While some may assume that the job of an interior designer is simply choosing pieces of home decor to arrange together in an appealing way, there is actually much more that goes into it. Interior design requires a degree that takes years to achieve, so it is no small feat that an interior designer has achieved a lucrative career in the industry. Let’s break down all the elements that go into the work that your designer does to ensure that your space gets the best interior design possible.

The first interaction you’ll have with your designer face to face is likely an in-home consultation, so they will be able to take a quick look at your space and use their education and creativity to start procuring realistic ideas for the space. Consulting takes a bit more effort than simply listening to what the client wants—they have to gauge the reality of if these ideas are possible, understand the structure of the building, and the costs involved to make it happen. They should be open and receptive to what the client wants, but anchored in expertise. The designer should also have excellent interpersonal skills and be somewhat personable and friendly, as it makes the overall experience much better for the client.

The designer will also outline a detailed proposal that is calculated with precision. This is where your designer will propose the scope of the full interior design service they will provide to you, though the details are not finalized. They will work within the parameters of your decided budget, and construct a proposal based on the amount of furniture you’ll need, the types of renovations necessary, and anything else that the renovation will require within the scope of the interior design and interior decoration. They are also able to calculate costs based on trade discounts received through being a member of the interior design industry, which is something the average person is not able to do on their own. Their experience within the home decor sphere will allow them to write an accurate proposal, and ensure your design goes according to this agreed upon plan.

The actual development of the design is where your designer’s skills will really be on display. Given the parameters and specifications of the space, they will use their eye for the best interior design to source the appropriate pieces, choose the best color schemes, know the most practical materials for your lifestyle, and add their own personal x-factor to the design in ways that you can only get from years in the interior design industry. They also know the best interior design trends: what is going to last, what is just a passing fad, what is not sustainable. And although you may think you have an eye for interior design trends, there is nothing that compares to the hands on experience of a professional perspective.

Project management also factors into the interior decoration process more than you would initially think it would. It’s the designers responsibility to make sure the design stays within budget, and meets the specific standards that the client asked for. They will likely need to hire someone to perform other tasks, like painting, construction, and installation of electrical and plumbing if called for in the plan of your interior design. This means it is also their responsibility to contact the most professional and fully vetted contractors to fulfill these duties. Many designers have their own personal rolodex of those who can perform these interior design service outliers for them, so they also have industry connections. Time management is a big part of this process, as the designer will need to ensure the interior design service they provide does not exceed the predetermined amount of time that your project will take. They’ll show strong leadership, organization, and business skills through this project management, which is not something you’d get when trying to create a full interior design on your own.

Interior design service is not solely limited to the home, however. There are a variety of other types of interior design that your designer may specialize in if you are looking for services for another type of establishment. Some designers specialize in commercial interior design, which can include things like retail store locations, office spaces, restaurants, doctors offices, and much more. These designers can perform a unique kind of interior design service that is specialized to the type of establishment, and provide interior decoration that is appropriate for each. While the home decor you keep in your house may look nice, it may not be professional enough for an office setting. Instead, your interior designer will have a firm grasp on this and be able to source the right pieces so that you get the best interior design for your commercial space possible.