Interior Design Project Timelines

Interior design timelines vary from project to project, but often take longer than you think. Timing, as they say, is everything. I’m not sure exactly who “they” are, but when it comes to interior design, understanding the project timelines is very important.

{Get your copy of my free download Map Out Your Interior Design Project below! I take a look at project timelines and outline the six steps to help you set up for redesign success.}

I was in a bathroom design meeting with a client and contractor yesterday and this topic came up because I mentioned that there were 42+ decisions that went into designing the client’s master bathroom. We made about 10+ more during that meeting! I began counting decisions involved in the bathroom design process after shocking many prospective clients by telling them the interior design process can take 4 – 10 weeks to complete (depending on the size of the room) and that’s before the renovation begins!

{Kitchen selections for our  Blue Sea Drive  project were made quickly, but upon arrival the countertop was damaged and had to be remade, thus moving the installation date back. A flexible timelines allows for mistakes to happen with less stress.}

{Kitchen selections for our Blue Sea Drive project were made quickly, but upon arrival the countertop was damaged and had to be remade, thus moving the installation date back. A flexible timelines allows for mistakes to happen with less stress.}

The same timing applies to a living space such as your family room or bedroom. If it’s a new room you are after, there are many decisions to make and they take time to make and flesh out. Consider that you, the designer, contractor and architect all have schedules and they have to line up. That alone can take time to flesh out.

I understand that you may not have ever taken on a large design or renovation project, so how would you know about interior design timelines? That’s why I’m sharing these details to help you manage your expectations and schedule. I find that everyone is happier when these two things are set from the beginning of a project.

Here’s what you should expect timing-wise if you are considering a renovation or interior design project in your home. (All of these timeframes are GENERAL and will vary from project to project and professional to professional).

1. Find professionals to help you complete your dream project: 2 – 3 weeks (shorter time if you know a few people who you want to work with, longer if you are interviewing/meeting new people).

2. Establish timeline for project and sign all agreements: 1 – 2 weeks. (Remember that it takes time to write an agreement for a project and flesh out the details and timing. The professionals you hire will have other client work they are coordinating around.) Most professionals can set a full project timeline from the beginning so you know when the project will likely begin and end. April Force Pardoe Interiors sets timeline for all full service projects.

3. Space planning and programming (discovering what you like): 2 – 3 weeks. This timing depends on the complexity of the project – moving walls? – and size of the space.

4. Selections of materials or furnishings: 4 – 6 weeks. Whether you are renovating or redecorating an entire room with new furnishings, flooring and window treatments, all new items will need to be selected via shopping trips, research by the design team or a combination of both. Usually this process involves collecting samples for review and gathering costs and fleshing out details for each selection.

5. Purchasing materials: 1 – 2 weeks. Once all of the paper work is in order for purchasing, this part of the process can happen quickly. Purchasing also involves following the purchase order through to arrival, which is something that can take weeks (see #6).

6. Shipping time: 4 – 12 weeks. Most materials or furnishings will take a minimum of 4 weeks to arrive. Shipping times vary from company to company and I always tell clients to add a week or two to any estimated arrival date. Stuff just happens!

So, the minimum timeframe from the above outline is 14 weeks. Of course this could be less for your project, but it will likely not be 4 weeks!

When you add a time stress to a project either via unrealistic expectations or impossible deadlines (kitchen must be done before your daughter’s June wedding), it makes everyone involved a bit more uneasy. My goal by sharing these interior design timelines is that you will plan ahead enough for your next design or renovation project so that you will not only get the room of your dreams, but you will also have a low-stress design and planning process, which makes all the difference during an overwhelming time!

Happy planning!


Are you ready to create spaces that enhance connections with loved ones and provide you peace of mind for the days and years ahead?