Assuming that the architectural design is already established, here’s what you can expect:
Start by meeting with the interior designer. This can either be over 1 meeting or over several depending on the scope of the project and client expectations. It’s during the initial meetings where you’ll discuss design inspiration, start to establish a common language, and begin space planning. Basically, this is where the interior designer learns a bit more about you and your needs so that they, in turn, can recommend a layout that’s functional and adds value. Meetings can take place in the clients existing home where the designer can bring samples and ideas to the client, or at various retailers, depending on each client and their needs.
Next, the exterior design is reviewed. It’s important to spend some time on this component as it is complex, detailed and above all will make or break the first impressions of your home. In Edmonton, the natural elements tend to be hard on exteriors and so choosing materials that best withstand the elements while best capturing the desired look of your home is key. Unsure of which materials to use? Draw inspiration from neighbouring local communities, or through a quick search online, while working with your designer.
Once a design layout is presented, there’s always the opportunity for design changes should the client desire. These discussions may take place over multiple meetings, phone calls or emails. The key at this stage is to ensure the client is confident in the design and vision. And, if it doesn’t resonate, don’t be afraid to say something. Doing so helps to ensure that the end product is achieved as close to the client’s vision as possible, and mitigates the risk of any disappointment with the finalized look of the home. Have questions along the way? Ask. A solid design professional will be able to answer them and help put your mind at ease.
Framing of the home then begins! And, following any desired changes, the final design concept is then presented to the client along with prices and lead times for items to begin placing orders. This presentation can include a 3D rendering (an artistic interpretation, though, not an exact document) of what the space will look like. And, most often this stage will include a floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, kitchen and bath detailed elevations as well as a detailed list of finishes (including pictures) and locations. This step tends to either come together very quickly or to be more time intensive depending on the client’s expectations.
Next, fixture locations also need to be determined; because once they are roughed in they are very costly to move. Generic locations may work for some applications but if this is a home that you will be residing in for any period over 2 years, it is best to mark out the locations which best suit your needs during a site walkthrough. Although this can be achieved by clearly explaining your vision to your designer who can then go out to the site to mark the locations, it’s often best to complete a joint walk-through with the designer, project manager, and trades. It is always best to move through the space and get it figured out in the real world than off of a drawing.
Boarding then begins. And, it is here that drywall is added, mudding and taping take place. Once complete, the house is then painted and finished off with the installation of lighting, flooring, cabinets, countertops, backsplashes and finishing fixtures including accessories and plumbing.
Overall, the interior design process for an infill home depends on a few factors such as the size of the home, what the client desires and what their budget allows, how often a client changes their mind, availability of supplies/materials and sometimes unforeseen setbacks during construction. And, when determining the cost, know that each project has allowable billable hours; some of which is spent with the client in meetings and some are spent sourcing materials, or sketching. If you are considering hiring an interior designer to either assist you in the design process, or to complete the design from start to finish; set aside a budget, have a clear contract with allowable hours, and if ever there are any doubts check in with them.