What to Expect When Working with an Interior Designer?

February 20, 2024

Interior designers typically follow a well-defined process when designing a new office space. While the specific steps may vary based on the project scope and requirements, here is a general outline of the key stages involved:

Information Gathering – Visioning & Programming

Understanding Client Needs: ID Studios begins our process by meeting with our client to gather information about their goals, objectives, and uses the programming process to define functional requirements for the office space. These meetings involve discussing the client’s company culture, brand identity, desired work environment, and operational requirements for specific needs of various departments or teams.

Creating a Design Brief: Based on our client’s needs, culture, and vision, ID Studios develops a Visioning Recap that outlines the project’s scope, objectives and aesthetic direction. This recap includes “Design Success Factors” – a brief list of goals that we have determined will create a successful design project. In addition, ID Studios will prepare a Program Summary that outlines space types, square footage requirements, departmental adjacencies, and circulation needs. These documents serve as a foundation for the subsequent phases of design.

Building Evaluation – Test Fit Analysis

    Building Test Fit: If the client is reviewing multiple buildings, ID Studios will space plan each location with the client’s program showing schematic footprints of all enclosed offices, workspaces, support spaces and similar.

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    Site Analysis: ID Studios assesses the physical sites where the office will be located. This includes considering factors such as building regulations, structural limitations, environmental conditions, proximity to amenities, views and any existing architectural features that may impact the design.

    Schematic Design

    Concept Development: ID Studios will develop a design concept that aligns with our client’s vision and “success factors.” The concept will help guide not only the overall aesthetic but also the space planning and furniture selections. In the presentation of the concept, ID Studios will prepare multiple finish palettes and mood boards to visually represent the interior design direction.

    Space Planning: Using programming data and visioning goals, ID Studios will prepare space plan documents to show all fixed elements of construction, locations of furniture and equipment. The plans layout individual areas, workstations, meeting rooms and other functional spaces within the office. This includes considering factors such as circulation paths, ergonomic requirements, and adjacencies for different departments or teams. Through the Schematic Design process space plans will be refined and the final layout for the workspace will be created.

    Design Development

      Creating the Design: Based on the approved Visioning Direction and Schematic Design plans ID Studios will develop and design a package to convey the overall aesthetic and design of the space. This is done through plans, elevations, supporting imagery, finishes & materials, and visual representations (such as 3D renderings or sketches).

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      Material Selection and Specifications: Based on the approved mood boards and client selected palettes from Schematic Design, ID Studios selects materials, finishes, furnishings, lighting fixtures, and other design elements that align with the approved concept. This includes considering aesthetics, functionality, durability, and budgetary constraints. Specifications and samples of selected materials are documented for further use.

      Construction Documents

        Detailed Drawings and Specifications: ID Studios will prepare detailed construction documents, including drawings, plans, elevations, sections, and specifications. These documents provide instructions to the contractors, tradespeople, and suppliers involved in the construction process and the local municipality reviewing compliance. They cover aspects such as demolition parameters, floor plans, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing layouts, materials, finishes, furniture, equipment, and construction details.

        Collaboration with Consultants: Depending on the project complexity, ID Studios may collaborate with other professionals, such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers; or specialists in areas like acoustics, lighting, furniture, security, audio visual, IT, and HVAC systems. Their input and expertise are integrated into the overall design development process.

        Building Permits

          Permitting and Approvals: ID Studios assists the client in obtaining any necessary permits or approvals from local authorities or building management, ensuring compliance with regulations and codes.

          Review by Local Authorities: Once the construction documents are complete, ID Studios submits the building permit set to the city or county for evaluation. This critical step ensures compliance with safety standards, zoning regulations, and building codes. The local authorities assess several aspects, including structural integrity, adherence to setback requirements, and compliance with accessibility standards. There is usually at least one round of questions and answers between the permit office and the architect. Once they determine the building permit set meets all criteria, the authorities grant the permit, allowing the project to proceed to the construction phase. Regular inspections during construction ensure ongoing compliance with the approved plans.

          Contractor Bidding

            Bidding: The Bidding phase is a critical step in the architectural project process and can begin as early as the Design Development phase. During this phase, the focus shifts from design to execution. ID Studios invites bids from contractors based on the detailed construction documents. Contractors submit proposals that outline their approach, timeline, and cost estimates for the project. ID Studios in collaboration with the client and Construction Manager evaluates these bids, considering factors like experience, track record, and alignment with project goals.

            Contractor Collaboration: With the contractor in place, construction can commence. ID Studios works closely with the contractor to ensure a smooth transition from planning to execution. Regular communication and collaboration are essential throughout the construction phase. Clear Construction Documents set the tone for a successful construction process and ID Studios prides itself on providing the contractor with clear, detailed documentation.

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            Construction Administration

            Quality Control: During the construction phase, ID Studios is a liaison between the client and the contractors, overseeing the design’s implementation. This involves coordinating site visits, addressing construction queries, reviewing shop drawings, and ensuring the design intent is realized. ID Studios closely monitors the construction process to ensure that the design specifications are being followed and materials and finishes are installed per the final design.

              Final Touches: The designer assists with the final coordination and review of furniture installation, selection of accessories, and any last-minute adjustments needed to complete the office space.

              Final Thoughts

              Throughout the entire process ID Studios uses effective communication, collaboration, and project management to successfully deliver a well-designed office space that meets our client’s needs and objectives.