full service interior design Process
We believe that a beautiful home should align with your taste, your lifestyle, and your achievements. While the end result is important, we believe the process matters too. For our clients, a professional process and flawless execution are as important as the inspired design, so all three of these goals define our practice.
Our proven process is what you can rely on for a seamless and well executed design experience. Your project will not be problem-free. It’s the nature of the beast. That is why we commit to communicating clearly and openly with you. We will never present you with a problem without also presenting a solution.
Full Service may or may not include construction. Full Service applies to fully executed construction/new build design as well as decorating services. We have worked hard to create a process that allows us to work effectively while maintaining frequent contact with our clients.
Our Full Service Design always starts with an in-depth initial consultation which allows us to guide you through the project, eliminating costly mistakes and creating a beautiful space on time and on budget. Below is the typical 3 step process we follow with every full service interior design project.
Discovery Call: How can we help you?
This is the first step in launching your project. We offer a free 15 minute phone call with our principal designer to discuss your design needs and make a quick plan of how to move forward with your project. Once we have had a chance to discuss your needs, we can book an initial consultation to launch your project. Please note that we are currently operating with a 4-month waitlist for Initial Consultations.Book your complimentary discovery call
Initial Consultation: Getting to know you
Every full service design project with AMR Design begins with a 2-hour working meeting with all decision makers involved. Whether life partners or the owners of the business, you will all meet with our Principal Designer and Project Lead. Design is a personal experience and it is important that we get to know our clients as well as how they want their space to look and function. We will use this time productively to determine your dreams and desires for your home or business, provide you with guidance and recommendations, discuss timelines and budgets, and allow you to see our Principal Designer as her authentic working self.
We use all this in-depth information gathered to create a scope of work which will launch the project effectively. At this meeting, we will look at the overall home or business room by room, and we will discuss the way you want the home or office to function, any fixtures and furniture you wish to be included, as well as review your lifestyle and personal style. At this point we’ll have a good understanding of what you need our help with and what services we can deliver to best move your project forward. We will also share our contract and go through it with you line by line to ensure we begin our relationship with transparency.
After receipt of the signed contract and retainer, we move onto our next phase in the design process.
Conceptual Design Phase: The Dream Takes Shape
This is where our greatest value begins. It’s where we take in all of your input and desires, consider the location and architecture of your home or office and the needs of your family or corporate team. We envision your project from all facets, making sure that your home flows from one room to another, that the design will fit your lifestyle, family, and aesthetic, as well as the character of the architectural structure. We are happy to work directly with your general contractors or suggest contractors that we partner with.
During this phase, we will confirm the design direction, layout, and investment estimate of the project. Our design team develops drawings to strategize and resolve any known issues, as well as to address your style and functional needs based on your budget and time-frame for completion. We present these ideas to you in person, preferably onsite, or at our design studio and go through all the features and options so you understand the reasoning behind the design. If your project is on the smaller side, we will present this information during the Detailed Design Phase.
Detailed Design Phase: The Vision Becomes Clear
After conceptual design, our team digs into the details. Elevations, sketches for custom pieces, and a lot of sourcing dominate this time. In this phase, we complete selections in accordance with the approved inspiration we shared earlier, and finalize floor plans. Then, we propose all items for your approval with a complete summary of the design components in our detailed design presentation. There, you will see each fabric, finish, and detail that we have carefully selected for you. The detailed design presentation includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Design proposal created inline with building codes, government regulations, and permit requirements accommodated.
- Itemized visual proposal with photographs, information and pricing on each item
- Visual overall concept room by room
- Samples to touch, see, and feel of each fabric, tile, counter etc
- Pricing proposal with each decorating item included, broken down by retail cost versus client cost as well as a deposit invoice
- Comprehensive Specification Sheet with all relevant information for your contractor
We share the detailed Specification Sheet with your General Contractor for quoting and materials ordering. During this time, there may be some revisions and back and forth work, but once the final decisions have been made, you have signed off and deposits have been received, we can move onto our next phase.
The above phase involves necessary design-heavy hours, and therefore is fee heavy, however, which will save you time and money on the overall project. This phase is where our true value lies. As an experienced and professional design firm, we strive to create designs that will be long-lasting and functional. While this “do it right the first time” attitude may mean more hours in the design phase, this means we only execute once and we avoid costly mistakes in the long run.
Purchasing and Execution Phase: The Dream Becomes Reality
While we don’t provide general contracting services, we are a resource to you and a liason for the process to go smoothly and result in a space that fulfills your vision. We prefer to work with our trusted team of contractors and trades as we have worked with them successfully in the past and have an understanding of eachothers process.
However, if you are already working with a contractor or choose someone else, we are more than happy to work alongside them as well. We have the expertise to advise you what questions to ask and what to look for in a good contractor and who will have your best interest at heart. We will be your advocate and advisor during the process. The decision to hire any contractor will be entirely yours.
If your project includes a renovation, this is when the construction begins. We liaise with your general contractor and trades to maintain the integrity of the project, and ensure that the right materials are being installed as designed. New construction and remodeling projects are very involved, and it helps to have a checks and balance system to keep the project on track. The idea is for everyone involved to work together for the common goal of producing a beautiful and high quality product that you will love and enjoy for years to come.
During the design management phase, we will be having regular site meetings and walkthroughs. We will also be taking care of ordering, tracking, receiving and inspecting all the design products for your home.
Once the construction is complete, we arrange for delivery of all the furniture and decor and set up everything so you can return home to a finished space. We will also book a completion walk through with you as well as time to take some photographs (either with a professional or with an AMR firm member).
No renovation or new build is complete without the final decorative touches. We can provide this service which could include sourcing art, area rugs, window coverings, and accessories. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step to the final look of the space, and talk to us about how to budget for this step early on in your design process.
client's role in a successful project
We believe that for a design project to be successful, it should be a collaborative effort between the designer and client. By working together and communicating regularly, the project will have a successful outcome. We rely on the information we obtain during the initial consultation and subsequent meetings to uncover your goals, ideas, and design style. We know the right questions to ask to understand your needs and wants.
There is always a bit of “homework” that we need from you – nothing too difficult or time-consuming. We may ask to see any Pinterest Boards, Houzz Idea Books, magazine photos etc that you may have collected as inspiration photos. It is also perfectly fine if you have not collected any photos – our conversation during an Initial Consultation can help guide us to your inspiration.
Another area that is important for a successful design process and outcome is for you to be open to new ideas. You hired us for a reason. You are making an investment in your home and lifestyle, and trusting a proven design firm like ours is essential. We will introduce you to unique ideas and products, latest trends and technology, and recommendations for achieving a custom interior tailored to your needs. The designer/client relationship requires trust on both ends – We trust that you will provide us with adequate information to create the home or office of your dreams, and you can trust us to manage your project professionally. No project is ever 100% without issues , but rest assured that we will take care of any issues that may come up during the design process.
Another role of our clients to make for a successful project is to ask questions. We keep you informed throughout the process, providing regular updates, but if you ever have a question or concern about any part of the project, process, or a product, we want you to feel comfortable asking. We have an open door policy and always welcome your questions, and strive to keep the lines of communication open throughout the process. We work hard to earn your trust, and being transparent with our processes and practices is a big part of our company policies and commitment to you.
And finally, we want you to relax and have fun! We will do all the heavy lifting and take care of the tiniest of details so you don’t have to. We strive to make it an enjoyable and rewarding process for you.Book your Complimentary discovery call