The Design Process
Interior design is so much more than simply buying furniture and accessories. It’s about creative problem solving, planning, budgeting, and successful communication. Because our goal is to build a long term relationship with you, our focus is on education. To clearly set the expectations and manage them as we progress through the phases of the project. Keep in mind that in interior design, much of the work takes place long before the first purchase or installation. Positive business relationships occur when each party benefits from working together and their contribution is recognized and form a successful result that all parties can be proud of.
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Step 1: Consultation
Our first meeting we call the “Discovery meeting”, where we’ll get to learn about each other and cover:
- The scope of your project in detail…. The rooms, who and how they’ll be used and your ideas/ goals for the space.
- Your tastes, preferences, likes, dislikes, style and lifestyle.
- Budget. We will work with you to make a plan and determine a realistic budget for your project. There are tricks to making a budget stretch and we know where to get the biggest bang for the buck. Part of our job is to help you understand how far your money will go.
Step 2: Proposal
Shortly after the initial consultation you will receive a Design Services Proposal. The Proposal will be tailored to your project and will include details of each Phase of the project & fee structure. The Agreement will include policies and procedures, and designer and client responsibilities.
Step 3: Sign Proposal and Pay Deposit
Along with signing the Design Services Proposal and Agreement, you will be required to pay a deposit, to cover up front set up and purchasing costs.
Step 4: Site Measure
Site visit is scheduled once paperwork is signed and deposit is received and normally occurs within the next few business days. We will take detailed measurements and photographs of all the spaces involved in your project. Where appropriate, we will also arrange to have the trades people who will be working on your project come in and take their own measurements for estimating purposes. Over the course of the project we will bring in any additional workers as necessary.
Step 5: Detailed Design Concept
This is where every detail is considered. Throughout this step there will be a fair amount of communication and meetings to discuss all the elements of the design. Once we decide on a floor plan, the next step is to create the detailed design concept, which includes developing a colour scheme and sourcing fabrics, furniture, fixtures and materials. Custom furniture and built-ins are designed and finishes chosen. Materials for flooring, counters and cabinetry are selected. Wall and floor coverings are considered. Window treatments are designed and fabrics, trims and hardware are chosen. A lighting plan is developed. Drawings, samples and pictures are gathered. Quotes and pricing are researched and cataloged. You’ll provide feedback and we’ll narrow the options for each element. If there are items that need to be re-sourced we’ll discuss the steps involved with that. At the end, you will be presented with carefully edited selections that represent the best choices for your space. Creating the design scheme is a time-consuming process and may require several weeks, depending on the scope of your project.
Step 6: Presentation and Sign Off
Once the design scheme is ready a presentation meeting will be scheduled. We strongly suggest that all decision-makers attend this meeting. We go through the design in detail and you will be presented with fabrics, drawings, photos and samples for each element in the design. By this stage, we should have a complete design scheme that meets your approval. You will also be given a budget outlining the cost of each item, and work orders to sign off on where appropriate.
Timely approval of the design scheme is crucial for maintaining accurate pricing and ensuring the availability of some design elements (fabrics or furniture, for example). If the design is not approved in a timely manner there may be additional costs associated with replacing items that are no longer available. Once the design has been approved and all elements are finalized we can begin executing the design.
Step 7: Work Orders and Purchasing
Before any workers are hired or items are purchased on your behalf you will receive a work order that details the work to be done or item to be purchased along with all known associated costs. (Freight and delivery are usually billed separately). Work orders are the safety net to make sure we stay on the same page throughout the design execution and nothing gets purchased without your approval. For fabric, furniture/accessories and other off-the-shelf items payment must be made in full when the work order is approved. The balance on each order will be due when the merchandise is ready for delivery or when services provided by trades are substantially completed.
Step 8: Trades Begin Work
If there is work to be done by trades we schedule this as soon as possible. We manage the scheduling and oversee the work to make sure the design is executed properly and with the highest quality workmanship.
Step 9: Final Installation and Reveal
This is where the vision becomes reality. All work by trades has been completed. Now the furniture is delivered, window treatments are installed, rugs laid, accessories placed and art hung. IF it can be arranged, we have it all done on the same day so you get that “wow” effect when you come home. Accessorized: We’ll bring in and install all the accessories including all of those that have special meaning to you. You can choose which of the accessories you would like to keep. Payment for all the accessories and deliver is due one week after the install date.
Step 10: The Scene is Set
Live your life by design, enjoy!