My Relationship-Centered Interior Design Process


Known for her eye-catching color palettes, pattern and texture play, and knack for finding vintage treasures, Meghan is passionate about showing you what’s possible when creating a home with enduring charm.

If you’re considering hiring a professional interior designer to transform your home, you’ll find that there are many different approaches within the field. 

One such approach – and the one that guides us here at Meghan Jay Design – centers around relationships. It’s reflected in every space we bring to life. 

We view home not just in terms of how it can look, but how it can be a visual representation of those who live in it and support how they interact within it. By considering the personalities and relationships evolving and thriving in each space, interior design becomes about more than aesthetics. It’s an invitation to experience joy and connection for years to come. 

Is this a personalized and thoughtful process? Absolutely. And it’s a lot of fun, too.

Meghan Jay of Meghan Jay Design showing the result of her relationship-centered interior design process.

Photographer: Ben Speckmann

Let’s take a closer look at what a relationship-centered interior design process is all about.

Relationship-centered interior design focuses on creating environments that encourage positive interactions and connections at home. Of course, aesthetics and functionality will forever remain essential to our work. But with relationship-centered design, we prioritize enhancing your family’s moments within the space.

I’m a firm believer that design should be joyful, personal, and FUN – both the process and the outcome. So that’s why this approach is my go-to for ensuring a positive experience. Because it puts you and your life at the center of every design decision. 

The reality is, interior design and home renovation involve many decisions – from creative, to financial, and functional. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, stressed, or intimidated before the real work even begins. 

Knowing this, maintaining an unfussy journey is key to our approach. At MJD, we love getting to know the people inside the home. It allows us to create a visual display of your lifestyle, stories, and preferences through an intentional selection of colors, furnishings, and objects. Beginning with a focus on the individuals rather than the physical space itself makes decision-making easier, and it adds plenty of enjoyment to what can often be a tedious process!

“We have had an outstanding experience working with Meghan on the design of our new home. She consistently brought original, creative ideas to our projects, and each one exceeded our expectations.”


How It Works: Our Interior Design Process


Every project at MJD begins with a complimentary ~20-minute inquiry call. This helps us get to know each other and see if we’re a potential fit. We’ll work closely together throughout the interior design process, whether we partner on whole home design or a smaller-scale transformation. So we must connect well! 

From there, we can move forward with a paid one-hour consultation, whether in-home or virtual, depending on your location (if you’re in the greater Chicago area or elsewhere). This allows us to chat in-depth about your family and your needs. And it’s an ideal time to share your visions and how you see yourself living in your home for years to come. Even before we’ve made decisions, we’re uncovering what gets you excited and brings you joy in your interior environments – where you come together and be happy with those near and dear to you.

Once we’re ready to take the next step, it’s time to assess! Here, we dive deep into your lifestyle patterns and daily routines, so we know what to prioritize in maximizing your space. We study the spatial dynamics of your home – how you move through it and how people interact in and between rooms. We’ll look at what’s causing imbalance or obstruction, what feels restrictive, and identify opportunities for better living experiences through design. By focusing on experiences, we can figure out which design interventions are needed to create harmony within your walls.

With all of this in mind, we’ll be able to determine the project scope effectively, along with a summary of total design hours and fees. We’ll also share a rough timeline, an itemized list of things to be addressed in the project, and a collection of inspirational images that illustrate just some of the possibilities we’re excited to explore with you!


We’re all about making the entire experience, from our first consultation to those final touches, laidback and fun. But the scheming and design stage is especially exciting. 

This is where we put on our creative hats to explore the intricacies of interior design. It’s collaborative and inspiring for both you – the homeowner, and us – the designer. We get to play with colors, patterns, and textures, figuring out what will coordinate beautifully while also evoking joy and expressing your unique personality. We’ll then present design boards and CAD drawings/elevations (as needed for whole-home design clients) to help you visualize how it’ll all come together.

Meghan Jay, a Chicago-based interior designer, walking through the scheming stage of her interior design process.

Photographer: Ben Speckmann


This is where our inspiration truly begins to come alive! Once we’ve established the design direction, it’s time to turn our best-laid plans into reality – together

During the refinement stage, trust and openness are essential. We want to make sure you’re nothing but completely happy, so your honest feedback matters when ensuring each detail tells the story you want it to. We’ll be asking for your thoughts throughout the process, maintaining open communication and transparency every step of the way. 

The result? You’ll understand and feel connected to every decision. And you’ll feel confident in the designs we’re working toward while knowing you’re in good hands as we bring the vision to fruition, one detail at a time. 

Meghan Jay of Meghan Jay Design exploring samples.

Photographer: Ben Speckmann


A thoughtful interior design process ensures no detail is overlooked. And at MJD, we absolutely live for the details! Once we get your stamp of approval on the refined schemes for a whole-home project, it’s time to find, order, track, and receive all the pieces that will bring your personal interiors to life. 

For most clients, this usually involves a mix of sourcing décor – like vintage furnishings to add charm or new accessories to incorporate a modern touch. We also love strategically livening up your space with objects you own and that already hold meaning for you. 

Meghan Jay, a Chicago-based interior designer, sourcing vintage treasures as part of her relationship-centered interior design process.

Whether it’s a handcrafted piece of furniture that becomes the focal point of the room or a curated collection of artwork that speaks to your passions, our goal is to create a space as unique as you are. We’ll tell your story with details that bring comfort and joy to you and your family.


This stage will vary depending on the scope of our project. But it’s when we see the design through to completion. 

For whole-home interior design projects, we take the reins. We’ll oversee the execution for you, taking care of tasks like coordinating with contractors and craftsmen, managing installations, timelines and budgets, and finessing the design through an optional styling add-on. 

For design sessions, we make the selections, then give you the tools and information to manage the project on your own. Promise we won’t leave you hanging! We’ll ensure you have everything you need to make confident choices and personally see your project through to the finish line.


All that’s left to do is sit back and take it all in. From comfortable hideaways to striking focal points, every nook and cranny we worked through together is complete and ready to be enjoyed. We invite you to spend time in each of your new spaces and reflect on the impact they have on you and your family. And let us know what that impact is! 

Your feedback is incredibly important to us, and it doesn’t stop once our project is wrapped up. I love hearing how different elements of our collaboration have influenced you in different ways – whether it’s how you interact as a family or how you feel when you walk through the door after time spent away.

In the end, communication, collaboration, and empathy are at the heart of creating interiors that truly tell your story thoughtfully and authentically. If you’re interested in connecting with an interior designer who prioritizes joy and ease throughout the project, I’d love to share more about our studio and our relationship-centered interior design process. When you’re ready, schedule your complimentary inquiry call today.

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Sophisticated, Subtly Whimsical Interiors – Designed to Stand the Test of Time

No matter the era of your home, it should reflect your present-day style and future aspirations while honoring the personal, meaningful treasures you’ve collected over time. We’ll consider all of that – and more – as we work together to create enduring designs that retain charm for years to come.