After months of renovation, imagine opening the door for the first time to your transformed home. Do you feel those butterflies? Is your heart beating fast? Your project’s final reveal is such an exciting, sweet, and personal moment. But what did it take to get there?
Answer: It is a process. It takes months of planning, ordering materials and furnishings, project management (two words that convey months of work), and final styling to get to the big reveal. It’s a lot. But when you hire a designer, we manage your project from start to finish, designing beautiful spaces based on your definition of home.
Ready to see inside all the details about my design process? Spoiler: We will get to know each other pretty well and will more than likely end up as true friends. Keep reading to discover how we work together to create a beautiful home that is entirely your own.
The Interior Design Process at a Glance
Before we dive into each step of the design process, let’s look at a quick overview. We can break the process into two phases: Design Strategy, where we’re getting creative and making a solid plan, and Full-Service Design, where we’re taking action on that plan.
Most of our clients work with us through both Phases, although you could certainly choose to complete Phase I with us and tackle Phase II on your own. It’s up to you!
Phase I: Design Strategy
- Discovery Call
- Design Articulation
Phase II: Full-Service Design
- The Design Plan
- Installation & Styling
- Reveal & Photoshoot
What’s included in each of these? Come take a look…
Phase I: Discovery & Strategy
The beginning of our journey together starts with a complimentary 20-minute discovery call. On the call, you’ll get to share your story, goals, and vision. This is the time to share what’s most important to you and ask those pressing questions.
Based on your needs, I’ll then explain our services and creative process to help you decide which design solution is best for you and if I’m the right designer for you. I firmly believe that the best projects start with a mutual connection — that’s how we build trust and create a home that’s unique to you and your story.
Once you’ve agreed to work with us, we move on to Design Articulation, a 2-hour home consultation. This is when we really get to know each other better (I told you we’d be friends by the end!) and walk through your home together.
During the walkthrough, we’ll talk about which projects to prioritise, discuss what is and isn’t working for you, and share some ideas and possibilities you may not have considered (based on my 25 years of design experience and your unique goals).
After the walkthrough, we’ll wrap up the Design Articulation with a written report of my recommendations for your home. This report is jam-packed with goodies, including design vision, project scope, recommended product sources, and a written summary of actionable design solutions for your home.
This step alone will help you take a huge leap toward the home and lifestyle you want most. If you would like to take the reins from there, you absolutely can. If you’re considering working with me on the design and implementation, I’ll share a Full-Service Design proposal defining the scope of services, estimated investment, timeline, and what to expect.
Speaking of… this brings us to Phase II.
Phase II: Full-Service Design
Who’s the best fit for the full-service design? Answer: If you’re planning a new build, an extensive renovation, or decorating a new, memory-making home. After you have approved the proposal, we move on to the design and implementation. This is where the fun begins…
The Design Plan
Your Design Plan is a comprehensive design based on our findings during the Design Articulation. It starts with extensive design development, including drawings and interior selections — think colour palettes, artistic direction, deciding which old possessions will join the new, our suggested materials and furnishings, etc.). We then follow this up with sourcing (selecting the exact items and materials we will use), along with designing any custom items for your home, such as cabinets, window treatments, rugs, etc.
This planning process usually takes us 6-8 weeks to complete, and even though you won’t see a lot happening, there is a TON going on behind the scenes. We are creating the foundation of spaces where you can come home to yourself — and that takes time, thought, and effort.
Once complete, I’ll present the design and product selections to you, along with the total investment amount. You’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts, see iterations if needed (though they rarely are!), and sign off on the next step: taking action.
Implementation is when your project truly gets off the ground. We could also call this step “project management”, because it’s all about ordering furnishings and materials and scheduling all the work that needs to be done. This step can take weeks as we coordinate with contractors and trades, handle schedules and deliveries, track orders, conduct quality inspections, and manage every last tiny detail for you.
Labor and product lead times play a huge role in when work can begin and when furnishings will arrive. After everything is ordered, it can take weeks to months for everything to be delivered.
The good news is that we have already allocated time for this stage in the original proposal. So even if you don’t see a lot happening, trust me, we are right on schedule and making progress unless I’ve shared otherwise. This is the beauty of trusting a professional: peace of mind.
Installation & Styling
You can feel the anticipation in the air! Once the construction phase is complete, we can start installing our furniture and styling items. Installation usually takes a couple of days, during which all the furnishings and materials you ordered are installed in your home. I use a white glove service to deliver lighting, artwork, furniture, large accessories, and rugs. The installation process also includes items like drapery and wall treatments.
Once the main elements are in your home, I’ll start styling it — layering in thoughtful, meaningful details for a collected home that feels just like you. (P.S. For a truly transformative experience, I recommend that you vacate the premises during this step. Maybe treat yourself to your spa day…)
Your beautiful, personalized home is almost finished.
Reveal & Photoshoot
Ready to come home to your new space… and yourself? It’s time… welcome home!
We’ll laugh. We’ll hug. Revealing the final product to you and your family is why I love what I do. But most of all, I love to see the joy and complete happiness on your face when you realise that, yes, this home is yours and you get to keep it. (Don’t worry, I won’t stay too much longer!)
At this time, I’ll also bring in a professional photographer to capture your gorgeous new home with stunning photos. We use these for our portfolio and I’m happy to share them with you, too. After all, it may be our work, but it’s a representation of you and your life. And that is the most beautiful.
Ready to start your own journey home? It all begins, you guessed it, with the Discovery Call. Book yours with me here and let’s get to know each other.
See you next month,
Spotlight: Surroundings in Cook Street Village
When I first moved to Victoria, I needed a new dining room table for my condo. I’d sold my old table in Edmonton since it was too big for my new condo (check out my recent tips on downsizing). Across the street from my new building, I stumbled upon the cutest antique store — Surroundings — and couldn’t wait to explore it!
Well, not only did I find my dining table (a gorgeous vintage trestle table) but I ended up working part-time in the store over the Christmas season. The shop’s owner Kristiane Baskerville has a true gift for curating the best mix of old and new. Her shop is a must see next time you’re in Victoria!