When I asked our Instagram followers what they wanted to see on the blog, one of the top requests I received was "how does the design process work?" Being that I'm a pretty open book when it comes to our services and what we do, I'm happy to share. Maybe it will help you understand if hiring an interior designer is right for you!
So before we actually ever step foot into a home for a consultation, there has already been a lot of back and forth with the client. First, we receive an inquiry, which is usually through our contact form on our website or via email. We always require a potential client to fill out our new client questionnaire form and submit a Pinterest board or photos of inspiration prior to moving forward. Once we review and determine the project is a good fit for our services, a phone call is set up with me. I like to chat with any potential client for 15 minutes to ensure we are on the same page and will be able to work well together on the project. It is a relationship after all!
Once we have talked, we then set up initial consultation. We typically book new consults about 3-6 months in advance (depending on how busy we are) so keep that in mind for future planning! At consult we try to get as much information as possible. We walk through the space with the client rapidly taking as many notes and photos as possible. This is when I learn about the client, their needs, how their family functions within their home, what pieces they already own and would like to incorporate within the design and so much more!
After the walk through, my junior designer and I take all of our detailed measurements. In total, we are in the client's home for an hour and a half. No advice is given at this time, purely information gathering for us! Here are some before photos we have taken in the past for reference:
2) Package and Contract
After consultation, my team and I sit down and discuss the project. We determine what it's going to take on our end to meet the client's needs, budget, and timeline. We then come up with a design package with all of that in mind, typically based on the amount of hours it will take my team to complete the project from start to finish. We then send a contract and invoice over to the client to complete. Once signed and paid, the client's project start date is added to our calendar.
3) Design Process
The first thing we do when designing for a client's project is take all of our measurements and put together a floor plan and furniture layout. This tells us what layout and what size pieces will fit best in each space. From there, we begin procurement. This is the strategic process of product sourcing from vendors we work with all over the world. We put together all of the furniture, lighting, rugs, paint colors, art, window treatments, wallpaper and any finish selections into a design presentation with a corresponding proposal to share with our client.
4) Presentation and Proposal
We invite our client to come in for a formal design presentation for their home. We share everything we completed in the design process and really aim to give the client a visual of their new space. This includes showing furniture layouts, sharing product samples and finishes and presenting all of the pieces we selected for each space in a slide show presentation on our large TV monitor. The client is also given a corresponding proposal which breaks down all the item specifications and pricing by room.
5) Revisions, Invoice and Ordering
After our client has some time to review everything we shared at presentation day, usually there are some revisions to be made. A few changes here and there based on the client's likes, dislikes, and budget. Sometimes a client wants to see just one other option on certain pieces. We typically see one round of revisions until we get everything perfect and then we create an invoice. Once the invoice is paid, we order everything!
6) Project Management
We oversee all of the orders, ensuring items ship on schedule from our vendors and are sent to our receiving warehouse. Most items are shipped via freight so they are coming in on an 18-wheeler truck and you must set up a delivery. This can be extremely cumbersome when it comes to 100 different products arriving for a project. We schedule every single one, receive each product at our warehouse, inspect everything for any damages and keep all of our client's items together until everything for the entire project has arrived. Typically during project management phase we are simultaneously wrapping up all of the accessories, bedding, and pillow selections as well as having wallpaper, lighting, and window treatments installed prior to installation day.
7) Installation Day
The very best day! We ask our client's to leave for the day and our delivery team loads up their truck with all of the items from the warehouse and delivers to the home. We lay down every rug, place every piece of furniture, make every bed, take away all the trash (there's a lot of trash), fluff every pillow and style every space down to lighting the candles when you arrive home. It truly is the client's HGTV moment when all of their home dreams come true. It's the most rewarding part of the entire process for my team, seeing how happy our client's are and why we do what we do.
And that's all there is to it! Yes, it can be a long process but each step is required for all of our projects to ensure the highest quality and attention to detail. That is the difference you get when you hire an interior designer!
Interested in learning more about our design process? Reach out to us via our contact form so we can learn more about your project. Looking forward to chatting!