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7 Key Stages for Best Practice Interior Design Projects

Our article guides you through our key stages for best practice as an interior designer, helping you make the most out of your skills!

7 stages of interior design projects

1)      Meet – meeting with the client

Before meeting with your client, you should consider questions they may have for you and how you will respond to their queries in an informative and professional manner; being prepared will make it easier for them to trust your competency. Ensure that you are respectful towards your client and allow them time to discuss their needs and questions, doing so will prove you to be a good listener and someone they will find easy to work with. It is important to ask about their lifestyle to grasp a better understanding of their style preferences. You may start to see problems arising, these don’t necessarily need to be communicated to the client but you should take a note of them so that they can resolved. You also need to define the brief.  Define what you think your client desires from this process and what you can help them with. When the meeting is coming to an end, explain to the client what they can expect and what will happen next.

2)      Agree – Confirmation of your work for the client

You should always make a confirmation with the client regarding the services you are providing for them. A letter of agreement is often the best way to go about this. A letter of agreement should be provided within an email informing your client that you look forward to working with them. They should send this back to you with payment. Whilst a letter of agreement does not guarantee that you will be paid for your work, it increases your chances and states clearly the work that is being undertaken and at what sum, helping to avoid future problems.

3)      Research – develop a plan/strategy

During this stage, you should start to develop your design ideas. It is always a good idea to produce more than one sample board to present to your client. This gives you options in case you have mis-judged what your client wants.

4)      Concepts – Develop your boards

When you meet again with your client, don’t immediately show them your sample boards. Instead, take time to summarise your clients’ concerns and aspiration, building up to the reveal of your sample board. Discuss with the client the potential problems with the room, but do so in a professional and constructive way; tell them your ideas to resolve these issues. Having built up their excitement, it is then time to unveil your sample board. Give them time to look over your sample board and ask any questions they may have. If they don’t respond in the way you hope, ask them what they’re concerned about and offer an alternative. If the client is happy with your work, ask them if they would like to proceed. Even if there is work still to be done, you should leave the sample board with the client, you will have taken any notes you require elsewhere.

5)      Refine

Having presented your ideas to your client, there may be some adjustments needed. After talking with your client and receiving their feedback, it is time to make any minor changes to your ideas to suit their requirements. Once these changes have been communicated to and approved by the client, the project can go live.

6)      Develop

This is the stage where your ideas come to life. After everything has been approved and signed off in the previous stage, the job goes live and development begins. Once the work has been done, you can install the furniture and dress the room.

7)      Completion

Upon completion of the project, check with your client that they are happy with the work you conducted. It is also a good idea to ask them if you can take photos of the finished project and for a testimonial, both of which will prove helpful in future work opportunities. You should attempt to keep in contact with your clients after the job is finished, they may bring more work your way!

Sara Corker not only specialises in interior design but has the experience to mentor other budding interior designers to set up and maintain a successful and profitable business. She offers her expertise in her book and with personal mentoring.

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