Purchasing Phase: Providing Peace of Mind

When most people think about interior design they think about how much fun it must be to select colors, fabrics, tiles and window treatments day after day. The truth is that making rooms pretty is an enjoyable and creative part of an interior design project, but it’s only a small part of an overall project. Most people are surprised to hear this about interior design, but it’s true. There is a lot of planning, communicating, problem solving and math involved in the design process. And that is all before any purchases are made! 

Past posts covered my interior design public service announcement and the design phase of an interior design project. I’ll now address the final phase — purchasing. Some clients are content with a design plan with everything selected and mapped out and they are happy to purchase the selected furnishings or finishes on their own. If a client wants full service design that includes purchasing by the designer, the final phase of the design process.

Purchasing selections for a client project is a service many designers offer and it’s a service that will save you time, headache and frustration. It’s also a service you will pay to not have to do.

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My purchase order management takes care of these tasks for clients:

  • Budget review and management of all selections

  • Product price requests

  • Preparing purchase orders

  • Creating and maintaing detailed report of purchases

  • Ordering fabric cuttings for approval; approving cuttings

  • Furniture, fixtures and equipment purchasing

  • Paying vendor, freight, delivery and installation invoices

  • Tracking and expediting all items purchased

  • Coordinating inspection with the receiver; inspecting goods

  • Coordinating storage of goods

  • Coordinating and meeting deliveries & installations

  • Supervision of installation of all purchased items

  • Follow up with vendors for any product not up to standards established

  • Maintain relationships with vendors

  • Quality control of goods

  • Final walk-through of each room

After a design plan is finalized a purchase management agreement is presented and a fee for this service is paid to begin the process. Timing: Both retail and custom selections can take anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks to be manufactured and shipped. 

If we are doing a full room installation (everything coming to your home in one delivery for set up all at once), all furniture is shipped to a warehouse and then a delivery date is coordinated for final installation. If we’re not doing a full installation, selections will be shipped directly to the client’s house and a final set up date will be set to make sure all items are placed according to the design plan.

A designer can take your project from concept to installation with the addition of purchase order management services and all of the details and potential challenges will be taken care of for you. Sounds good, right?

After you get past the creative aspect of design (the pretty part!), much of interior design is about problem solving, organizing and relationship building (the behind the scenes part). These are skills that I’ve honed for years and that I bring to every design job.

You now had a full view of all of the phases of the interior design process. Please post any questions below. Congratulations, you are now a well-prepared interior design client!