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You've Hired An Interior Designer; Now What?

Our Detailed Process

The process of designing and decorating a home is complex. It can be more complicated if you're trying to juggle your builder, contractor, and all other vendors simultaneously. The process can seem overwhelming, especially if you have a vision, but you're not sure if it will all come together in the end or how to even begin.

At Asha Maía Design, we aim to make the design process seamless, stress-free, and enjoyable from start to finish. We pride ourselves on taking the guesswork OUT and handling it all in our turn-key concierge service.

By doing this, we create beautiful spaces while considering our client's lifestyle and developing functional spaces for everyday living for every family member!

So, you've researched and decided to hire a professional interior designer. Now what's next, you may ask?

"Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You"

Here at AMD, becoming a client means we've already completed your consultation, defined the scope of work, and received your approved design fee proposal, as well as advance on design fees. Yay! We are so excited to make your dream a reality.

Getting to know our clients is one of the most, if not THE most, important aspects of our design process. The more we know about you, your style, hobbies, passions, and dreams, the better we are at nailing a design scheme that fits you best! We want you to love the end result and feel your home is a reflection of you.

To learn as much about our clients as possible without having you search the entire "worldwide web" for inspiration, we have developed homework assignments that have been carefully thought out and proven the most effective.

Do Your Homework & Be Prepared

First, you'll start with completing our Design Questionnaire. This is composed of various questions that provide insight and the "nitty gritty" on you, your home, lifestyle, wants and needs, and so much more. Sometimes our clients are unsure of their desired design scheme or favorite aesthetic. Have no fear! That's what you've hired us to do. As long as you answer the questions to your best abilities, the rest is on us!

Your next assignment is to fill your Pinterest vision board. We've broken down your secret project board into categories based on the spaces we are tackling in your project. We want you to pin images of rooms that make your heart flutter. This is where we want you to go wild! Pin to your heart's content. We ask that you pin between 15 - 20 pins per space.

TIP: A tip that we give our clients is to pin spaces where you love the overall look and feel of the space (don't focus on specific pieces). If there are things you love, or even things you're not a big fan of, in the photo, include that in the comments.

We want to know what has drawn you to the image, so please include comments on each photo you've pinned. This will help us understand more about your taste. Again, go wild because once this exercise is complete, we ask that you no longer research for home inspiration.

Stay away from that on Pinterest, Instagram, and the like. Trust us from here. We're taking the time to get to know you and truly believe you will be happy with the result. We know this step can seem daunting, but it is necessary, and most of our clients enjoy it. This is also why we schedule Discovery Day approximately two weeks after you sign on as an AMD client. This gives you time to complete these essential homework assignments.

Don't worry! If you need more time, let us know, and we will reschedule your Discovery Day. We can't move forward in the process without these being completed. Your input is too vital in getting this right.

The key to a successful design project is a healthy client-designer relationship. This mainly relies on constant open communication. Therefore, make sure you plan some time on the calendar to meet with your designer, as this does require equal effort and participation from both ends.

At this point, you have a good idea of the timeline and budget of your project as you've completed the proposal process and homework. The overall design process is ever-evolving, all the way down to installation and the big reveal. We help ensure no detail is left untouched and are as thorough as possible through each step.

The Kick-off Meeting

Discovery Day is our first official meeting with you as a client. At this meeting, we will bring our team to take measurements and before pictures of each space.

We will also use this time to review your design homework. This is where we will dive deep into your questionnaire answers and Pinterest vision boards and ask any follow-up questions we may have. Of course, you may also have questions yourself, so please take this time to come prepared with all the questions you may have up to this point.

This is when we want to get to know you most and understand your wants and needs for your home. Once we've finished reviewing your homework, we will then walk through each area with you to revisit the items we will source. We'll then wrap up with any last questions.

From here, we will move forward with the Design Phase, putting together a custom, one-of-a-kind design plan perfectly suited to you and your lifestyle. This meeting is the official start of your project, kicking off phase one!

Sit Back & Relax - The Gears are Turning!

Following Discovery Day, we get to work. We take everything that we have learned about you and your home through our conversations, your design questionnaire, and vision boards and start creating our best and most complete design for you. This process typically takes eight to twelve weeks, as we want to get it right.

First and foremost, we create your home's ideal and most functional space plan. We want to ensure your home is set up to support how you live. We make sure conversation groupings are spaced just right, we take into account traffic patterns, and we make sure you don't have to stretch too far to pick up your glass of wine while enjoying your favorite movie. Once we've got the right space plan, we begin sourcing.

We tirelessly comb through our network of custom and bespoke trade vendors and artisans to select the perfect pieces that are beautiful and will also function best in your space. First, we browse through hundreds of fabrics, wallcoverings, and other textiles. Then, we select the best finishes and fixtures, tiles, and countertops. The full works! Through this process, we sometimes discover new vendors with perfect pieces that tie everything together.

Our goal is to WOW you! We also like to push the envelope, just a little bit, to get you out of your box. Show you things you typically wouldn't even think to consider. The result is a beautiful and unique home that ultimately feels like you.

Once we've pulled every last detail together and collected the final sample, we will reach out to schedule your Presentation Day. So now sit back and relax. Rest assured, the gears are turning here at AMD, putting together the one-of-a-kind design of your dreams.

Your Curated Custom Design Plan

Now that we have your design completed, it's time to schedule your Presentation Day. This is the fun part! We'll plan a day for you to come to our studio to showcase your complete and cohesive design scheme. We get so excited for this day because we get to present to you all that we've come up with. We just love and look forward to seeing our clients' reactions.

We'll start with your floor plans and concept boards, then layer in all the beautiful textiles and finishes. We love providing you with as many samples as possible for you to touch and feel. We'll go through everything, room by room, every detail. Then, we will explain the ideal space plan we were able to come up with and what furnishings, fixtures, and finishes fit into that plan.

Everything we've chosen was selected with you in mind. This is why we put so much emphasis on your homework assignments. Your questionnaire and vision boards give us insight into who you are, so we can nail the design.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Sometimes, we may get a piece or two wrong, and that's ok. We want your honest feedback during the presentation, so we can be sure to get it right. We will ask you your thought process behind why you want the change, and we'll also explain our thought process.

This helps to make sure we're on the same page. At the end of the day, we want to make sure we get it right. After all, this is YOUR home, and we want you to LOVE it!

If necessary, we'll take the next two weeks to pull together any requested revisions following the presentation.

Procurement + Tradework

We begin placing and scheduling orders for all approved furnishings, fixtures, and finishes. We compile purchase orders for all of your products to send to our vendors, combing through them to ensure accuracy.

We take our time doing this to make sure the proper pieces, in the appropriate style and finish, make it to your home. We also strategically plan when items ship from our vendors so they arrive at our receiving warehouse all within the same timeframe.

Simultaneously, we schedule any applicable trades and/or contractors to begin working in your home, such as kitchen and/or bath construction, painting, hanging wallpaper, installing window treatments, decorative molding, etc.

Once all orders are placed, we follow up with the vendors regularly regarding the status of your product and expected ship dates. We'll keep you in the loop with regular updates and notify you of any delays as soon as we are aware.

Have Realistic Expectations

Depending on the product, lead times vary. Upholstered and custom pieces typically have the longest lead time, so we like to plan around those items. Covid has also become a factor affecting lead times, so we will do our best to update you as information gets relayed to us.

Once we have shipping confirmation, we monitor and track your items through to delivery at our receiving warehouse. A typical project may have items that ship from many points throughout the country, so we meticulously track each shipment until it reaches our receiving dock.

Mistakes Happen!

Products, unfortunately, can sometimes arrive damaged, but Asha Maía Design will always work to resolve the issue. When dealing with deficiencies, please keep in mind that there is a required opportunity for vendors to correct or repair the problem and then, if needed, replace the item.

It is entirely normal when working with high-end furniture pieces that trades will send a repair technician to assess and repair the issue before completely replacing the item.

Once construction or other trade work is done, and we've received every last piece that completes your design, we will reach out to schedule our highly anticipated Install Day.

The Big Reveal, it's FINALLY Here.

This is the home stretch - Install Day has finally arrived! We're so excited for your home to finally be complete and ready for you to enjoy!

Install Day is a culmination of all the work we've all put in over the last several months. We will arrive bright and early on the day of installation with our team of design assistants, our delivery team, as well as electricians and art installers, if applicable.

We will then begin to load in your home. Many of your furnishings and decor will be unpackaged onsite, but don't worry; the beauty of working with us is that we ensure all that packaging is hauled away at the end of the day.

We start with the area rugs and layer in your furnishings from there. Next, the AMD team will perfectly position every last piece, then style it to perfection. Finally, we arrange flowers and greenery, light candles, and more to provide the perfect ambiance for the big reveal.

We ask that our homeowners take this time away from your home and give us the entire run-of-the-house until our work is finished. This allows us to work more efficiently, not to mention the added bonus of the surprise of the reveal.

Our typical install day lasts 8 hours; however, some larger projects may require multiple days. We will inform you beforehand how much time we anticipate the actual installation will take.

Before you head out, we just ask that all personal belongings are stored away, and you leave your vacuum cleaner out for us to use to tidy up for the reveal.

Each Project Varies

Not all projects are the same, so each design process varies. But this post goes into detail on the overall strategy we typically follow here at AMD for full-service design projects. You can view some of our work in our portfolio here.

No project is too big or unattainable, so please book a Discovery Call or email us at for any of your design project needs and inquiries!

Interior Designer Serving Alexandria, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Chevy Chase, Maryland; Bethesda, Maryland; Potomac, Maryland; North Arlington, Virginia; Mclean, Virginia; Washington, DC; Falls Church, Virginia; Great Falls, Virginia; Vienna, Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia


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