Have you ever wondered how we create an interior design concept? What determines how bold we go with color in a client’s home? When do we lean more or less coastal? How do we find the inspiration for a show-stopping design feature?
Want to know our secret inspiration? It’s our clients.
That’s right. We are inspired by you.
Yes, all of our clients come to us for our unique design aesthetic, and we’re proud of it. But you may also notice that no two homes in our portfolio are the same! Our interior design concepts are always inspired by each of our clients’ personalities and the lives they lead, or want to lead.
In other words, your desired lifestyle gives us direction… then we hoist the sails, (wo)man the ship, and elevate the destination beyond your own abilities and wildest dreams. That is the value of an interior designer!
Today, I want to show you how our rock-solid processes are designed to maximize creative output, a.k.a. your one-of-a-kind interior design concept. Come take a look…
Psst! Last year, I shared an inside look at our full interior design process here. The design concept aspect of a project occurs during Phase 1: Design Development. After we receive your signed contract, we start the client onboarding process and the fun begins — for us and for you! Below are the steps within Phase I.
Step 1: Client Onboarding
First things first, you’ll receive the Blakely Onboarding Packet. It details everything you can expect moving forward and will direct you through some style exploration assignments that will give us a deeper sense of your preferences. This means creating Pinterest boards or saving design inspiration from your favorite sources. (We can’t wait to see it!)
Once the creative seeds are planted, we move on to…
Step 2: Client Deep Dive Meeting
This is the step where we really get granular — and it’s imperative to your project’s success! Based on the learnings we’ve gleaned from you thus far, we’ll walk through each room in the scope of work and discuss your vision:
- What you like and don’t like about the photos you shared. Maybe you showed us a picture of a living room because you love the color palette, but you actually don’t like the style of the sofa—this is essential for us to know!
- Details about your home, how you use each space (or want to), what you value most (quality, beauty, function, etc.), and any allergies or sensitivities to materials.
- Your color, pattern and finish preferences, as well as the overall vibe you are trying to achieve, and all the way down to the minute details, like how soft you prefer your sofa cushions!
This meeting is often held in tandem with taking on-site measurements, since these details will inform the space plan… and the space plan informs the design!
Step 3: Internal Kickoff Meeting
Now, we’re ready for Step 3, and this one takes place behind the French doors of the Blakely Studio. Our design team meets to discuss everything we learned in the Client Deep Dive and to set the direction for our interior design concept.
To start, we’ll look for consistencies in the images you shared with us, common design threads, and bounce around ideas for an interior design concept we know you will adore. Oftentimes, we’ll find a single color that will become the foundation of your project, even though each room will have its own color story. This keeps the whole home feeling cohesive.
Once the direction is set, it’s time to let our creativity run wild for you!
Step 4: Interior Design Concept Development
Here’s another exciting part of the process that happens entirely behind the scenes: the design concept development. It includes establishing the overall vibe of each space, its color palette, furnishing ideas (though we’re not sourcing any specific items just yet), and potential patterns we might use. For each space, we develop a space plan, schematic design board, and budget.
Let’s look at each of these individually — even though they technically happen simultaneously — so you can see the method behind the magic…
Inspiration boards offer a snap-glance at the overall feel and vibe of the space. Our job is to create an interior design concept that speaks to all of the decision makers of the project, especially if they have differing opinions.
When developing a concept, we also think about all the elements that bring the wow factor, like scale, layout, color, pattern, functionality, etc. The inspiration board captures all these elements into one clear and beautiful feeling.
For example, here’s the Inspiration Board we created for the Orchid Project, a master bedroom refresh:
Fresh with a touch of mystique! P.S. This is the first peek we’ve shared of this project… It’s going to be incredible!
Concept development is done in tandem with the space plan, since each directly influences the other. What do I mean by that? Well, here’s a great example…
In the Jersey Palm Project, we developed the concept of having a bold green stripe down the center of the den’s ceiling. To pull off the look, we needed a long sofa positioned parallel with the stripe. So the space plan (furniture placement and scale) and the interior design concept (the look and how it’s achieved) went perfectly hand in hand.
Since this space can be seen from the foyer, we also knew that the two spaces would need to work together in the same sightline. To counterbalance the bold, green stripe, we selected this large tile-patterned tile design. Together, it feels intentional, cohesive, and deliciously daring.
Schematic Design Board
Schematic Design Boards take our Inspiration Boards a step further by identifying some of the elements that we can use to achieve the desired look and feel. The best way to do so is through inspirational imagery. We find imagery that speaks to your aesthetic, either from our own portfolio or from Pinterest.
Here’s an examples of a schematic design board for the Orchid Project:
Note: It’s important to remember that these are inspirational representations of the design direction we want to take. We will never replicate another design exactly. It will be personalized to you, your lifestyle, your goals, and with the signature Blakely flair that our clients know and love.
Step 5: Client Design Presentation
Last but not least, we want to hear what you think about the interior design concept! We will present you with the concept for each of the spaces we’ll be working on. You’ll have the opportunity to share your feedback, and if we need to iterate or further develop the concept, we will. Since the design concept is the roadmap of your project, it is important that we nail it before taking the next step.
Well, that’s it for today. You’ll have to wait and see how the Orchid Project turns out in real life. Sorry, I know the suspense is rough!
If you want to get a head-start on your own project and explore your design style, our Interior Design Project Planner is a great place to begin. Download it, set a date with yourself, and have some fun with it. Until next time…