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5 Stages of interior design


How many stages are there in interior design? What are the features of each of them?

Read on the Room Planner blog about the stages of interior design in detail.



Any task as complex and intricate as the construction of a home should be divided into stages for ease of management. There is a specific sequence consisting of 5 stages that is widely employed in the world of construction today.

The steps of process design are:

  • strategic planning;

  • concept;

  • design development;

  • construction documentation;

  • construction management.

Bigger and more complex construction projects may include further stages or break down each stage into other major components. For our purposes, we will look at just these 5 stages of modern step design. This article touches on the basic requirements at each stage, and what is expected to have been achieved when the stage is concluded.

Strategic Planning stage


This is the first stage of the 5 design process steps, where the client and designer discuss the exact specifics of the project. It is marked by questions and answers from both sides.

The designer will ask the homeowner for their intentions with the overall premises, as well as that with individual sections. This information is the basis on which each part of the home is constructed. The home owner shares their vision for each space. A designer will clarify that vision with queries.


Strategic planning may involve phone and video conversations as well as visits to the proposed site. The design team will take measurements and photographs (and possibly video) of the area. They will also assess the client’s requirements and decide which building codes apply, and make a plan to obtain the relevant permits.


By the end of this stage design, the home owner will have a concrete idea of the general layout of the home, the time frame for the planning and construction phases, and the approximate cost. They will be asked to sign off on a provisional contract that specifies their requirements and the builder’s assessments for cost and time.


While the contract is signed here, both parties may change certain features as the construction project unfolds.


Concept stage



The Strategic Planning stage acts as the foundation of the construction but the Concept stage is where the first level of details are determined. The home owner’s input on their needs and how they intend to use spaces, together with their preferences of colors, shades, and patterns will dictate which materials and finishes will be applied to walls and fittings.

The decision is not made unilaterally by the design team, though, based just on that input. They gather a range of options for each room and object, and this is presented to the homeowner for their final approval. We take this additional step because an idea in the mind may be quite different when it is conveyed into reality.


There can be a considerable amount of changes and adjustments based on this round of feedback from the home owner.


As the exact choices are made and a new, more concrete vision develops, there are run-over effects on the budget and vision of the design project. The client has to green light all these changes before we proceed to the next design of stage.


Design stage


The start of the Design stage is the point at which many of the choices for the home have already been settled in general. However, many of the specifics still remain undecided or tentative.


For example, the dimensions of the kitchen are already fixed but the dimensions for specific appliances such as the refrigerator and dishwasher have not been finalized by the homeowner. It is only after they settle on a specific model will the custom-made fittings be decided since models differ in size. Colors may also change in response to their choices.


As this stage progresses, we will be able to determine further details of the floor plan. The home owner will receive options for finishing and fixture recommendations.


As before, the client needs to sign off on the recommendations and changes before we move forward.

Stage of construction documentation


By the conclusion of the Design stage, most choices have been nailed down and that process continues to concrete decisions in Construction Documentation. Communication is paramount at this stage. Not just phone conversations and emails, use 2D and 3D plans and renders to convey to the home owner what the final scene will look like.


As the designer, you will also have to liaise with contractors who will handle the electrical, plumbing and other specific areas at this home stage design. Take care to make final conformations of dimensions and choices for lighting, elevation, placement, and finish for everything under your purview.


You may also need to obtain building permits or apply for changes to the old ones before the construction phase begins in earnest. Some designers have an architect and/or engineer review the plan in its entirety before proceeding.


With the plans now virtually finalized, there will be few changes for the client to authorize. Still, a formal document should be prepared for both parties.


Maintenance and construction management phase


After all the planning and reviewing, the real construction stage begins! You will have reviewed all the tenders by the various contractors and awarded them to the right companies. All permits and licenses have been obtained (and displayed if and where required).


Either the home owner or designer has ordered the components that are to be installed; everything from the smallest pendant lights to massive dryers and washers are either awaiting delivery or safely on site, about to be installed.


This stage also involves the order and delivery of building materials. Make sure that there is adequate space at the location to store them in a covered area that can be secured safely.

The designer and the homeowner should take regular walk-throughs of the site to monitor progress and also to ensure that the construction and installation are being done in accordance with the plans. As the home nears completion, collaborate on the final placement of light fixtures, furniture, and art.

Keep in mind that the stages of interior design occur simultaneously for the entire home; there is no separate living room stage design stage and kitchen design stage, etc. The process can be confusing, even for experienced designers. Use theRoom Planner App to assist you through all the steps of modern interior design, free of cost today.



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