The Design Process – What Does it Mean for You?

To ensure you get a great result from working with an Interior Designer, you need to check that they have a tried and true design process that is transparent, so that you know what to expect each step of the way.

It is so important that you know what is expected from you, as the Client, at each stage. You will know what deliverables you can expect from your Designer and when.  Another important aspect to be aware of is what you will be invoiced for and when.

I break my design process into three distinct phases:

Phase 1 Scope

  • This starts with your initial enquiry, whether by email or phone.
  • An initial meeting is booked at your home or commercial property.
  • At this meeting you provide a brief, either verbal or written, to the Designer describing the work you would like done, the scope of the project.
  • The Designer should ask you questions about the look and feel you would like to achieve.
  • Other important questions are about how you use, or intend to use, the space or spaces.
  • The Designer then comes back to you with a Scope of Work and either a set design fee or a price estimate.
  • You should expect to be invoiced for this initial meeting, as the Designer will be sharing their valuable experience and expertise.
  • At this stage you will need to sign off the paperwork to accept the Designer’s Terms and Conditions and Scope of Work.
  • An invoice for the Scope Phase will be emailed to you.

Phase 2 Design

  • Measurements and photos are taken.
  • Concept designs are drawn up.
  • Colours, fabrics, flooring, fittings, finishes and furniture are sourced as required by the brief.
  • A meeting is held to present the designs to you.
  • Any changes and revisions are made.
  • A Design Specification is completed. This is a full list and detailing of all the products and finishes for each room or area.
  • An invoice for the Design Phase will be emailed, this may be charged in a phased way for a larger project.

Phase 3 Implementation

  • Site measures are arranged for quoting.
  • Products are viewed by you.
  • Quotes are presented to you.
  • Tradespeople are booked.
  • You will be invoiced for deposits on products orders.
  • Implementation and product delivery is completed.
  • Invoices are emailed to you for the balances due on products that have been delivered.
  • An invoice will be emailed to you for the my time for the Implementation Phase.
  • I then follow up with you to ensure that you are delighted with the final result and the products and services ordered.
  • I often take photos at this stage too.

By having a clear process, that both you and the Designer understand, projects run well and deliver great results.

Top Tip –It is a great idea to look through magazines and websites like and to collect ideas of what you do and don’t like. You can then show these to your Designer.