How Long Do Interior Design Projects Take

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One of the most frequently asked questions people have me is “How long do Interior Design projects take”?

It usually comes up during the design discovery phone call that I have with interested clients.

To answer that question, I’m going to explain a Full-Service Interior Design project. That means I take care of your entire design project from start to finish. I offer quicker, lower investment services, but I’ll focus on Full-Service because it’s my most popular.

All Interior Design projects are different, and I love this about my job. However, it was evident in the early stages of my business that a well-defined process was necessary. Otherwise, my projects would be chaos for my clients and myself. Disorganized is not how I want to run my business.

Now I follow the same nine-step process for all my projects. It keeps me organized and assures that I’m dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. I’m always improving my

I think of my creative process a lot like brewing a cup of tea. Tea like good design is not instantaneous.

Making tea is a process. You choose the perfect blend. Maybe it’s Earl Grey for the caffeine pick me up. Alternatively, you might want, mint to soothe your stomach.  You boil the water and steep the tea to peak flavor. Maybe you add milk and sweetener.

Interior Design is similar. It requires problem-solving, planning, and collaboration. You want the right blend of furniture, fixtures, and materials. The design must also fulfill your functional needs and have the personal touches that make it your own. It all takes time, but all good things take time.

My Nine-Step Interior Design Process

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The first phase of my Interior Design Process is the Design Planning Phase.

In the beginning, I learn as much as I can about your likes, dislikes, wants, and needs for your project. I lay a solid foundation that puts us on the path to a cohesive design. One that fulfills your functional requirements, is comfortable, and surrounds you with things that bring you joy.

Once I’ve laid the foundation, I’m ready to curate your furniture, fixtures, and materials. I’ll hone and refine them to arrive at the best blend. If there’s anything that doesn’t work for you, I’ll make revisions.

 A lot can happen, and there are many decisions to make during the Design Planning Phase. We’ll meet at least three times, sometimes more, especially if we’re remodeling.

The most significant factor in how long the Design Planning Phase takes is your personal decision-making process. 

Everyone is different with how they arrive at decisions. Especially things that have many choices, like designing a kitchen from scratch.  Or choosing all new furniture for your living room. It can be a substantial investment, and there is a lot to consider.

Some people are very decisive. They’re happy to move forward with the design solution I've presented to them straight out of the gate. They might be ready to begin ordering within two or three months.

While others need time to digest and mull things over in their minds. I have clients who are happy to order a sofa from a catalog. Others want to meet me at the showroom to sit on the sofa they're considering.

It’s part of my job to guide and make the decision process as easy as possible. I strive to create the perfect design from the first meeting to the last. However, I will not pressure clients to make decisions or commitment to something before the client is ready.

It’s a moving target, but for most people, the Design Planning Phase takes between three and eight months.  When we’re ready, it’s time to move onto the Project Administration Phase. Now your design comes to life!

The duration of the Project Administration Phase depends on the size and scope of your project. However, a good guideline is between two and four months which allows for remodeling, construction, and production of your chosen design elements.

Some elements like accessories, accent furniture, or lighting will likely be in stock and ready to ship.  Custom elements, on the other hand, may need more time for production and fabrication. They are the details that make your home it's most comfortable, easy to use, and uniquely your own. They’re the icing on the cake, chosen and created to reflect your taste and lifestyle.

For me, it’s the details that make the design.

As you know, all good things take time, and that includes custom design elements. I'll give you a few examples. A custom Roman shade with a beautiful fabric and trim may take eight to twelve weeks.  Maybe we’re going to do custom throw pillows that bring color and patterns you love into the space. These may take six or more weeks for the workroom to fabricate. Or it could be a custom wood table finish that will need months of back and forth with the craftsman. Custom pieces take time, but they are definitely worth the wait.

If you're thinking about starting a new project, first consider when you’d like it completed. Then to be safe, add another month or two onto your timeline for the unexpected. 

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Completing a project in five months to one year may sound like a long time but working with an Interior Designer will save you time, money, and frustration. My nine-step process takes homeowners step by step to a beautiful finish. You’ll make confident choices, you won’t have to give up your weekends with endless furniture shopping, or a project that doesn’t look or feel like you imagined.

As I mentioned, I offer quicker and lower investment services. My focus here was on Full-Service Interior Design since it’s my most popular service.

If you have a question or you’re ready to get started, click the button below to send me a message.

 It’s the perfect time to start designing!

 

Susan Rains

Susan Rains Design, 408 Spring Road, Havertown, PA, 19083