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What interior design really is?

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

We are so used to watching series like – The Complete Transformation and the Big Renovation where things happen over night. The reality is that the lifecycle of a project (even a small one) is quite long – very rarely anything can take less than 6 months. Actually - the average lifetime of a project is usually 1-2 years.

Without sounding patronising - interior design is a complex process.

Is starts with a marketing analysis. Marketing focused and not necessary interior design focused at the beginning. Thinking of who will be living there so that we understand how we would like the interior to come together. Building a relationship with the client and understanding their lifestyle from many angles is always key.

Client presentation and developing a strong concept scheme sets the tone and gets the client excited. Those initial images are very carefully selected to reflect what the project will feel like. This is where it all begins.

Then it comes to space planning which is one of the most important elements. It defines the circulation in the house and ultimately how sensible the whole scheme is for the people living there.

Next big step is discussing with all trades people and suppliers in order to get prices. Tender packs and all sorts of quotations. You can’t go to the client with a beautiful proposal for which you have no idea of price. So, the pricing process is very detailed and usually takes a long time as there is a lot of back and forth communication with third parties.

A clear and detailed schedule of works for construction will always help get relevant prices that wont vary dramatically. And then who doesn’t want an easy implementation of all the dreamy proposals?! So many many technical drawings are vital to a flawless installation. Nothing is left to chance, unless you want a plastic socket installed in the middle of the wall for no particular reason, or a slightly higher placed oven – that nobody can reach. The list can go on forever – builders can be very fast at taking decisions if not directed.

Problem solving. Interior design is always about problem saving. It is a dynamic process full of variables and things rarely go as expected. Mostly you are forced to think creatively in a very short amount of time. It can be challenging, but the adrenaline keeps you on your feet and makes everything fun!

Coordination – engineers, builders, fire inspectors, electricians, painters, joiners, upholsters, glass installers, curtain makers, artists, cleaners, clients – so many different people that all funnel into one project. So when people ask an interior designer: Ohh you can pick paint colours for me?!

Much more my dear.

Site visits keep the interior designer’s job very active and energetic.

And then it always comes to numbers. Managing the budget and placing orders. No matter how big a budget you still need to prioritise.

Ah and yes! The design part – the nice sketches and mood boards, choosing all furniture, colours and fabrics... That’s the cream. What percentage would you say that is from all I described. 20%?!

Then you guessed right! 😎

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