Interior Design Project Timing

Proper planning and expectations are the key to a great design project. And you thought it was the right color palette! I recently had coffee with a contractor and we discussed me writing a small article for her next newsletter. I immediately knew what I’d write about – project timing.

I have received many calls from homeowners who want to meet this week or next for help with their renovation (mid-project) or want to redesign their living room (for a party at the end of the month). I am unable to assist them with those tight timeframes and I just wish they’d called two to three months ago, when I could have helped. These experiences have led me to share this interior design public service announcement with you.

If you are planning a design project – from decorating to renovation – you must plan ahead – months ahead! Let’s take an interior design project for example here (no renovations).

To begin, designers usually schedule initial consultations at least two weeks out from your initial call. I can’t speak for all designers, but I know two weeks is a minimum for my initial consultations. The exact timing depends on my current project load at the time of the call. It could be longer than two weeks.

If you are interviewing several designers you’ll need to coordinate their schedules with yours, the weather, holidays and vacations. Give yourself plenty of time for these initial meetings as there are many factors at play.

A designer can often give you an idea of his/her project availability when you first call, but understand that that may change by the time you select and offer her the job. A month – or more – is not a long time to wait for a designer to be ready to take on your project. So from the first call you are already looking at a six week minimum wait to begin your project. (I keep clients busy with design homework during that time so the wait time is well-spent.)

And this is before any design decisions have been made. If you’ve never worked with a designer you would have no way to know this information, but now you do!

In a future post I’ll fill you in on the timing of the design and purchasing phases.

If you have any specific questions about planning for a design project please leave me a note below!