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The interior design process can be very lengthy if you jump into a project without thinking things through in detail first. Quite often I find that clients are unwilling to disclose their budget or due to their busy workload, they’d rather I just got on with the design without them having to get involved much, and most people are eager for the work to be completed very quickly. I completely understand the reasons for this, however this can be a very risky approach and become a head-ache for both parties involved!

Interior design by Natalie Holden

Here are some tips on how you can simplify the design process, ensuring that the working relationship with your interior designer is much more successful and efficient. This will result in lots of saved money and time 🙂 Points 1 to 3 will also help if you aren’t using a designer and instead of saving money in design fees, it saves you making costly mistakes!

Feelings - interior design

Workplace design concept by Liverpool Interior Design Company, Natalie Holden Interiors

Have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve

If you start a project without analysing what your requirements are in detail, you may find that the brief you thought you had ends up evolving throughout the project. This will result in delays through the need for making design amendments and will cost you more money in design fees.

Really think about how you want the interior to look, how you want to use the space and also how you want it to make you feel. Understanding these three things will help your designer create something very specific to your needs and ensure they are going in the right direction. You can read my recent blog on the essential things to consider before renovating to help you figure this out.

Set yourself a budget and stick to it

It’s always best to be open and honest about the budget you have available. You should be able to trust that the interior designer you have hired is going to have your best interests at heart, and that they aren’t going to rip you off. Your designer’s goal is to create the best looking and functional space within the budget you have available, and they will always try to save you money where they can.  If you don’t trust that your designer will do this for you, then you shouldn’t be hiring them anyway. It’s a near impossible task to design something when you don’t have a budget to work with. Eg. A sofa can cost £500 or £13,000 so where would you begin when narrowing down options?! Setting a budget and sticking to it also helps when you are doing the project yourself. If you don’t budget correctly, you can over spend in one area, leaving you little money for something that is actually quite important.


Airbnb property styling in Liverpool, by Natalie Holden Interiors

Slow down

I know you may be thinking “how will slowing down save me time?”. Well quite often when we rush into decisions, we make the wrong ones and this will end up taking a lot more time and money to rectify the problems, than if we had taken the time in the beginning to think things through properly. Minimising impulse decision making will ensure you do things right first time, saving you time overall and money!

Ensure the decision maker is involved

It’s really important for the person who is making the final decision to be involved in the design process, no matter how busy they are. Trust me, it will save you a lot of money and time overall! If the decision maker is involved, it ensures that the design brief is accurate first time, minimising the need for ammendments. It takes time to make changes because it relies on third-party suppliers and contractors being available to give the updated information and quotes. Generally speaking, each amendment could potentially add on 1-2 weeks to the process depending on how large those changes are.

As I have detailed above, all four points reduce the need for making changes to the design and will result in saved money and time! When deadlines are important, this will ensure everything runs efficiently.

I offer informal consultations and a flexible design service to help clients understand their project requirements. I also have a free advice event on Sunday 22nd July in Tusk. Find out more on my Facebook page here.

These two options are ideal if you are at the very beginning of an interior design project and you’re feeling unsure on how to approach it.

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Categories: FAQ's, interior design, Tips & Advice

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Some really useful tips here. Getting the budget right is always a key factor in the success of any design project.


Some really useful tips here. Getting the budget right is always a key factor in the success of any design project.


A great set of tips. I think having a realistic budget for what you want to achieve is so important. I think a lot of people think “decoration” is just the price of the paint and fail to realise all the costs involved


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