There is no one way to write an invoice when it comes to charging design fees. Whether you get into the nitty-gritty or choose a bigger picture approach, every company has its own way. That’s why we asked eight designers—Lauren Svenstrup, Leighton Campbell, Swati Jorha, Bethany Adams, Cheryl Neal, Kristen Fiore, Monica Santayana, and Ronald Alvarez—about their tried-and-true methods for invoicing clients.

Lauren SvenstrupCourtesy of Studio Sven

Trial and error
“We’ve gone through a lot of trial and error over the years, but right now, everything is sent digitally. We refer to retrospective invoices, whereas a proposal or deposit request is sent with an in-person Zoom conversation, a phone call, or a comprehensive description via email.” So the client knows what to expect and there is no sticker shock.We also never send out proposals or invoices on Fridays, because we don’t want there to be any unanswered questions over the weekend, and we want to make sure we are fully prepared to provide clarity on any questions. —Lauren Svenstrup, Studio Sven, Chicago

How do you issue an invoice to your clients?  8 designers participated

Leighton CampbellCourtesy of J. Layton Interiors

“Our design software creates invoices, and we email them to the client for approval and payment – ​​I highly recommend accounting software specifically to serve designers. We also invoice for goods and materials in full, so nothing is ordered until payment is made.” JLI invoices labor and service balances at the time of installation, and payment is due upon completion. —Layton Campbell, J. Layton Interiors, Charlotte

How do you issue an invoice to your clients?  8 designers participated

Swati gaurhaCourtesy of Swati Gorha Designs

The power of paper transactions
“We use Ivy (now Houzz Pro) for all of our proposals and invoices. We are a paperless office, and all invoices and proposals are sent through the software. This makes it very easy for the client to reach them when needed. —Swati Gurha, Swati Gurha Designs, New Providence, New Jersey

How do you issue an invoice to your clients?  8 designers participated

Bethany AdamsCourtesy of Bethany Adams Interiors

Play on the platform
“I send invoices through Studio Designer for time and merchandise invoices. Studio Designer is also our accounting software, so it keeps things nice and tidy for my accountant. I’ll send consulting invoices and deposits through Dubsado, which is a great tool for managing small one-off projects that I don’t want to mix up in Studio Designer. —Bethany Adams, Bethany Adams Interiors, Louisville, KY

How do you issue an invoice to your clients?  8 designers participated

Cheryl NealCourtesy of Cheryl Design Studio

Make it interactive
“Our furniture proposals are tailored and grouped by room. We use an interactive portal system that allows customers to view and approve proposals and invoices for their project. —Cheryl Neal, Cheryl Design Studio, Houston

How do you issue an invoice to your clients?  8 designers participated

Christine FioreCourtesy of Christine Elizabeth Design

in one place
“We use Ivy, a project management system that maintains all of our customers’ information from products, invoices, purchase orders and room boards. Customers have full access to all invoices posted, and are sent electronically as soon as the invoice is due. Product invoices are sent as soon as items are purchased; if For custom orders, we require a 60 percent deposit to begin the purchase process and final payment when the product is completed. —Christine Fiore, Christine Elizabeth Design, Sacramento, CA

How do you issue an invoice to your clients?  8 designers participated

Monica Santayana and Ronald Alvarez Courtesy of Gin Canto

Trust transparency
“Over the years, we have learned that transparency makes our business run more smoothly. We provide our customers with all the details available in our proposals. Every proposal is detailed. Every item has details, pictures, dimensions, description, materials, cost, shipping and taxes. We want our customers to make an informed decision and not “They have no doubt or uncertainty. Trust and transparency are essential for us.” —Monica Santayana and Ronald Alvarez, Monomi, Miami

Home Image: Modern Kitchen with Metal Accents by Leighton Campbell | Courtesy of J. Layton Interiors

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