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Working With a Designer for Your Toronto Custom Home

Architect, designer, and builder, oh my. Assembling the right professionals to create your Toronto custom home from the ground up can be a murky process, especially when figuring out whom to include on your team and what role each member plays. One crucial and often overlooked teammate is your designer for your luxury custom home. Why do you need an interior designer for your custom home, and what function do they serve? Let’s dig into the details.

SevernWoods Fine Homes builds luxury custom homes in Toronto. We’ve partnered with some spectacular area interior designers, and we’re happy to use our insight to help you select the perfect designer for your Toronto custom home.

First-Floor Interior of Open-Concept Custom Home Design With Black Accents

What Does an Interior Designer Do for a Custom Home?

An interior designer is vital to your custom home’s final appearance, even if you have a strong vision for your project. Your designer will assist in selecting the perfect colours, products, finishes, and furniture to create the overall aesthetic you’re seeking. Their ideas might elevate your original vision with options you didn’t know existed. While an architect designs your home’s structure and layout with an eye toward light, flow, and function, your interior designer helps to bridge the gap between the blueprints and the plan for the finished product.

Many quality architects include interior design as part of their package. Understanding what's included during design and whether you need to enlist a designer in addition to an architect will help you price and prepare to plan your project.

How to Choose an Interior Designer in Toronto?

There are several things to look for when choosing an interior designer for your project. Here are some checklist items to ensure you’ve considered every aspect of a potential designer for your luxury custom home.

Exterior Main Entrance Door Design of Custom Home With Long Door Handle


A designer’s online gallery is a great way to get an overview of their work at your leisure. Choosing a designer who has demonstrated mastery of the vibe you hope to incorporate in your custom home is wise. If, for example, you’re interested in a sleek, modern custom home, finding a designer who excels in this aesthetic might be an important priority. Ask to view past projects during your first meeting if you don’t find as many examples of a designer’s work displayed online as you would like. 


Select an established Toronto interior designer with favourable reviews. Look for reviews that highlight the services, aesthetics, or experience you’re after. Don’t throw out a promising prospect based on a single review. Look for a designer with ample reviews and watch for trends.

Professional Affiliation

Your home designer should belong to professional organizations such as the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) or Interior Designers of Canada (IDC). They may have won local awards and may come recommended by professionals you already trust, like your architect or builder. Some designers partner with builders and architects and package their services under one umbrella.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Interior Designer for a Toronto Custom Home?

There are several ways your interior designer might charge for their services. Understanding which fee scale would be best for your needs requires you to understand your options.

Fixed Fee

A designer might price their projects out by size and offer a contract that covers the scope of services they provide. Carefully read your contract to ensure you understand what your fixed fee does and does not cover, and where your needs might require additional work. 


Many designers bill by the hour, so that their fee reflects the actual hours they put into the project. Expect to pay up to $250 per hour for a designer for your Toronto custom home.

Percentage of the Project

Your designer might charge a percentage of the total cost of your project, including furniture. You won’t know exactly what your interior designer will cost until you know the final cost of your custom home. Your interior designer could charge up to 5% of the total project cost, more if the designer is involved in project management during construction.

Does SevernWoods Have an In-house Designer?

SevernWoods is a luxury general contractor in Toronto. We don’t offer architectural or design services in-house. We love the variety, inspiration, and ultra-customization that our flexible approach to your design team allows. In this way, a client can assemble a truly curated team selected for their strengths for your project. Meeting new-to-us designers introduces new ideas and exciting elements to each project.

SevernWoods Spotlight on Design Collaborations

We’ve done some fantastic work with many inspiring designers. Here are some highlights that showcase a few recent design partners.

Shirley Meisels

Everyone falls in love with this inspiring minimal Japandi custom home and with good reason. Minimalism is notoriously challenging to nail, and this elevated example does the genre proud. Contrasting light and dark elements, curves and sharp lines, this impressive custom home incorporates delights like statement lighting, shou sugi ban accent walls, and solar panels on the roof.

Home Design With Black and White Contrasting Elements and Clean Architectural Lines

Julie Reinhart

This colourful contemporary whole home renovation brings playful patterns, curated lighting, extra-high ceilings, and tons of fun to a complete reimagining and expansion of this family home. Our team favourites include the functional and cheerful playspace and the stately stained glass.

Contemporary Basement Play Space with Colourful Mats and Art Canvas on White Walls

Sacha Nizami Design

We love this beautiful century home renovation in Playter Estates. Drawing initial inspiration from a 200-year-old door, this completely bespoke project created cozy spaces, open elements, and sleek modern spaces that elevate the gorgeous architectural millwork throughout.

Flush White Flat Panel Cabinetry in Renovated Kitchen With Extended Island for SeatingWe've got exciting projects in the works with Ashley Botten Design, Jack Creasy Design, and Griffin Houghton. We're excited to show off the fruits of these collabortions soon!

SevernWoods Fine Homes is Excited to Partner with Your Designer

We hope you’ll use our insights as a custom builder to find the perfect designer for your project. When you’re ready to create your custom dream home, we’d be honoured to be part of the team who makes it real. Reach out today to tell us more about the luxury home you’ve got in mind

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