What It’s Really Like Working with a Designer at Nell Hill’s

Working with a designer is an exciting – and may I say game changing – way to design a room. Designers can help you think outside of your comfort zone and consider things you might have otherwise overlooked. However, if you haven’t done it before, starting out can also feel a little intimidating.  

So, I sat down with Carlie, our lovely Design Manager and long-time Nell Hill’s designer, to share what it’s really like working with a designer at Nell Hill’s.  

How Do I Make An Appointment or Find a Designer at Nell Hill’s?  

We like to make it as easy as possible to meet a client’s design service needs at Nell Hill’s.  

Not only do we offer free in-store design services, but we can come to you as well! House calls fare $85 an hour, but we do require an in-store meeting first.  

First, head to the website to learn more about our design team and browse their bios to see who might be a good fit for you. An appointment can be booked straight from there! If you’re not sure who would be the best fit, I am happy to make recommendations based on your needs; you can call me at the shop! 

A designer can help you think outside the box – like this fun fabric pairings of a block print with matching green velvet  

What do I need to have prepared for my first appointment?  

While this process truly is stress-free, there is a little bit of background work that would be helpful to have complete going into your first meeting with a designer. Having these items finished beforehand not only allows you to make the best of your time, but helps your design partner learn more about you and your personal style.  

Room measurements

Measure the full length and width of your room and note the location and size of all windows, doors, and stationery elements (like a fireplace or window seat). Be sure to note large, existing furniture pieces as well. This helps to ensure that any new pieces being brought in are the right scale – there’s nothing worse than adding a new credenza to a space only to find out that it slightly overhangs a window frame, or worse, seriously impedes a walkway. 

A clear budget in mind

This one is imperative, and probably a no-brainer. But, being up-front and honest about your design budget gives your designer a clear direction when coming up with creative solutions for your design. 

Photos of the existing space

It’s important to think about how your new design will work with the existing pieces in the room to keep it from feeling disjointed.  

A moodboard

Help set the direction of the design by coming to the appointment with a few suggestions of what you like. These can be images of rooms and things that inspire you, colors you love, a particular wallpaper or fabric – you don’t necessarily have to have a grand vision, yet.  

Nell Hill’s Designer Jenna works on a fabric flatlay for some design inspiration 

What is the first step in the design process?  

Once you make an appointment with a designer, we get to work creating floor plans, begin pulling textiles for you to review, and talk more about your needs for the room. Depending on the size of the project, this can take place over one visit or several.  

From start to finish, our goal is to create a space that is a true reflection of you. Our clients are an important part of the design process, and your feedback at every stage is welcomed and valued. This is your space, after all!  

A flatlay helps the client visualize the mixture of fabrics and textures at play in their design 

When should I expect my furniture piece to arrive?  

Sometimes purchasing in stock is the way to go, in which case your new furniture may be delivered as soon as the same week, though delivery times do vary. If a client is creating a custom design, the production time varies by vendor.  

With production and logistics challenges beginning to ease nationwide, lead times for furniture orders are finally coming down! We tell people to expect 15-24 weeks for their new piece to arrive. There are many factors that go into calculating that wait time and can vary by item, even from the same vendor. But in the end, seeing your custom sofa or bed in your home makes it well worth the wait! 

We curate a collection of in-stock furniture pieces all year long, and are happy to sell them right off the floor or out of the warehouse!  

For whom are the Nell Hill’s Design Services a good fit? 

Our design services are a good fit for any design project you may have including furniture (from a single new piece to a whole new room or house) and accessories, wall and floor coverings, bedding, and window treatments! For projects large and small, we are here to help! We definitely recommend making an appointment prior to visiting – especially during our upcoming 20% Off Upholstery Sale – where walk-in appointments can be hard to come by.  

It is certainly worth mentioning that, even if you’re not in need of design services, we have  knowledgeable and friendly staff in our Bedding and Fabric departments who can work magic with pillows, duvets, ready-mades, and fabrics by the yard!

Jill, on our bedding team, is the inspiration behind many of our favorite bedding designs 

What is one thing you want clients to know about the design process? 

We want to fully understand our client’s needs, and for our clients to truly love their spaces! We believe that what you love is always “in style”, and we are ready to jump in and help no matter how big or small the project is.  

In the fabric room, Zoë cuts a bolt of fabric for a custom project 

How do I know that I’ve found the right fit in choosing a piece? 

Our advice on this is timeless and to the point. We say trust your instincts!  Just because something is trendy or “in”, doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your space.  If you love it, you will know! 

What is special about working with a designer at Nell Hill’s? 

We care about making your space reflect your style and taste, not just what is trending.  When you walk into the shop you will see new traditional design featured in our showroom, but our designers love to work in a range of aesthetics. We have hundreds of vendors to whom we can look to find the best fit for our clients and their lifestyles. 

Designers think about the whole space, like the way these chairs perfectly pair with the maximalist style of the vignette behind it 

I hope this post encourages you to think about designing your spaces in a new way, and to visit the shop and meet our amazing designers! Our annual Upholstery Sale is coming up January 15 – February 15 and is the perfect time to find the perfect new addition to your home. Ensure you have ample time with your designer by booking an appointment online or by calling the shop. Appointments aren’t necessary but they are helpful! Until next time – happy decorating!