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The interior design process: what is it, and how long does it take?

"I’m moving in next month and I want to renovate before then, can you help?"

Sorry but it’s very unlikely.. there's a process involved in designing your dream home, and yes, it takes time. But if this is, in fact, your dream home them I'm sure you'll want to wait a little and get it right, right?

I typically run a renovation design in five phases. Here's what the renovation process looks like, and an idea of how long each part may take. Some phases do run concurrently so we operate as efficiently as possible.

Before you dive in - it's important to note that the time involved is dependent on the scope of your individual project. We provide our clients with a phased timeline at the start of each project.

PHASE I: Consultation & Direction

Timeline: 2-3 weeks

The first step in any design process is the bit where we get to know each other. We kick things off with a design consultation, walking through the space and discussing ideas and style direction. Then we’ll set to work on creating floor plans and mood boards. We meet to review it, and we’ll make amends where needed.

By the way, even before we get here, we’re probably a couple of weeks in already. We've probably met at your home to go through a topline scope of work, which we’ll use to create a proposal, and then we’ve signed a contract and worked on your personalised Welcome Pack.

PHASE II – Detailed Design Concept

Timeline: 4-6 weeks

Now the meaty part. We turn the vision into a fully developed design concept in 3D.

We’ve designed a whole kitchen, for example, and drawn it up; we’ve rejigged your bathrooms and designed every inch of your custom joinery; we’ve rendered the whole house with hard finishes and materials. Depending on the scope of the project, this can take a couple of months including time for revisions.

We also start to engage contractors here. Most contractors (good ones) will have a bit of a lead time before they can start work so we like to book them in as soon as we can. They can then set to work on the technical drawings and approvals process, which, how long is a piece of string…

"Most contractors (good ones) will have a bit of a lead time before they can start work, so it's good to get them booked in early."

PHASE III – Procurement & Documentation

Timeline: 3-4 weeks

Whilst we’re waiting for works to start, we’ll source and procure all materials – from tiles to taps. We’ll get samples to show you, manage the orders with various suppliers and get everything ready to be delivered to site.

Meanwhile, we create a drawings package and finishing schedules for the contractor.

PHASE IV – Works Execution

Timeline: Scope-dependent

The messy part. Work starts. We’re guardians of the design; we will meet on site regularly and work closely with the general contractor PM to ensure the design is executed as intended. Whilst we prepare a lot on advance, some things are only decided on-site because you just need to see them in situ – like paint samples on the walls, tile layouts on the floor, grout colours.

PHASE V – Furnishing & styling

Timeline: 2-3 weeks

The icing on the cake... whilst work is ongoing, we will finalise the furnishing plans, ready to get everything into place as soon as work finishes. Et voila!


Is this the year your dream home will become a reality? Get in touch with us and find out how we can help take the overwhelm out of the renovation process.


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