The Interior Design Process

With her open and friendly approach and one-to-one service, Kate will talk you through the process required, listening carefully to your needs and aspirations and making your visions an obtainable reality.

Kate's priority is to ensure that your vision is brought accurately to life whilst establishing a strong working relationship. The interior design process is a complex one, but can be widely broken down into four stages.

Kate Harris: East Kent Interior designer covering Whitstable, Margate, Deal, Herne Bay, Canterbury and Faversham

Stage 1

The brief & design analysis

The first stage, which is at no cost to you, would be your first meeting with Kate and an information gathering process. It's an opportunity for you to get to know each other and Kate's chance to gain a thorough understanding of your requirements and the spaces you are looking at having designed. It is Kate's intention as the designer to interpret and contribute to your ideas, develop them and achieve a beautiful result for you.

Budget is an important issue and this is when this will be discussed. The designer needs to understand the finances to be able to present a workable scheme for you.

Following this initial meeting a proposal is issued, setting out the various stages of the project, what you, as the client, can expect to receive in way of drawings and illustrations and a breakdown of project fees at each stage.

Stage 2

Surveying & design proposal

This follows once the proposal has been signed off. It's a vital part of the fact-gathering operation.

Firstly, a full survey of the space needs to be taken. This involves measurements, measurements and more measurements! This is then transferred into scale drawings of the existing space with current services (gas pipes, electrics etc.) taken into account. Sections and elevations are also drawn up and a full analysis is written in which all the relevant facts and details about you and your project are recorded. This forms a crucial basis for producing ideas and concepts to create the space and look you are after.

The design process can now begin in earnest starting with a concept or 'mood board'. A mood board captures the essence of a design, it may be random images and colours that flow and work together that can literally evoke a 'mood'. A successful mood board can be seen clearly reflected in a finished design.

This concept will be further developed with a more refined three-dimensional layout of the space with sketches and computer images as the design is worked out.

Once these are completed, Kate would present her concept in a concise and informative way. This presentation is often accompanied with samples of materials, paint colours and finishings for you to give your opinion on and to ensure that the design is going in the right direction.

Stage 3

Implementation

Following your written agreement to the proposed plans and designs, the fine detail work starts.

All information on all the products detailed in your design are collected and working drawings are provided where the fine detail is worked out. These accompany the specifications that are given to prospective builders, suppliers and specialists, providing a template for them to prepare quotations for you. Also, any necessary permissions and approvals required will be sought from local authorities at this stage.

There is flexibility here. You, as the client, may prefer from this stage onwards to implement the designs yourself or with the help of another professional, or you may wish to continue working with your interior designer.

Stage 4

Project management

This is when things can get messy and a little stressful. It is helpful to have a project manager on board, this can either be your designer or another professional. They are directly responsible for the success of the project and are very handy trouble-shooters and keep the momentum of the project going.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Organisation of supply and installation of everything related to the design
  • Schedule of works
  • Instructing the contractors
  • Introduction of appropriate specialists as necessary
  • Overseeing the implementation
  • Reporting to the client
  • Looking after the finance

Prior to completion, Kate will carry out a thorough and detailed check on all the works to ensure that everything is as requested and making note of any inevitable snagging issues that need to be resolved.

Kate is based in Whitstable near Canterbury, but will manage projects all over east Kent - including Faversham, Deal, Herne Bay and Margate.