The interior designer
for oak park historic homes.

Every client has questions. We are here to help. Below you will see frequently asked questions that may be helpful as you begin your design journey with us. If you have additional questions, please give us a call or reach us through the contact page.

How do I begin?

We welcome you to contact us and schedule a complementary 20-minute informational phone call to tell us about your project and what you have in mind. We can tell you a little bit about how we work.

After that call, we can schedule an in-person meeting. Jill Warren Design will write a detailed scope of work and letter of agreement. Once you sign the agreement and submit the requested deposit towards design services, your project can be scheduled.

How do I know if I need an architect, a designer, or both?

We can handle all of your interior plans and drawings, including the moving of walls and other elements. We will build upon spatial plans to develop the look of the space as well. If there are structural walls to be changed, or an addition, this will require an architect as well as a structural engineer. In this case, we work in tandem with the architect to ensure that all facets of the design and space are covered.

What makes a trained kitchen designer different from a regular designer or decorator?

Kitchen and bathroom design is a very specialized area of design and requires more than just an eye for style. A qualified kitchen designer is educated in design and has in-depth knowledge of construction, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, in addition to passing an exam and maintaining their certification through continuing education credits each year. Beyond all of this, an experienced kitchen designer can help you with efficiency and smart storage solutions, all while creating a completely custom look for your kitchen.

How much does it cost to hire you and how do you charge?

For most kitchen and bath projects, we charge a flat fee for the design portion of the project and then hourly for any project management involved once the project moves to construction. For other rooms, we typically charge hourly for both design and project management.

How long will my project take?

This depends on many factors. How big is the project? How many rooms are we doing? Are there additional professionals involved? How decisive are you? How often are you able to meet to review designs and make decisions? How many contractor bids do you plan to get? All of these factors affect the time. Generally speaking, most design projects take anywhere from 3-6 months of planning before moving to construction. The construction timeline is heavily dependent on the scope of the project and which contractor you choose since they’ll be doing the scheduling. Once these details are nailed down, we can help with an estimated completion date.

How do I know if the project will be in my budget?

If you have a set budget in mind, let us know so we can help you determine if it’s reasonable for your individual scope of work. We can also show you sample budgets from past projects of a similar size so you can work with some ballpark estimates. Budgeting is a complex process, with cost updates along the way. If we’re working within a set budget, we’ll only present items we feel will work within that budget and we’ll communicate updates so there are no surprises.

Can you refer us to a general contractor, architect, or other tradespeople?

We have a carefully-vetted, wide array of professionals on our preferred list. However, if you’ve already selected someone, we’re happy to work with them.

What geographical areas do you serve?

We primarily serve the Oak Park and River Forest area with occasional projects in the western suburbs, downtown Chicago and elsewhere.

I don’t know what my design style is. How can we work together?

We ask a lot of questions and we will have you fill out a detailed questionnaire to understand your preferences. We want to understand how you live. We use shared Pinterest and/or Houzz Boards for you to save your ideas and tell us what you do and don’t like about them. We also use visual inspiration boards to help you visualize the overall look and feel of the design we’re proposing.

What style do you specialize in?

We’ve worked on many different styles of homes including Victorians, Art Deco, Prairie-style, Mid-century Modern and everything in between. We don’t have a specialty per se, but we enjoy building upon the existing architectural elements in the home so that new spaces feel well-integrated into the original home.

“There’s more to kitchen design than colors and finishes. There’s the functional and technical aspect. She opened my eyes to a whole new world, and made the kitchen so much more accessible on a daily basis with things that I had never even considered on my own.”