Episode 8: An Inside Look at our Design Process: Part 1

Designers Getting Coffee podcast, Episode 8: An Inside Look at our Design Process: Part 1

What does it really look like to manage a design project from start to finish? In this two-part series, Kate and Lesley break down their design process step by step and share what’s working for them. While the general process is the same, there are some key differences and they each embrace.

Episode 8 Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • If you don’t have a process yet, create one that works for you
  • Have a tangible and understandable way to outline and show your process to clients
  • Fine-tune and refine your design process – but don’t overthink it
  • Being “boutique” sets you apart – this means sprinkling extra, unexpected touch points and client care throughout the process
  • Concept design is critical because it formalizes everything and lets clients know what to expect in the end
  • “What to expect” updates builds trust and helps clients feel more prepared to take important steps forward
  • Loop in all decision makers from day 1 in every step of the process
  • Set clear deadlines for client feedback and decisions
  • Once you’ve found your process, stick to it at all costs!

Our Design Process Part 1:

  • Paid design consultation: This is where get to know the client and the design needs for the project
  • Contract and retainer: Clients sign a contract and we accept a retainer – nothing can happen until this is done
  • Site survey: We examine the client’s house, take detailed measurements, photos, and inventory of existing furnishings (having an assistant is extremely helpful!)
  • Trade day: One day where you bring all of the trades that you would need for a project
  • Concept design: This includes presenting a proposed floor plan and a mood board then getting the client’s feedback
  • Design development and presentation: This includes things like picking materials and furnishings, receiving quotes from contracts, and formalizing everything into a budget which you present to the client and ideally collect their payment

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