If you’re excited but a little overwhelmed with your large-scale decorating plans, some tips on interior design project management can help the process run more smoothly.
We wish that we could click our heels together and go straight from a carefully curated mood board to the finished project, but in between those two steps lies an awful lot of preparation and coordination. Interior design project management combines organisation, timekeeping, resource control and more than a little hard work. Undertaking your first major project can be a bit daunting, but it’ll be worth it when your vision for your home is brought to life.
Interior design project management process
Before a tin of paint is bought or a dust sheet goes down, it’s time for some lists. Planning is arguably the most important stage of any project. This is the time to break your project down into stages, the smaller the better. The most important list is your ‘specification of works’ – a detailed list of everything to be done, from start to finish. If you’re dealing with one main builder who’s organising all of the work, then you’ll need to make sure he or she is given a copy, so the brief is clear and all the information is provided.
If you’ll be working with a number of tradespeople, it’s important that they are each aware of their responsibilities within the project. Give a complete copy of the specification to all of them, so they’re all aware of what the others are doing as well as themselves. Tap into their knowledge and discuss the specification with your contractors, as they may be able to provide help and advice.
A schedule is also useful, so you can keep track of progress and everyone knows who’s going to be on site on which day. It makes sure that certain tasks don’t clash and may allow you to group together work more efficiently. For example, if a wall is being opened up for an electrician to do some wiring, it makes more sense for the plumber to do his work there too rather than opening it up again at a later date.
Another tip that crops up a lot is never to assume anything. Clear, direct orders will yield the most predictable results! When writing your specifications, never assume someone else will know what you want unless you explicitly state it. Include every tiny detail, no matter how pedantic it may seem, as most people will prefer too much information to not enough. As well as avoiding mistakes, it also prevents any future disputes over what is and isn’t included in the quotes you receive.
Interior design project management services
Finally, it’s important to know when you’re out of your depth with a project. Interior design project management can be incredibly fulfilling, but it takes a real commitment of time. If you’re trying to juggle work and family life as well as an interior project, you might decide to hire a professional to manage the project. This does bring additional costs, but it can be considerably cheaper than a project going off the rails!