Our Six-Step Interior Design Process

We walk you through our in-depth, personalized design process step by step. 

In a previous post, we shared important things to know before starting an interior design project

For those of you who are still curious about how our team works, we wanted to take a closer look at our six-step process. 

In Sarah’s decade of interior design experience, we’ve developed a personalized, in-depth process that starts with an initial consultation and ends with your space styled out to the last loveseat or vintage floor lamp. Read on for a detailed breakdown of each step. We walk you through our process and show examples of the visual aids we used for our Ramsey Drive project.

Step 1: Visioning

Every interior design project begins with a visioning phase, when we get to know you — from your favorite artists and preferred patterns to your lifestyle needs and goals. 

To get started, we’ll provide you with a detailed questionnaire to help us learn more about you and the way you live. You’ll answer questions like these: 

  • Do you prefer lots of natural sunlight?
  • What colors do you like/dislike?
  • Do you entertain often? If so, formally or informally? 
  • What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your space? 
  • What is your favorite movie set?
  • What is your favorite band?
  • How do you feel about plants?
  • What outcomes of the design would make you the happiest?

As you can see, we dig pretty deep! 

After we review your comprehensive questionnaire, it’s time for a face-to-face consultation. In-person or over Zoom, we’ll review your questionnaire together to develop a clear picture of your style, priorities, and vision. 

Then, we’ll work with you to develop the aesthetic of your project by gathering things that inspire you. For example, there might be a room in a magazine that caught your eye or a family heirloom you adore. There might be a hotel you’ve stayed in while on vacation– anything that fires up your imagination game! 

Using your chosen color palettes, textures, and images, we’ll design a mood board to inspire the visual tone of your project moving forward. 

Mood Board

Step 2: Space Planning 

Next comes the space planning phase. As well as being highly technical, space planning is a necessary step in the interior design process. Through careful space planning, we can make sure your design is spatially balanced and is functional for your needs. When we make selections in the next step, we’ll refer to the space plan to know the size and shape to look for when choosing furniture.  

To create a space plan, we map out the layout of your home’s interior using computer-aided design (CAD) software. We consider the purpose, intended use, and circulation patterns of different spaces to create a preliminary 3D model of your space. 

Space Plan

Step 3: Selections

In the selections phase, our team gets a chance to put our creativity and design talent to work. 

Drawing inspiration from your mood board and space plan, we select furniture, appliances, plumbing, and lighting. We refer to your mood board to ensure everything we choose — from flooring and tile to artwork and sconces — is consistent with our vision. We rely on our space plan to make sure we’re sourcing things that are the right size.

Selections for a living room and a kitchen

Step 4: Concepts

After preliminary selections are made, we create two concept boards. Each of these two concept boards will showcase a well-developed, different set of ideas for your space based on the vision established in your mood board. In addition to different design concepts, the boards will include primary pieces of furniture. 

To determine our final direction, you choose between the two boards. Once you do, we select the remaining pieces to finish the concept and prepare to bring the design to life. 

Example of a Concept Board

Step 5: Modeling 

Following final concept approval, we develop your space plan in greater detail using our 3D modeling program. During this step, we’ll add furniture placement and details on colors and materials. 

Once completed, this final design is converted into a 3D model to scale and help you visualize your completed home. 

3D Rendering of the Ramsey Living Room and Kitchen

Step 6: Execution 

Finally, it’s time to bring your design to fruition. The execution phase is when the final construction and installations take place. This step may look different depending on the service we are providing. 

Furnishing & interior decorating: For furnishing and accessory projects, we order, receive, inspect, and install every piece down to the very last accessory. With the help of movers, we arrange furniture, hang art, and place delicate fixtures.

Remodeling & new home construction: For remodeling and construction projects, we hand over the finalized space plans to the architect and building team for execution. Throughout construction, we will be there to check in on progress, provide solutions to issues that come up along the way, and every detail is in sync with your vision. 

Final Images after Execution


As we move throughout the design project, we’ll keep detailed records of our plans and progress. So you can follow along, we’ll provide you with copies of our primary three documents: 

Interior elevations. These are detailed drawings that provide contractors with instructions on building cabinetry, laying tile, installing lighting, and hanging artwork. The elevations can also inform furniture placement during the execution phase. The drawings help ensure everything goes exactly according to plan, leaving little room for error or creative liberties.

Finish schedule. The finish schedule is a spreadsheet with details of each and every finish involved in your project — from paint color and tile to flooring and hardware. In the schedule, we will indicate patterns and finishes, and include photos to help guide the contractors.

Budget. This document tracks all our purchases for the project. Using our budget, we catalog information on different orders, arrival dates, and delivery conditions. We refer to the budget to keep track of any damaged pieces that need to be remedied or returned.

Ready to kick off your remodeling, home furnishing, or construction project? Get in touch with SSID to schedule your initial consultation today. For your safety and convenience, SSID also offers digital, contact-free interior design services. You can find out more about our virtual design service or set up a digital design consultation.  

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