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Part 2: Top Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin A Design Project

December 16, 2022
how to start an interior design project

Welcome to Part 2 of our series on How to Have A Great Interior Design Experience! Before you jump into this week’s topic, make sure you check out Part 1 here!

Last week, we talked about how you can tell when it’s time to start working with an Interior Designer. But once you have gotten to the point where you know you need help, then what? How do you get started? Let’s dive into some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself to get clear on what you need and want in a designer!

1.) What is my end goal?

I always tell my clients to begin with the end in mind, and then we can work backwards. Being clear on what you're wanting to accomplish will give you a great starting point for getting there efficiently.

Here are some things you’ll want to consider:

- How do you want your space to look and feel when we are finished?

- How do you want it to function?

- Do you own the home, or are you limited in what can be done because you’re renting?

- If you do own the home, are you doing updates with the intention of improving the resale value of the space?

- Is this an investment property (rental space, AirBnb, VRBO, etc)? If so, do you want to give it a little more pizzazz to increase bookings?

2.) What is my budget for the project?

Once you’ve settled on a number, add a minimum of 10-15% to account for design fees, shipping/delivery costs, product markup, and other unanticipated costs. Is this new number still workable for you? If not, that’s okay! Just make sure you have a really clear understanding of how much you are willing/able to spend, and set that boundary with your designer right up front! 

interior design financing

3.) How will I be financing this project?

Make sure you have an understanding of how you’ll be paying for the project before you begin. You can typically pay a designer with a wire payment or CC, and they will typically handle your purchasing for you. However, if you want to use specific financing at certain stores in order to take advantage of deals or promotions, that is something you’ll need to handle on your own. If you’re going to be getting a loan for the project, get your approvals lined up and ready to go as soon as the purchasing phase begins. Also make sure you have any necessary financing in place and let your designer know if you’d like them to source from specific places so you can take advantage of that! 

4.) What is my timeline for this project?

Are you doing this design for a specific reason that has a firm timeline, or can you be flexible? Are there any major events or holidays coming up by which you want to have everything updated and installed? Letting your designer know this right away when you begin the project will be helpful, as they will focus on sourcing items that will fit your timeline! You will also want to decide if you want to complete the project in phases, or all at one time, so your designer can plan accordingly.

interior design project timeline

5.) What other support will I need to complete this project?

Your Interior Designer can work in partnership with any other trades you may need, but you’ll want to know from the beginning if you’ll need to hire an Architect, a General Contractor, Electrician, Plumber, etc. Do you know who you need to reach out to, and who to talk to first? Most, if not all, of these partners will have wait lists, so be prepared for that and try to get started earlier than you think you might need to!

If you’re not quite sure how to answer these questions, don’t fret! I would be more than happy to help guide you through the process, or even just help you figure out your starting point. Let me know what I can do to help!

Schedule a Consultation!