Planning For An Owner First Residential Interior Design Strategy

Planning For An Owner First Residential Interior Design Strategy

If you are in the market and considering residential interior designers to transform your space, you may be wondering what the process looks like and how interior designers will use your input when designing your interior spaces. In this article, we will cover the process used at Stewart - Schafer which is the "Owner First" method for new clients. By using this method, you can rest assured that you will have a say during the design process which will result in a space that you love.

What does the "Owner First" Method at Stewart - Shafer Mean?

The "Owner First" method at Stewart-Shafer is what the team uses to ensure that the client has a say during the interior design process. It highlights the needs and desires from the client, and allows the interior design companies to walk in the shoes of the clients. Not only is this helpful to ensure the needs of the clients are met, but it also provides the interior design companies the opportunity to really explore what exactly it is that the client needs as they may be able to suggest ideas when creating interiors for the clients.

residential interior designed living space

What Does the Process Look Like?

The process used by interior designers is involved, so this overview is intended to provide clients with an overview as to what the process looks like so they are informed during every step.

  1. Pre-Design Process: This is the process that begins the entire interior design process. Also known as managing expectations, the pre-design process includes working with the client to ensure expectations are set and establishing the scope of the interior design process.
  2. Pre-Sign on: Before clients sign on for residential interior design of their space, clients are encouraged to outline the dreams and aspirations they have for their space. This will provide the interior designers with a rough outline of the project before starting. In addition, a budget is set out during this step.
  3. Getting to Know the Clients: During this step, this is where the agents really get to know their clients. This is extremely important for residential interior designers, as it allows them to explore and figure out what the exact needs and wants of the client is. As every client's living situation is different (such as a bachelor living alone vs. a multi family house), the residential design services that work for one client will not work for another, so it is important to walk in the client's shoes and figure out their needs and wants.
  4. A Day in the Life: This is the next step during the process and is off the back of getting to know the client. This is where the interior designer takes time to reflect on the information provided to them by the client, and strategizes a day in the life of their client. This allows the interior designers to reflect on the needs of the clients: do they spend their morning baking and therefore need a functionally designed kitchen? Or perhaps they are artists and spend their afternoons painting and working on creative projects. All of the factors that go into a day in the life vary from client to client so it is important that the interior designers take time to reflect to ensure the clients needs are met. During this stage, it is also important to question space function within the clients day to day, so the interior designers can design the interior spaces while maximizing space within the home.
  5. Information Sharing: At this point in the process, information sharing between residential interior designers and clients is extremely important. Sharing images (eg. room inspiration, custom furniture inspiration and designs) for inspiration, clarification and understanding is important for the progression of the residential interior design to ensure everyone is on the same page. Beyond sharing images of commercial interiors and residential interior design for information, it is important to share any needs or wants that have changed since the initial meeting.
  6. Post-Sign On: Once all of the above steps have been completed and the client has been officially signed with the company, there are numerous steps which follow next, each one as important as the next.
  7. Client Homework: This is where the clients are given the task of bringing to life the vision they have for their renovated house. The clients are encouraged to create Pinterest boards for each room within the house. This is where images highlighting specific materials (or brands such as Williams Sonoma), architecture, technology and lighting are encouraged for inspiration. Clients are encouraged to really dive deep into their visions during this step and reference commercial projects and different styles of furniture design.
  8. Meetings: Once the client has gathered inspiration from Pinterest, a meeting is scheduled to review the images. This is a chance for clients to share their feelings with the interior designers regarding the images they have chosen and what about each design they are drawn to. This will help with the overall interior design process.
  9. Questionnaire: Once the meeting has happened, the client will then receive a questionnaire from the interior design company asking them to outline exactly how they use their space. This will help the interior designers when creating the residential interiors to ensure the space is being maximized to its full potential.
  10. Define the Scope: The last stage of the post-sign on phase is to concretely define the scope of the project. This means that every detail of the project is clearly defined, down to each minute detail. For example, if the kitchen is the space that is being upgraded, every detail of the new kitchen is laid out. Questions specific to the kitchen will be asked, including questions regarding the desired appliances that the clients would like to use, and any creativity they want to incorporate into the space. Once all of these details are laid out, the project can then begin!
exterior view of a residential interior design project

Overall, the residential interior design process at Stewart-Schafer is very client focused. As interior design looks different to everyone, it is important that the needs and wants of the client comes first to ensure a residential design space that suits their needs. If you are interested in learning more about our services, please contact us today.

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