Once You Have Selected Your
Interior Designer

A real professional interior designer cares about your goals and concerns, precisely interpreting your description of your vision and desires. They guide you in the choice of materials and options so that you have the right information from which to make decisions, and finally they integrate those elements together into one solid unified strategy. Interior designers must be great listeners, and it helps significantly if the client is an excellent communicator too. Remarkable results begin with a clear understanding of your goals and vision.

Many interior designers have a creative eye and artistic flair, but there is much more to interior decorating then choosing furniture, color, and fabrics. In addition to their in-depth knowledge of products, materials, and finishes, professional interior designers have the expertise to design, schedule, execute and manage your project from start to finish.

They know and work closely with many vendors, contractors, and other service providers, coordinating the entire design team ensuring that every project is executed and completed with the utmost quality and attention to detail. They also provide specification and purchasing services to procure materials, furniture, accessories, and art, some of which you might not be able to find on your own.

The following stages represent a typical interior design process.

Discovery

The first steps to bringing a design project to life are to have a thorough understanding of the client’s design needs and wants. An interior designer will do this by asking the client as many questions as they need to understand how they live in their home and what is working and not working for them.

  • Information gathering of needs and wants
  • Long-term project and lifestyle planning
  • Lifestyle analysis, budget discussion. The budget discussion will occur whether the client has a set budget in mind or if the interior
    designer just knows the client’s desires and then creates a budget based on that.
  • Evaluation of the flow, function, and use of space
  • Inventory of existing furniture and equipment

Your designer will typically measure and photograph your area (if you have the as-built plans for your home this will save some time and money). The designer will also review and assess your existing furniture, paying close attention to the items you want to keep, repurpose, or replace.

Vision / Concept Development

The interior designer will want to view images you have been gathering, whether they are from a magazine or collected online (like Pinterest). If you have no idea of what you like, the designer will help discover your style by viewing inspirational photos together and asking a few more questions.

  • Develop overall feel/mood of spaces, explore colors.
  • Preliminary selections of materials, finishes, furnishes, lighting, and window treatments/fabrics

Next, comes space planning and detailed furniture plans. The designer and the client will decide together which floor plan works the best for them, discuss budget ranges, and then the fun begins!

Design Development

It is during this stage that the interior designer explores different design ideas and develops decor concepts that will work wonderfully in your space, and which will provide the right flow and function for your home.

  • Space Planning; finalize floor plans, provide sketches and elevations as needed
  • Interior and exterior color scheme
  • Custom design of furniture, drapery, and accessories
  • Finalize selections of materials, furnishes, finishes, lighting, window treatments/fabrics
  • Interior detailing of background elements, such as wall and ceiling designs
  • Lighting and electrical plans
  • Built-in construction drawings (if needed)
  • Selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures, and flooring materials
  • Selection of cabinetry, hardware, doors, and railings
  • Presentation of materials; review, revision, and final approval

Construction Documents and Administration

If there is construction involved in the scope of the project, the interior designer will often consult a contractor in the Design Development stage to put together preliminary pricing to assist in the understanding of where there the project stands relative to the budget. At this point, there is still time to get the project financially back on track if needed or to add a few items from the wish list.

  • Production of detailed construction documents
  • Construction procurement; contractor bids and proposed timelines
  • Draft and submit purchase orders for all of your equipment, interior finishes, and furnishings.

Management

When it comes to any significant, complex creative design project, all those moving parts means even a tiny problem or obstacle can derail the whole thing. If the client desires it, the interior designer can manage every piece of your project from start to finish. Making sure all the details are taken care of and that your expectations are met.

  • Project budgeting and estimating
  • Project scheduling
  • Coordination of vendors, trades, artists, and craftsmen
  • Procurement and expediting
  • Project administration
  • Regular site meetings

Sourcing and Installation

Once you approve selections, sign off on the purchase orders, and provide the requested payment, your designer will purchase the items. Most items will have a turn- around time of 2-8 weeks.

Typically, items that arrive before the install date will be stored in a warehouse. Once all of the pieces come, the designer will coordinate delivery and be there to install/place your items to assure everything is ideally placed.

  • Budget and estimates
  • Procurement and expediting
  • Coordinate the delivery and installation of your furnishings, accessories, and artwork.
  • Coordination of vendors, trades, artists, and craftsmen
  • Project administration
  • Complete Turn-Key Installation s available down to the linens and towels

Project Completion

To ensure that nothing has gone missing or been forgotten, a detailed punch list is generated at the end of the project to verify that the designer has completed every aspect of your new design to your highest satisfaction.

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