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Understanding the Interior Design Process.

The interior design process for any project type should be a collaborative journey where the designer guides their client through a clear set of stages, from initial briefing through to completion of the build. A clearly staged project program ensures there is clarity around the designer’s project deliverables, and the client’s obligations to give feedback and make decisions in a timely manner. Each design stage should align with a clear invoicing schedule. It is typical for an interior designer to charge an ‘engagement’ fee at the commencement of the project (typically 20% of the project design fees), which is deducted from the Stage 1 completion invoice.

Whether the project is a residential development, private home, retail, hospitality or workplace interior, the stages of the design process are generally the same:

  • Establishment of project brief, design fees and project program.

  • Schematic Planning and Concept Design

  • Design Development

  • Pricing (or Tender) Documentation

  • Construction Documentation

  • Design Administration

Each stage is defined by a clear set of documentation deliverables, which should be identified by the interior designer in their fee proposal. The completion of each stage is marked by the formal submission of those deliverables, at which point the client is billed. The designer should not move onto the next design stage without clear closure and invoicing of the completed stage. If additional work is undertaken outside of the agreed deliverables for a stage, the interior designer will apply hourly rates to undertake the additional tasks.

Wondering where to start? Contact CoLAB Design Studio to get a design strategy and fee proposal for your project.

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