A Day in the Life of an Interior Designer

So much of what an interior designer does happens behind-the-scenes, and as a client, it's not always obvious what we spend our day to day doing. Today, I'm shining a light on what designers actually do all day as I share a recap of an actual work day.

There are a lot of misnomers about being an interior designer so we though it would be fun to walk through an average day at our studio. If you read our previous post on how we schedule our work week as an interior designer you know that Mondays are team days and preparing for the work week ahead.getting set up for the week. Meanwhile, Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for client and vendor facing work, while Wednesdays are reserved for creative design work and Fridays allow us to fill in where is needed.

While no day ever seems to be the same, I’ll walk you through my Thursday last week as a day in the life of an interior designer:

8:00: Publish Our Weekly Blog Post

Every Thursday morning, we publish a new article on the j miller blog. Thursday mornings are for finalizing any details, sharing the post to Stories and catching up with our community.

8:30: Admin Work

Arrival at the office for an hour of checking emails and tidying the office. Every day our office explodes with samples for client projects and it takes daily maintenance to keep things organized and tidy.

9:30: Revisions Meeting

After our big initial design presentation, we take two weeks to review all of our selections and strategize any revisions. We’ve learned that taking the entire list of revisions and re-selecting all at once keeps the integrity of the design. Our meticulous design process has helped us ensure that our designs don't get watered down, while still incorporating client revisions thoughtfully and intentionally. At j miller interiors, we like to re-present our ideas over a Zoom meeting and get final client approval. This design revision meeting was for a remodel and furnishing project in St. Paul.

11:00: Site Visit + Meeting with Painter

Meet our amazing painter on site at a current project in Golden Valley to review white paint options (so many choices!) and scope. Even though we have our paint selections narrowed at this point in a project, we always sample them in the actual space and get feedback before making the final decision. It’s a few extra steps but it ensures that we get the right color right off the bat. These extra steps now prevent costly changes in the future and it's become an integral part of our process.

12:30: Working Lunch at Local Coffee Shop

After making my final paint selections, I hung out at a local coffee shop nearby while the painters get the first few walls painted in our final color selection. This break gave me a chance to answer a few emails and work on sourcing a few possible selections for an upcoming powder room in Minneapolis.

1:30: Contractor Calls

For an hour, I check in with a few of our contractors to confirm that our designs are being executed accurately. First, I spoke with our contractors in Sun Valley regarding shower door hardware placement. Immediately after I checked in with a contractor in Minneapolis regarding an electrical plan. Finally, I wrapped up an hour of calls by calling a vendor to check in on a fabric order.

2:30: Final Paint Approval

After I've wrapped up calls I headed back to our Golden Valley project for a final check in and paint approval. The color was perfect and I can't wait to see it across all walls and ceilings.

3:30: Site Visit

Site visit at a kitchen renovation in Minneapolis. We schedule regular site visits with the client and contractors throughout the duration of a project. This project is an entry, kitchen and powder - demo was just completed so the visit was to meet the electricians, review any surprises discovered during demo and confirm that we can proceed with our plans now that we know what’s behind the walls and ceilings! This phase is always a pivotal moment in the design progress because we either move forward, or pivot.

4:30: Shipping Strategy + Adjustment

Check in with Samantha regarding a few orders - shipping charges have been so crazy high and we are trying to find new shipping companies/strategies to manage costs

5:30: Family Time

At 5:30 my official work day is over - I am incredibly intentional about closing down work from 5:30-8p while my kids are still awake. Once they're in bed, I spend about an hour scheduling out emails to wrap up the day. If I'm feeling inspired, I'll often start on selections/creative work that I can do from the sofa from 8-9p. It’s early to bed for me!

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