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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Nolan

What is our Design Process?

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

interior design samples and swatches
interior design process

Every single Interior Design project is completely unique, however there are some elements that always remain the same.... I thought I would describe how we work and what a typical interior design process is.

1. Discovery Call……. We like to do an in-depth phone call to determine are we are good fit for your project. Since every single interior design project is different we need to provide you with information on our services and find out the specifics of your project to make sure it is a good fit for both parties.

Questions that we ask include - is this a new construction or renovation project?

Do you have a builder or general contractor?

Is construction part of the project or is this just an interior furnishings & products project?

Where is the project located? Square footage?

What is your timeline and schedule?

What are your Goals?

What is your Design Style? Do you have a Pinterest or Houzz page? Do you have pictures or photos from design magazines, instagram or websites of styles and things you like and want?

The BIG question.....What is your Budget? This scares a lot of people. We ask this, as the designer needs to know what price point you are in to be able to meet your expectations on what you want. Just like when buying a car…..a Ford Focus is a perfectly good car but if you want or are looking for a BMW or Mercedes it is a whole different price point. It’s the same way with home interiors. Most people completely underestimate the cost involved when furnishing a new home so the designer really needs to know where you want to be. If you are unsure; typically the home price range, location and square footage will help the designer assist you in determining an appropriate budget for what you need and want.

Then we would of course get into specifics as to what exactly the client is looking for. Do you need a designer to help you source/determine finishes and products for your new construction or renovation project? Or do you need a furniture plan and selections to furnish your home?

2. After a detailed phone call then usually a In-Person Meeting is scheduled (or Zoom call for out-of-state clients) where we talk about the project but also get a feel for eachother’s personalities. Pretty much 99% of the time, you become very friendly with your clients (or we do anyway). You spend a lot of time and a lot of effort & hard work designing and installing someone’s dream home and as part of that process you develop a relationship that leads to designing other properties, etc. so - both parties need to feel comfortable with eachother and have the right chemistry.

3. Then the legal stuff...... After making the determination that this is a good match a Letter of Agreement or Contract is sent/signed. This document will clearly state the Scope of Work and the Deliverables the designer will be providing and only only after this is completed then the projct will start.

4. Drawings/Design begins.......For renovations this will mean visiting the property, taking an Existing Conditions Assessment - photos, measurements, getting a floorplan on Autocadd. Knowing what materials/finishes will remain to ensure anything new will compliment and be cohesive. For new construction this will mean obtaining Drawings & Plans or creating them. Getting the structurals, specifications and details from your architect, builder or general contractor OR working with that team to create/produce your necessary design documentation (drawings & specifications, color sheet, etc.).

5. Inspiration Boards / Pinterest - next phase the fun stuff. We create and like to use “Room Boards” as one of our presentation tools; showing all items proposed for that room. So clients can really understand what all the different pieces and elements are going to look like together. We also find them to be a useful tool to help the designer provide different options. This presentation tool truly helps our clients visualize what the proposed design is going to look like.

6. Fabrics, Paints, Wallcoverings, Woods, Metals. As we start to develop your design we will gather up all the different swatches, memos and samples to show you how the different materials all look together. It's important to us that our clients can touch, see each material we are proposing to help them visualize as well as understand what the upholstery fabrics will feel like, etc.

7. Selections. We will have photos and samples of the items we will be proposing for your home and this can include rugs, woods (furniture), window treatment samples, metals, etc. We will draw up sketches to show you how the feature wall will look or how the cornices & draperies will work/look together.

8. Procurement & Purchasing. We provide a cost estimate for all items so clients can clearly see the cost of each piece, element or item. After you approve cost estimate we will create an invoice, collect payment from you and place your orders with each manufacturer. We will track your order (and check on it every 2 weeks) to ensure it ships out, that it arrives in perfect condition and keep records on all your items (what we are waiting on, what is in transit, what is being stored at the receiving warehouse).

9. Installation. We manage our vendors & trades and will oversee your painting, wallpapering drywall repair, finish carpentry, reupholstery, window treatments, light fixture/ceiling fan installation. However, anything requiring demolition & permitting we will work with your Builder/General Contractor (who manages that part of the project). As part of your installation we will deliver your lighting (and manage our electricians to install for you), we will have our window treatment installers install your motorized shades, draperies, cornices, shutters or roman shades; we will make sure your painting & wallcovering is complete prior to your Furniture Installation.

The Big Day is when your furniture arrives; we will manage the moving team and set every piece in place including rugs, all furniture, lamps/lighting, hang artwork, mirrors, install toilet accessories (towel bars), iron & make your bed and place every floral, book, accessory …… leaving your home completely done and ready for a magazine shoot.

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