What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (2022)

So you’ve decided to work with an interior designer! Exciting! Now, you might be wondering what to expect. (If you’re still not sure if working with an interior designer is for you read this post.)

For an interior design project to be successful a thoughtful process is important. Design projects often require a high level of attention to detail and organization to manage all the different elements that bring a room or whole home together. Designers may have different approaches and processes, so it is important for you to understand that of the designer you are working with to ensure you are on board. In this post I go into detail about my design process and what to expect when working with me.

What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (1)

The Design Process

This design process is my way of seeing that you have a positive, seamless experience while still having fun with design. There are always exceptions to any rule or process, because all projects are different. It’s important to keep an open mind and recognize that design is collaborative and fluid. Here we go!

Phase 1 | Get to know you

The Discovery Call

This is a brief phone call to discuss your project and share an overview of how we work to determine if we are a fit.

The Consultation

If it feels like a mutual fit we will proceed with scheduling a consultation. This meeting takes place in your home, at the project site, or on video call. This is where we get to know each other, learn more about how you want to live in your space, and what your vision is. We’ll discuss your design aesthetic, investment level, and timeline. I will take or request some photos of your space. I will also review the design process, service options, provide some initial thoughts, and answer your questions. You’ll come away with a clear idea of next steps. The consultation typically takes about an hour.

What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (2)

Phase 2 | Design service and Contract

Should you choose to move forward with a design service I send you a contract with the scope of work, design fees, payment schedule, and the initial retainer invoice.

Phase 3 | Design Phase

Once the paperwork is done the fun part starts!

  • First, we'll get measurements of the spaces and you'll complete a new client questionnaire.

  • Next, I develop a floor plan and furniture plan. I also create an estimated furniture and décor investment taking into consideration the investment level you specified. I will schedule a phone call to review and align on the furniture plan and investment with you.

  • Once we agree on the furniture plan and investment I develop a color palette and create the design plan incorporating your style preferences. I source all furniture, textiles, lighting, finishes, etc., order samples, request preliminary quotes and check stock status. I usually provide 1-3 options for each item to give you some alternatives without overwhelming you with too many choices. I’ve found that this works really well and helps with decision-making.

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What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (3)

  • Design plan presentation – I will schedule a meeting with you in your home to present the design plan along with price quotes and applicable samples and swatches that will give you a good visual and feel of fabrics for upholstery, window treatments, paint colors, bath/kitchen finishes like tile and hardware, etc. I will also send the design plan electronically. Final selections are made or revisions are requested.

  • If you selected the Design Lite package, post-meeting I will provide a shopping list with direct links to each item for you to purchase directly. All items will be sourced from retail vendors available to everyone. You will handle all ordering, tracking, delivery, assembly, and returns. The furniture floor plan will be your guide for furniture placement. See our services here.

  • Read this post for a behind the scenes look at how we create an interior design concept.

This phase typically takes 8-10 weeks from the signed contract's start date, although it may take longer depending on the scope of the project.

Phase 4 | Implementation Phase

After the design presentation and final selections are approved, I take it from there!

  • I handle all the specifications, obtain final quotes and lead times, collect payment from you, place and track orders, and schedule work.

  • For Design Complete packages I may source from both retail and trade vendors. Trade vendors offer us more variety, better quality, and more unique styles and opportunity for customization.

What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (4)

(Video) HOW TO BECOME AN INTERIOR DECORATOR

  • Furniture is shipped to a delivery company that specializes in receiving, inspecting, and delivering white glove to your home all at once. I schedule an Install Day with you, and I am on site to ensure a seamless delivery.

  • Custom window treatments – I will arrange for window treatments to be installed when they have all arrived.

  • Renovations – For decorative work such as painters and wallpaper installers as well as kitchen and bath renovation contractors, I can give you referrals or a short list. You are also welcome to source your own contractors. I will work with contractors as needed to ensure the design is executed to plan.

This phase can vary widely from a few weeks to several months depending on the project.

Phase 5 | Finishing Phase

This is the last layer and often the most impactful part of a design, making the space look and feel complete and pulled together.

What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (5)

  • This includes all the finishing touches like decorative accessories, pillows, vases, frames, art and more. I do all of the sourcing and purchasing, and I come in on Install Day to style your space and bring it all together.

  • The Reveal – During Install Day I request that the client steps out of the home for the duration to allow us to do our best work. I will walk-through the space with you when complete and share all the beautiful details!

Phase 6 | Post-Project

  • Professional Photography – The only way Interior Designers can showcase their work is by capturing the spaces they design through photography. I may request to take photos at the end of a project, which will be scheduled as a separate photo shoot day.

What is the interior design process like - Here's what to expect | Eggshell Home - San Francisco Bay Area Interior Designer (6)

  • Survey – I am always looking for ways to improve and your feedback is very important to me. Therefore, I will send you a brief survey after closing the project that I appreciate you taking the time to complete.

  • Reviews and Referrals – As a small business owner reviews and referrals are critical to our business. I would greatly appreciate your review on my Yelp, Houzz, and/or Google listings.


As with any successful project, planning and a thoughtful process is an important element. I hope this post was helpful insight into what my design process is like and puts your mind at ease that your home transformation will be handled in a thoughtful way. If you’re interested in learning more about my services or want to chat about a project visit this page and let's schedule a call.

Talk soon!

Rosanna

Get my free guide to decorating a new home, plus home decor tips and ideas in my monthly newsletter.

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Inside Interior Design

Rosanna Bassford

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FAQs

What are the 5 stages of the design process interior design? ›

Conceptual Development Phase. Design Development Phase. Construction Documentation Phase. Construction Maintenance & Administration Phase.

What are the 7 principles of interior design? ›

THE 7 PRINCIPLES OF INTERIOR DESIGN
  • BALANCE.
  • UNITY.
  • RHYTHM.
  • SCALE AND PROPORTION.
  • CONTRAST.
  • EMPHASIS.
  • DETAILS.
23 Aug 2022

How long does the interior design process take? ›

For multi-room furnishings projects, you can expect your project to take about 3 months per room. For smaller-scale renovations projects with furnishing (such as a single-room with a new floor plan), you can expect about 6 months.

What is the 60 30 10 decorating rule? ›

What is the 60-30-10 Rule? It's a classic decor rule that helps create a color palette for a space. It states that 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color or texture and the last 10% should be an accent.

What are the 3 E's of interior design? ›

Instead of education, experience, and examination, the “three Es” required by the professional interior design organizations (American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Association, and the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario) for membership, the IDPC has suggested that ...

What is step 5 of the design process? ›

Test: the fifth and final phase of the design thinking process, where you test solutions to derive a deep understanding of the product and its users.

What is the most important element of interior design? ›

The most important element of interior design would be a functional space. Functional space acts as the base of the entire interior design. Therefore, it is essential that the user and designer both are well aware of the space availability and purpose of each individual space.

What are the golden guidelines interior design? ›

For an interior design color scheme, this means 60 percent of your room should be one color, 30 percent a second color, and 10 percent a third color.

What is the most essential in the 7 principles of design? ›

Emphasis. The first of the 7 design principles is emphasis, referring to the focal point of a design and the order of importance of each element within a design. Say you're creating a poster for a concert. You should ask yourself: what is the first piece of information my audience needs to know?

What is the 80/20 rule in interior design? ›

It's called the 80-20 rule and it's very simple: if you decorate 80% of a room in neutral colors, you can get very colorful with the other 20%.

What is the 70/30 rule in interior design? ›

Using 70% cool colours and 30% warm colours, he gets the colours to pop. It's the small amount of warms that makes the cools come to life.

What are the 8 element of design? ›

The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety. These principles of design work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and optimizes the user experience.

What are the 8 design process steps? ›

Eight Steps in the Design Process
  • Feasibility Study.
  • Programming.
  • Schematic Design.
  • Design Development.
  • Construction Documentation.
  • Bidding and Negotiation.
  • Construction Administration.
  • Post-Occupancy Training.
22 Oct 2021

What are the 10 stages of the design process? ›

The 10 Steps to Design Thinking
  • Identify needs. This is the most critical and most difficult step. ...
  • Gather information. This is the research phase. ...
  • Stakeholder analysis. ...
  • Operational research. ...
  • Hazard analysis. ...
  • Specification creation. ...
  • Creative design. ...
  • Conceptual design.
15 Feb 2019

How long does an interior designer take to design a house? ›

Interior design is a process including several people, steps and processes. Depending on the scope of the project, the complexity of the renovation process, the process of interior design takes around 14-31 weeks all in all.

How many hours should an interior designer take? ›

Interior designers typically work Monday through Friday, though some weekend and evening work is sometimes required. At larger interior design firms or in a retail role, designers typically work anywhere from 40-50 hours per week, though many work closer to 40 hours each week more consistently.

How many hours does it take to design a living room? ›

When everything arrives, follow your decorator's plans to put it all in place. This can trim your design time significantly. For 20 to 25 hours, you'll have a complete design for your room.

What should you not do when decorating a room? ›

11 Common Decorating Mistakes to Avoid
  1. Don't Choose a Small Area Rug.
  2. Don't Choose the Paint Color First.
  3. Don't Hang the Chandelier Too High.
  4. Don't Hang Artwork Too High.
  5. Don't Choose Short Curtains or Drapes.
  6. Don't Use Too Many Throw Pillows.
  7. Don't Use Tiny Accent Pillows.
  8. Don't Create a Theme Room.
30 May 2019

How many colors is too many in a house? ›

Just remember to use colors and patterns that have correlative value to one another. Q: How many paint colors in a house interior? A: As per standard interior design rules, you should never have more than about five distinctive colors in an interior space.

What is the rule of three in decorating? ›

The rule of three says that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered groupings. Three seems to the *the* magic number, but (as I mentioned previously) 5, 7 or 9 works nicely as well.

What are the four factors that impact interior design? ›

That experience is driven most by four factors — people, process, place, and technology — all of which have an impact on interior design.

Why are the 7 Elements of interior design important? ›

The 7 elements of design are designed to help you balance an interior scheme so that the finished look is aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional. Design is a science, after all, as well as an art.

What are the six interior design elements? ›

The Six Principles of Interior Design
  • 01 – BALANCE. Balance is all about spatial equilibrium to meet your functional requirements. ...
  • 02 – HARMONY + UNITY. Harmony is relating the elements in a space to each other. ...
  • 03 – RHYTHM. ...
  • 04 – EMPHASIS + FOCUS. ...
  • 05 – CONTRAST. ...
  • 06 – PROPORTION.
10 Sept 2021

What are the 4 parts to the designing process What are the steps? ›

Through a rich and often boisterous discussion, four teachers collectively broke down the engineering design process into four main phases: problem definition, design exploration, design optimization, and design communication.

What is step 4 of the design process? ›

One of the best ways to gain insights in a Design Thinking process is to carry out some form of prototyping. This method involves producing an early, inexpensive, and scaled down version of the product in order to reveal any problems with the current design.

What is basic interior design? ›

Professional interior designers will usually follow a set of informal “rules”, based on specific interior design principles and elements. These interior design elements include space, line, forms, light, colour, texture and pattern; and keeping them balanced is the key to creating an aesthetically pleasing interior.

What is main focus in interior design? ›

The focal point is one of the most fundamental elements in interior design. Put simply, it's the star of the room. It's the first place viewers' eyes should land when they enter the room and it's the emphasis point around which you build the rest of your design.

What is the Golden Ratio of a room? ›

The Golden Ratio:

The ratio, named phi, of height to width to length of a room to achieve optimal sound in a room is approximately the width 1.6 times the height and the length 2.6 times the height, and was named for the Greek sculptor Phidias.

What are the do's and don'ts of interior design? ›

The 10 Biggest Interior Design Do's and Don'ts
  • Dos.
  • Purchase Plush Pillows. ...
  • Leave Space Around Your Furniture. ...
  • Utilize Relevant and Appropriately-Scaled Lighting. ...
  • Choose Paint Colors That Enhance the Look of a Room. ...
  • Purchase an Appropriately-Sized Area Rug. ...
  • Don'ts.
  • Over-Matching Furniture and Textiles.

What is the golden mean in decorating? ›

The golden ratio of a room can refer to its proportions, ie, height, width and length, which is often used to ensure not only visual balance but good acoustics, too.

What are the 4 main aspects of good design? ›

Effective design centres on four basic principles: contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. These appear in every design. This article provides a brief overview of the basic principles discussed in this series.

What is the strongest principle of design? ›

Hierarchy. One of the most important principles in design, hierarchy is a way to visually rank your design elements. Hierarchy is not based on a design styles, but rather the order of importance. A good design leads the eye through each area in priority order.

What is step 5 of the design cycle? ›

Test: the fifth and final phase of the design thinking process, where you test solutions to derive a deep understanding of the product and its users.

What are the 5 basic principles of developing an interior design concept? ›

Look for the principles of design as well: Size & Proportion, Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis, and Harmony.

What are the stages of the design process? ›

Stages in the Design Process
  • Analyze the situation. Before beginning the design, sort out what problem you are trying to address.
  • Write a brief. ...
  • Research the problem. ...
  • Write a specification. ...
  • Work out possible solutions. ...
  • Select a preferred solution. ...
  • Prepare working drawings and plan ahead. ...
  • Construct a prototype.

What are the 5 or 6 stages of design thinking? ›

The Design Thinking process can be divided into five key steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. When considering the five steps of Design Thinking, it's important to remember that it's not a linear process.

What are the 4 design phases? ›

Through a rich and often boisterous discussion, four teachers collectively broke down the engineering design process into four main phases: problem definition, design exploration, design optimization, and design communication.

What is the first step in design thinking process? ›

Stage 1: Empathize—Research Your Users' Needs

Empathize: the first phase of design thinking, where you gain real insight into users and their needs. The first stage of the design thinking process focuses on user-centric research. You want to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve.

What is step 4 of the design process? ›

One of the best ways to gain insights in a Design Thinking process is to carry out some form of prototyping. This method involves producing an early, inexpensive, and scaled down version of the product in order to reveal any problems with the current design.

What are the 3 E's of interior design? ›

Instead of education, experience, and examination, the “three Es” required by the professional interior design organizations (American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Association, and the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario) for membership, the IDPC has suggested that ...

What is the most essential in the 7 principles of design? ›

Emphasis. The first of the 7 design principles is emphasis, referring to the focal point of a design and the order of importance of each element within a design. Say you're creating a poster for a concert. You should ask yourself: what is the first piece of information my audience needs to know?

What is the most important thing in interior design? ›

Element 1: Space

The first thing an interior decorator will do is visit the space they're styling to get a sense of its dimensions. Knowing the overall size and where doors and windows are located is essential to a seamless design.

What is the design process 6 steps? ›

We'll be exploring how UX designers work and walk you through all 6 stages in their process: Understand, Define, Create, Prototype, Test and Implement.

What is your design process answer? ›

What is your design process? | UX Design Interview Question - YouTube

What are the 5 D's of design thinking? ›

The 5 D's are Discovery, Design, Development, Delivery and Debrief.

What are the 4 P's of design thinking? ›

These 4P's are: Person: understanding the traits, characteristics or attributes of the creative person; Process: describing the operations or stages of thinking used in the creative process; Press: examining the nature of situations and its context within the creative press (or environment) and the Product: identifying ...

What are the 3 most important elements of design thinking? ›

The next time you need to solve a problem, you can grow your team's creative capacity by focusing on three core design thinking principles, or the 3 E's: empathy, expansive thinking, and experimentation.

Videos

1. Top 8 Architecture Styles In The SF Bay Area
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4. Reframing Housing Development: Designing More Affordable Housing
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