Why should I hire an interior designer and when in the process should I hire one?

A designer should be hired early in the project process—essentially once a decision has been made to pursue a project.

You should hire an interior designer—just as you would hire a lawyer or call your accountant—when you need an expert.

Interior designers have met rigorous educational standards and also have a great deal of expertise in project management. In addition, designers are affiliated with one or more professional associations that require continuing education. Interior designers are able to execute a project properly, efficiently, and with respect for the budget. An interior designer is well versed in scale vs. proportion and color theory as well as neuroaesthetics.

How do you work? What is the process?

It all begins with a discovery call. An appointment is then scheduled for the initial consultation (a charge of $550 for the initial consultation visit is made at the time of scheduling), where Martha Lowry will review the requirements of the project and assess the existing space.

The Design of the Times, Inc. contract will also be reviewed at this meeting. Our project management follows a 15-step linear process that includes weekly communication and strict attention to detail. Design services are charged on an hourly basis, and an agreed-upon retainer is required at the time of contract signing.

What areas do you serve?

We typically serve clients in North Carolina and on the east coast—but please feel free to reach out with details if you have a project outside of our standard service area.

How will you figure out my aesthetic? Does Design of the Times, Inc. have a specific style?

Design of the Times, Inc. does not focus on specific styles or trends; however, a large majority of our projects are traditional or transitional in style. Ultimately, our goal is for you to feel completely at home.

An important piece of our process is dedicated to helping you to determine, if need be, what aesthetic is most pleasing to you. A successful end result is when you feel comfortable and safe in a well-functioning space.

How long will my project take?

The project process can vary depending on the scope. Most minor remodel projects (ie., a small bathroom) can take 3+ months from project initiation. Larger remodels can take 6–12+ months depending on the work to be done. Furnishings projects can take several months as well; particularly if custom items are involved. Good design takes time—and is deeply worth it. You’ll get to enjoy the results every day, for many years to come.

How will we determine the budget for material selections and furnishings? Will I have control over how I spend my budget?

Special attention is always paid to determining a realistic budget based on the scope of the proposed project. Design of the Times, Inc. will help in guiding the budget process based on long-term experience in construction and furnishings acquisition.

Do I need to find my own general contractor?

We’re happy to recommend contractors. However, clients must hire and enter into a contract with the contractor themselves.

How often do you communicate with me throughout the project?

We communicate through each phase of the 15-step project process on at least a weekly basis—sometimes at scheduled meetings and often via email or text. Timesheets are maintained vigorously and are always available for your review.