Consultation vs. Working Session

If a design project is not a full home renovation or new build, does that make it any less worthy of professional assistance? Not according to us! Miranda Cullen founded Inside Stories based on the fact that interior design is not one-size-fits-all. Not only is each client unique, but each project has different parameters. Inside Stories makes sure that no matter what your design needs are, our custom home interior designs can meet them. We have carefully curated different service offerings that tailor to various design needs. Your design journey begins at a fork in the road. Once we hear about your unique project and what design services you will need, we will either suggest having a working session or a consultation with one of our interior designers. Curious about what those two offerings entail? We thought you might be…


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Consultation: Your design consultation’s primary goal is for you to share everything on your design wish list. Your designer will walk through your space or spaces, with you so they can hear firsthand what you love about your space and the specific items that you want to change. This one-hour rundown of your design goals is essential for your designer to get a solid understanding of what your full custom home interior design project will entail so they can send over an accurate quote, for design fees, after your meeting.

Working Session: The purpose of your working session is to accomplish your manageable to-do list within your time block. If you already have most of your design handled and are just looking for some guidance, a working session could be a great option. A working session provides design help but not a full design. The allotted time does not allow for a full design, so we use the time to its fullest to give you opinions. And trust us, if you’re looking for opinions on design, we’ve got a lot of them!


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Consultation: The prep work for your consultation is minimal. You look at your home every day and know what irks you so just be ready to tell us ALL your home pain points, and of course the things you love about your home or space, if you have any! The only item that must be addressed prior to your consultation is getting your consultation fee paid within 24 hours of making your appointment. This ensures that you have locked in that date and time so we don’t fill it with another potential client, as in-home consultations are a hot commodity around here! After that, you’re all set to start on your design journey.

Working Session: We always ask that you have your list of priorities ready. Because the working session is time-limited, typically 3-5 hours in length, we want to make sure you get the most out of it. Depending on what services you are looking for, we might send over a short style questionnaire so we have an idea of your design inspirations prior to the meeting. This is not always necessary but if we think it can be an advantage during the meeting, we will utilize it. Once again, since working sessions are geared towards clients that already have their design close to set and we are offering some opinions, we ask that you have any selections that you need help with ready. For instance, if you are looking for guidance on which light fixtures to go within each room of your home, we suggest having some light fixture options ready so we can help you finish out the space.


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Consultation: Your designer will meet you, at your home or space, to hear firsthand what you want to change about your environment. They will walk through each area that you want design help with and take notes on exactly what you are looking to change. During this time, we want to hear EVERYTHING on your design wish list, even if it’s something you’d prefer to tackle down the line. As mentioned, the objective of the consultation is to put together an accurate and comprehensive quote, for your design services fee, for you. You will be able to see how much design time each item on your list will require. From there, you can decide which areas you would like to take on first.  A phased approach is something we are really good at!  Since we know everything that you are looking to change, we can always address what phasing could look like in order to stretch your dollars as far as we can get them!

Working Session: These sessions start at 3-hour blocks of time. The first two hours are spent on-site with your designer. We will go through your priority list and tackle as many items as we can within the allotted time. Again, because this is a specified time window, we ask that you have all your materials ready prior to the meeting so you can get the most out of your session. After we address your design needs, we will spend the last hour back at our studio putting together any follow-up items, such as paint color names, light fixture links, etc., that you requested.  All these details will be emailed to you in a comprehensive re-cap email.


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Next Steps


Consultation: Once your one-hour consultation is complete, we will be able to put together a custom home interior design quote for you based on everything you shared with us about your design goals. We will send your quote over within the next couple of days so you know exactly what your design fees will be for your project. We are a fixed fee firm, so there won’t be any surprises come billing time.  Once you have approved your design fee scope, we will get your contract worked up and over to you. You will then schedule time with our Sr. Design Director to review the contract with you, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Again, we are huge fans of transparency, which you will see every step of the way!

Working Session: If everything goes according to plan, you should have everything you need to take the next steps in your custom interior design. We hope that you enjoyed your time with us, and we would love to hear from you about any design needs in the future.


No matter which route works best for you and your project, you will end up at the same place; with an incredible space that is a true reflection of you.


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