The role of the interior designer is to create an extremely usable, practical but also beautiful and stylish interiors, taking into account the function, space required by their clients. They are also multitasking individuals who solve designing issues. A good designer should have the ability to communicate effectively on all levels and work with suppliers and trades partners during the whole process. What is more it is really important the interior designer knows how to facilitate for the clients budget , select right materials and have a thorough knowledge of architectural design, technical drawings and construction methods. It is also important to necessitate visiting shops and exhibitions, as the designer needs to be well informed about new ideas and products on the market.
Therefore ….the designer must be able to see – make a concentrated effort to absorb the essence of the project. Seeing is a very difficult thing to do. Most people “look” at a lot of thing but never “see” anything. Looking is emotional; seeing is an intellectual process.
(Albert Hadley, The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer)
Start: The Initial Client Consultation…
“Success is neither magical or mysterious. Success is the nature consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”
The initial consultation is a first contact between a client and designer and it could be through telephone or email, therefore you need to make sure you cover all important aspects at the very beginning of this relationship. At this point it is good to show your professionalism to gain the clients respect, but also gather the correct information needed.
In the very earliest stages, the designer will need to assess the scale and complexity of the project work to be undertaken. Hopefully at this point you will discuss the client’s budget and assess the schedule to complete the project. Never leave a call or a conversation through email without arranging the next step, a face to face meeting. Subsequently sending the client a letter confirming the date and time of the consultation including the outline of your charging policy or agreed fee. Following this and once the client has agreed to the cost, you need to create a design brief which helps you to know more about the project and the consumers. It is really important to understand their needs, personalities, styles, function and flow of the space in order to create the best design which will suit them perfectly. The next step will be meeting a client so always be punctual, dress smartly and be prepared; pack the correct equipment for site survey, as it aims to take the right measurements to draw accurate plan of the project like elevation drawings, plumbing, electrical, floor and ceiling plan with lighting and other needed features. Always leave your business card and inform the client of the next step once you have discussed all requirements. The advantage for any designer is to have the great communication skills as during the whole process you may find yourself in unexpected situations, which you need to handle it well. After the meeting with your clients, analyse and research the points given to you by your consumer. Also send a letter with a next meeting date. At this stage you can start gathering all needed samples and fully research your ideas, current trends and new products to create the correct solution for your client. As a result, the interior designer will source furniture, lighting, fabrics and finishes. Once the collection of chosen ideas has been put together, a new meeting is required. The client can check the design proposition and give their feedback and it’s also a good occasion to rectify and improve the solution according to the client’s response. When all the schemes are updated, trade partners can be contacted to provide quotes and refine the budget. Following project approval and sign off by the client, implementation can begin i.e. order all items required, like fabrics, wallpapers, paints, furniture, floors, rugs, carpets and accessories.
Finish: Snagging and the final checks of the completed scheme…This is the last stage of a project, checking that everything is perfect and at the right place, before you can call the client in.