Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Interior Design Process

Do you really need an interior designer?

You may know what you want, but aren't quite sure where to begin. A professional designer will guide you through the design process with a well thought out plan to help you avoid costly mistakes such as furniture that is too large, colors that are not working and contractors who don't do quality work. They will introduce you to new ideas and solutions.

The Goal

The goal is to prevent common pitfalls and costly mistakes. A professional interior designer will assist you throughout the number of project phases so that you feel comfortable with your decisions. They will work with you to make sure your project is not only beautiful, but practical and functional.

There are several steps that are included in this process. They are as follows:

Initial Consultation

A meeting is held at the project site to see the space and talk about your the functions of the space and design style. This process allows ideas to be formulated. It includes reviewing an idea book that illustrates a variety of design styles and color schemes. A designer will then analyze the results to determine a specific style so that the space is a reflection of you and your personality.

Design and Proposal Fees

Based on the initial consultation, a detailed proposal that outlines the scope of services to be performed is presented. Depending on the scope of the job, there are two types of fees. A one time design fee or flat fee or an hourly fee. Typically a retainer is requested at this time before proceeding with the project. More detailed questions regarding your needs, utilization of space and budget are also discussed.

Detailed Measurements

After the proposal is accepted, a follow-up consultation takes place for detailed measurements and evaluation of existing conditions and furnishings. If there are blueprints for the project they should be provided at this time.

Space Planning

A two-dimensional space plan is proposed and discussed to address particular needs and function of the area being designed.

The Conceptual Presentation

Based on prior meetings, a preliminary conceptual design scheme is presented. Various elements are depicted with photos, sketches, magazine shots and samples of finishes, such as flooring, counter tops, cabinetry, wall and window treatments, lighting and hardware to help visualize the overall plan. Once the concept has been accepted and approved, several meetings may take place in showrooms or on the project site to view additional samples. Specific details are discussed in greater depth during this phase.


A preliminary budget is prepared based on the materials and design ideas proposed during the concept presentation. The budget is evaluated and analyzed at this time. Once items are agreed upon, purchase orders are created and placed with manufacturers and contractors. Follow up on orders include: tracking and lead times, deliveries and coordination of contractors.

Project Management

Contractors are recommended based on the project. The contractor will provide a negotiated bid based on current market values and a remodeling project timetable is evaluated. Pre and post construction meetings and onsite visits during construction are conducted, ensuring the fulfillment of design intent and maintenance of quality levels.


Oversight of actual furniture placement and installations are overseen ensuring proper locations and quality.

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