How to Be Efficient, Effective and Brilliant

Filed under Office, Organization

One of the things that makes our jobs as interior designers so incredible is that no two design projects are exactly the same, so there’s a lot of variety in our worlds, right? But that variety is also one of the biggest challenges when operating our design business—each project has a different scope and a different set of variables. How can you be efficient, organized and your absolutely brilliant self every day when no two days are alike?

And the humans involved in each project just add one more layer to the crazy! Various personalities—with several who have never worked together before—are thrown together to create reality out of our design vision and our clients’ dreams. Even when you work with a client on multiple projects over time, there are different needs and wants for every project.

As interior designers, we’re enlisted for our expertise on a wide range of projects:

  • New builds
  • Kitchens—everything from an entire demo to just updating the backsplash or paint
  • Accessorizing or furnishing-only projects
  • Simple projects that morph into much bigger scope projects

Then, the design project schedule can be impacted for so many reasons, including:

  • You have 15 simultaneous projects at various different stages
  • Contractors and trade are in high demand and are struggling to keep on top of their schedules
  • Your client slows the project down because they can’t make decisions


Since you’re the designer, they all look to you manage the juggling high-wire act of keeping projects moving and everyone updated. Yes, go ahead and add circus performer to your credentials, because you often feel that you are part of a crazy circus!

I found that when I give my clients a visual diagram they are better able to see how varied projects can be and the impact of delays to the project.

The design schedule is one of the topics I make sure to address at the beginning of a project or what I like to call the “honeymoon period” in our client/designer relationship. It’s our job to help our clients understand things that might affect timelines—things they can and cannot control. And the ripple effect of schedule snafus can be intense when delays impact shared resources across projects such as painters, tilers, etc.

Even though my first schedule conversation happens at the beginning of the project it is in no way the last time we talk about it. I mention it every chance I get. It’s important that our clients understand that decisions—or no decisions as if often the case—have repercussions to the project schedule. Delays. Delays. Delays.

The Project Schedule must be part of your regular client communication. Always.

My Interior Design Project System

Because I know you can make more money in your interior design business by being organized and efficient, I created a system to help you streamline your interior design business.

My ROI System gives you branded documentation, questionnaires, Quick Reference Guides and take-away tools to help your design business thrive. Learn more about the ROI system or contact me today to get started.

Do you have any tips about how to enhance design schedule communication? I would love to hear them!