Just as the most important part of a building is a sound foundation, so the most important part of an interior design project is the design brief. This sets out the principal elements of your project. It gives the interior designer a deeper insight into what you want to achieve.
We have had design briefs of varying sizes, from one-sentence answers to 25-page documents. From our experience the more thorough the design brief, the more successful the project. This is because clients who put that much effort and research into one aspect of the project will put the same level of energy into every other area.
However, the same doesn’t always apply to funding. Having a large budget is not a short cut. In order to bring something new and exciting to an area you need to be on top of your game.
So, how is the design brief set out? We use the following 7 questions as a scaffold:
Objectives and goals of the new design
This is really the way you would introduce the project. Your ‘elevator pitch’. For example you might say, ‘I would like to open the first restaurant in Brighton selling seagull sandwiches.’ You might also discuss the size of the venue and whether you want to use a wood-fired oven, or turn the birds on a spit. The main point is that you communicate what makes what you are doing unique. Work out your USP, and then tell us what it is.
Budget and schedule
Most interior design practices will have a triage nurse in their marketing department to wheedle out the prospective projects that won’t work for them financially. We have made a point of working with independent restaurateurs and retailers who would not be able to use the services of other larger design practices. But nearly every week we have to turn people away because they want to fit out an interior for an unrealistic amount of money. Geography is key here: the bigger the project the further afield your interior designer can go. If you want to open a chip shop in Edinburgh don’t employ an interior designer from East Sussex.
This is quite a simple one to answer. Most clients say that their venture is targeted at 25-55 year-old professionals. We understand this, but do look forward to someone aiming their interior at retired professionals with plenty of money and spare time in which to spend it!