A Week in the Life of an Interior Designer

Contrary to popular belief, our daily schedule as interior designers doesn’t typically involve fluffing pillows, styling bookshelves, or picking out pretty fabrics. Instead, we often find ourselves knee-deep in architectural drawings, specification sheets, and meetings. So many meetings! We get down to the nitty-gritty of a project in those behind-the-scenes details, and quite frankly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today, we’re giving a real glimpse into the weekly schedule of an interior designer—meetings, emails, admin, and all.

Photography: Amanda Marie Studio

Back in January, our team spent quite a bit of time goal setting and talking through the tools and processes that best fit our workflow. We opted to incorporate “block scheduling” to preserve more creative time, and so far, it’s worked out super well. Laura and I follow a similar weekly workflow, making it easier to schedule client appointments and align our calendars. It’s surprisingly hard to carve out time for creativity, and block scheduling has allowed dedicated space to make it happen.

Along with block scheduling, we decided to try instituting a “no scheduling a meeting the week of” policy. In short, we try not to add any additional meetings to our calendars other than what was already scheduled in weeks prior. This helps keep our calendars in order without being overrun by meetings that could have waited. Obviously, there are exceptions, but we try to have a clear sense of what’s on our plate for a given week.

While no two weeks are exactly alike, this is how our schedule generally shakes out from Monday through Friday.

Design: j miller interiors | Photography: Amanda Marie Studio

Monday AM: Studio Meeting + Review

This meeting is a beast, and we often work while we meet. If something needs follow-up, we’ve been known to get it done right then and there. It’s a great opportunity to get a pulse on deliverables, remind each other of deadlines, and connect on our general workload. It also helps us all have a sense of who’s doing what to reduce overlap and increase efficiency. This meeting can be 2+ hours, but it sets us up so well for the rest of our week.

Monday PM: Planning + Follow-Up

We try not to schedule any client meetings on Monday. We’re getting back in the game after a weekend, and a deliverable on a Monday should always be avoided. Mondays set the tone for the rest of the week, and Monday afternoon is often spent following up with clients and vendors. We also try to use Mondays to clear our inboxes so we never have a waiting request. We schedule our big client meetings (presentations, revisions, installs) super far in advance, so there usually aren’t too many surprises for what’s ahead.

Photography: Amanda Marie Studio

Tuesday: Client Meetings

We tend to stack our meetings for efficiency. It makes for an exhausting day, but it has really helped us stay focused and be the most productive. This coming week we have three scope-of-work calls (generally 1-2 hours), one design concept review, one call with an architect, and one discovery call with a potential new client. Tuesdays are also the days we schedule site visits and any other client or vendor-facing work.

Wednesday: Creative Design

We’ve tried our hardest to carve out Wednesdays as a “no meeting” day. I find that I need at least one day a week to count on some solitude and creative time. Wednesdays are often filled with trips to the design center or vendors visits to pick up samples. Sometimes they’re also spent hunkered down at the office solo.

Photography: Amanda Marie Studio

Thursdays: Client Meetings (again)

We like to set aside Tuesdays and Thursdays for all things client-facing. This week, we have a site measure for furniture, and we’ll also meet our painter, furniture maker and wallpaper installer to ensure we have everything just right before ordering. We try to schedule all presentations, consultations, and discovery calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Fridays: Creative + Admin

I have high hopes that our studio will eventually be closed or have limited hours on Fridays. These days tend to involve more creative time or admin tasks for me. I like to tackle all admin-related work on Friday rather than take on little tasks that crop up throughout the week. Fridays are also the day I tend to connect with our bookkeeper, CPA, branding agency, copywriter, etc.

Photography: Amanda Marie Studio

And that’s a wrap! I hope this breakdown has given you a helpful glimpse into our work. If you’re interested in learning more about our studio, be sure to read Our Interior Design Services or The Tools + Programs We Use as Designers.

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