved before planning permission and any build work starts means we can collaborate with architects and builders to make sure the space is configured in the most effective way.    

A huge part of our talent is in space reconfigurations, layouts, and architectural designs.

A huge part of our talent is in space reconfigurations, layouts, and architectural designs, but if your project has already kicked off there’s still lots of scope for creativity around room flow and function. If you’ve already started, try to give your interior design team as much information as you can on milestones like plumbing and electric installation so they can help you make the most of your space. 

How does the process usually work?

Every space is different and not every project will need every stage, but if you’re embarking on an interior design this is our typical process:  

1. Consultation

This first stage is a free consultation where we get to know you and your project. It’s a chance to understand your vision, your space, and how we can work best together. After the initial meeting we’ll put together a detailed plan including costs and timescales. When you’re happy with everything we’ll send you a fee appointment letter. Work will usually start around two weeks after this – depending on studio availability.

Lewis Knox, Consultation

2. Concept design

This is where things get really exciting as our interior and architectural designers set to work producing initial floorplans and layouts that show the mood and direction for your space. Our team will gather some initial samples to give you a feel for the materials, finishes and colour palette too. We’ll have a meeting in our interior design showroom to present this concept work and get your feedback and ideas. 

Typical timescale: 2 weeks depending on project size and complexity

Lewis Knox, Concept Design
Lewis Knox, Concept Design

3. Developed design 

When you’ve had time to digest the concepts and fed back to us, we’ll start developing your interior and architectural design in more detail. For joinery and bathroom designs this will include initial design elevations. We’ll also shortlist finishes for each area of the design so you can choose your favourites. Your input at this stage is key so it usually involves a few meetings to hear your thoughts.

Typical timescales: 2-3 weeks depending on size and complexity of project.

Lewis Knox, Developed Design

4. Technical design  

It’s time to get granular. We’ll use your feedback to develop a full set of drawings that itemise everything across the project. Including any builders work, floor finishes, lighting/electrical, ceiling details, and design intent drawings for bathrooms and joinery. We’ll share this with our trusted trade partners to get costs and timescales.

Typical timescales: 4 – 6 weeks depending on size and complexity of project.

Lewis Knox, Technical Design
Lewis Knox, Technical Design

5. Furniture, fixtures and equipment 

Running alongside the technical design, during this stage we’ll be finalising options for things like flooring, taps, showers, furniture, and furnishings. We’ll produce a detailed inventory of items with product details for you to check over and agree.

Typical timescales: 2-3 weeks depending on size and complexity of project.

Lewis Knox, Furniture Fixtures & Equipment

6. Project Co-ordination 

When the project kicks off we’re very hands-on. We’ve got close relationships with our trades and project manage and co-ordinate their work. Our team are regularly on site to make sure every part of the design is delivered to the highest standards and back in the interior design studio we’ll be busy co-ordinating schedules and timelines. 

Timescales for the build stage will be set by the main contractor.

Lewis Knox, Project Co-Ordination
Lewis Knox, Project Co-Ordination

7. Installation and interior styling

When the build work is complete, we’re ready to install and style. All the items sourced through our studio will be unpacked, placed, and dressed. Bringing the interior vision and concept to life in your spaces. We can also arrange for cleaning during this stage. 

Typical timescale: 1-3 weeks depending on size and complexity of project.

:ewis Knox, Installation and interior styling

8. After care

Details matter to us. After completion we’ll produce a snagging list and make sure everything is resolved quickly. We’ll also give you a detailed handover and maintenance pack. We hope you’ll be as proud of the project as we are so with your permission we’ll arrange for a professional photoshoot of the space. And we’ll be on hand after completion to answer any questions, offer advice, and hopefully work on more projects together.  

Lewis Knox, After Care
Lewis Knox, After Care

Do I need to find a local interior designer? 

We’re happy to travel far and wide for a brief that allows us to stretch our creativity. We have a large client base in the North West – where our interior design practice is based and where our heart is – but we’ve worked on projects across the UK and beyond. Our design portfolio features projects from Chester to New York, and Abersoch to Africa. 

Will an interior designer take on any size of project? 

It depends on the studio. Most of our projects are large in scale but we do take on some smaller projects like single room designs. If you’ve got a small space our furnishing team will be your point of contact and can look after just the design or the complete management. Whatever the size of your project we’ll approach it with the same care and rigour. 

How much will an interior design cost? 

Every space, client, project is unique so it’s hard to give a cost before getting to know you and your bespoke needs. After our initial consultation we’ll put together a proposal that will outline our fee based on an hourly rate. Our projects are collaborations, and we’ll explore all the possibilities for your space that fit with your budget.

We’ll explore all the possibilities for your space that fit with your budget.

Watch a project in action

Go behind the scenes with the Lewis Knox design team and some of the regions finest suppliers as we work on a recent home renovation. From tiling, wiring and decorating to bespoke light installations, gain a unique insight into our fine tuned process. See each room take shape as we manage the project from start to finish to ensure every details is perfect.

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Got more questions? Want to talk interior design with one of our team? We’d love to hear about your project. Call us at the studio on 01829 271585 or drop us an email:

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