Working With Our Clients: A 9-Step Design Process
Whether it’s a new addition, an overhaul of an existing one, or a simple refresh for added touches, your space should be the best reflection of your tastes and desires coupled with our expertise in turning ideas into finished form. My full service interior design jobs can range from a one room overhaul to a full kitchen or bath remodel. The benefit is that during this process, you won't have to lift a finger. We design, procure, coordinate and finally install the finished space.
Sharing our process with our clients in this step-by-step written format is a roadmap for staying on course. It also helps our prospective clients get to know what’s involved before we meet for the first time.
Step 1: The Consultation
The initial consultation is the starting point for every project, big or small. During this up to 2 hour time period, typically done on site, we are providing you with design direction and recommendations for your space. We’ll ask you about your goals for each space, how it will be used, your design preferences, timeline and finally budget. As the designer, I’m there to answer questions and solve specific problems. At the end of our meeting, I will gladly supply all notes taken including space plans, sketches, window treatment suggestions, paint colors and actionable next steps. We will also review and sign the Letter of Agreement which launches your project to the next step!
Step 2: Project Scope and Estimated Fees
In this step, we outline the work to be accomplished and tell you how we will go about meeting your design goals. We also present an Estimated Timeline, Estimated Design Fee, and Terms and Conditions. We will collect the design retainer at this time if you are in agreement with our plan of action. After this step, we are ready to start work on your Design Plan!
Step 3: Trades and Vendor Site Visit
After approval, it’s time to set up discussions with all vendors: contractors, tradespeople, and any other representatives and installers who will be involved in your project. We hold these discussions at the project site, where we explain the project scope, outline the work that is required based on your goals and tastes, have measurements taken if needed, and gather any other information vendors will need to provide accurate cost estimates for labor and materials. These estimates will be included in the next Design Meeting we have with you.
Step 4: Project Development; Sourcing Furniture and Fixtures
evelopment of the concept, research, sourcing of vendors and materials, and a fine-tuning of estimates and quotes from vendors is what takes place during project planning. We further develop the design concept with sketches, color schemes, furnishings, and fabrics … working closely with vendors who will then provide us with estimates and quotes. From these quotes, we will be able to develop a Preliminary Budget that is presented during the design presentation.
Step 5: Presentation of Design Plan
At this meeting, we present and discuss the details of the Design Plan we’ve customized for you. We’ll show you sketches, inspirational images (mood boards), color swatches, fabric samples, furniture selections and other pieces … everything that will help us better convey our expression of your design goals. Through samples and conceptual boards, you will be able to better visualize our design vision.
We also present you with an itemized budget to show all costs, including quotes from involved vendors. This is the time to make any revisions. This is also the time to submit your signed Project Agreement, the Design Fee balance, and 100% of the furnishings budget so we are able to begin ordering.
If you want to make revisions, we will make the necessary adjustments to the budget based on those and then schedule an updated Design Plan meeting with the adjusted Design Plan and budget.
Step 6: Procurement, Project Execution & Management
Collaborating with renovators, vendors, contractors, and other trades takes place during this step. This involves purchasing, tracking orders, overseeing the work, inspecting for any damaged materials or furnishings, and making sure everything is proceeding according to the projected timeline.
Step 7: Installation, Styling, and Walk-Through
This begins the final phase of the design process … where the magic happens. All pieces are put in their places – installed and styled: furniture, drapes, rugs, pictures, accessories. This usually happens in one to two days. With that completed, the space is cleaned and ready for your walk-through that day – provided everything is “reveal ready.”
An exciting moment, the walk-through is a time when we point out the features of all the pieces, their benefits and care, and hand off any warranties. It’s also the appropriate time to point out any deficiencies you might come across – including any minor oversights or damages such as a paint splatters, a missing furniture knob, a fabric rip or stain, missing item …
Step 8: Resolving Deficiencies
While this step infrequently occurs, any deficiencies discovered after the walk-through are corrected within a timely manner. We want to make sure you are completely head over heels with the finished space.
Step 9: Final Meeting, Photography and a Review
Our final meeting with you is the final walk-through, when closure takes place on your design project.
We’ll want to get some amazing pictures taken of the completed state and with your permission will schedule a future date to do so!
Please offer us your feedback, review us on social media, and refer us to a friend. We want you to be completely satisfied, to feel that the experience was pleasurable and look forward to you calling us again when it’s time for a new interior design project.