Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of an Interior Designer

You might be curious about what my day looks like as an interior designer.

Picture a day filled to the brim with creativity, face-to-face chats with clients, and tackling challenges that pop up along the way.

I’m going to pull back the curtain on how I bring my designs to life, while also handling the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes tasks that are essential, yet not as shiny, parts of what I do.

Morning Rituals of an Interior Designer

My day as an interior designer starts with a little morning ritual that really sets the stage for everything that follows.

Instead of coffee (not my cup of tea, so to speak), I might kick things off with a different warm beverage or dive straight into planning out my day. This routine is crucial for staying organized and bracing myself for whatever the day throws at me.

Thanks to e-design platforms, I can handle a lot of the communication and scheduling stuff from the comfort of… well, anywhere, really. This makes going through my morning tasks a breeze.

Getting my projects in order and planning out any site visits are also key parts of my morning. It’s all about making sure I’ve got every last detail nailed down for my clients’ spaces.

Kickstarting Creativity with Coffee and Concepts

The world is practically overflowing with design inspiration, and I know exactly how to harness it. My workspace isn’t just a room; it’s my creative fortress, equipped with:

  • Bold, energizing colours that set the perfect backdrop,

  • Unique artwork and décor that reflect my personal styler

  • Furniture that’s as functional as it is comfortable, making long hours feel like a breeze

  • Plenty of natural light and a couple of hardy plants to keep things fresh and vibrant

This setup ignites my creativity at its core.

For fresh ideas and materials, my search is relentless. Whether it’s thumbing through the latest design magazines, or diving into online platforms like Pinterest, I pull inspiration from every corner, ensuring my designs stay sharp, dynamic, and ahead of the curve.

Mapping Out the Day’s Design Journey

Planning is one of the main elements of my daily grind as an interior designer. I’m constantly juggling a schedule that seems to have a mind of its own, especially when trying to keep tabs on furniture and décor delivery times. These deadlines are the linchpins that keep the whole design process moving smoothly.

Even with all the unpredictability, I make it a point to keep my clients in the loop with estimated timelines, drawing on the latest updates from manufacturers. It’s all about maintaining transparency and building trust, ensuring that everyone’s on the same page.

On-the-Move: Site Visits and Client Collaborations

Interior designer collaborating with clients during a site visit
Image Credit: Dreamstime

As my day unfolds, I’m rarely in one place for too long. Hopping from site to site and teaming up with clients is just part of the routine. These site visits are crucial for me to get the lay of the land – taking precise measurements, getting a real feel for the space, and scoping out any existing structures.

It’s not just a solo mission, though. I often find myself working alongside a mix of professionals like engineers and contractors. This collaboration is key. It not only helps me anticipate any hiccups down the road but also pools our expertise for tackling problems from all angles.

Tailoring Spaces: Corporate Client Consultations

Corporate client consultations are a pivotal aspect of my role as an interior designer. When I visit a client’s business premises, it’s about more than just a walkthrough. It’s an opportunity for me to fully immerse myself in the environment and have a detailed discussion about the project’s scope directly with the client.

These in-person conversations are invaluable. They allow me to tailor my recommendations precisely to the unique layout of the client’s space and their budgetary considerations.

Overcoming Obstacles: When Error Occurs

Even the best-laid plans can hit a snag when you’re on-site. As an interior designer, staying nimble and ready to tackle unforeseen challenges head-on is part of the job. Making regular site visits is crucial for me to keep tabs on progress, ensure the work meets my standards, and iron out any wrinkles that pop up along the way.

When things don’t go as planned, that’s where a Snag List or Punch List comes into play. It’s a handy tool for pinpointing, detailing, and fixing any issues or adding those final touches on-site. This ensures nothing is overlooked and every detail is just right.

Crafting the Creative: Design Workflows and Selections

Interior designer creating a design board for a new project
Image Credit: Dreamstime

Designing interiors isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s about making spaces work hard too. My aim is always to blend form with function, crafting areas that aren’t just beautiful to look at but are also practical for their intended purpose.

When it comes to picking materials, it’s all about striking the perfect balance between looks and longevity. I have to think about how these materials will hold up under daily wear and tear, all while enhancing the overall charm of the design.

My Essential Toolkit: The Interior Design Tools & Software That Power My Projects

The tools and software I rely on are more than aids; they’re the backbone of my creative process. Whether I’m sketching out initial concepts or presenting final visualizations to clients, the right toolkit can make all the difference. It’s like having a magic wand that brings my ideas to life with precision and ease.

For instance, when it comes to drafting up plans, I lean heavily on software that offers both flexibility and power. Programs like AutoCAD and 3Ds Max have become my go-to choices for their robust features that cater to both the technical and aesthetic aspects of design. With these tools, I can easily switch from detailed floor plans to 3D models, giving me and my clients a clear vision of the finished space.

From Vision to Reality: Creating Mood Boards

Putting together design boards is an essential part of my design process. It’s where I gather all sorts of inspiration—photos, colour samples, links to products—that mirror my personal taste and the direction I want to take a project.

This step helps me crystalize my design vision, making it easier to decide on a specific style, like rustic or modern industrial, and pick out a colour scheme that’ll set the tone for the entire space.

It’s like mapping out a roadmap before embarking on a journey; it ensures every choice I make aligns with that initial burst of inspiration and keeps the project on track.

The Hunt for Perfect Pieces: Ordering Furniture and Décor

Once the mood boards are ready, the real adventure begins: finding those perfect pieces to bring the vision to life. To ensure the client’s space looks and feels just right, I start curating a mix of furniture and décor that will work together seamlessly.

This step is all about creating an environment that’s not only pleasing to the eye but also reflects the unique style and preferences of my client. Here’s a peek at what often makes it onto my shopping list:

  • Furniture

  • Soft furnishings

  • Lighting fixtures

  • Artwork and Accessories

And let’s not forget about customized pieces. Tailoring furniture and decor specifically for my client’s project adds that special, one-of-a-kind touch to each space. It’s this mix of thoughtfully chosen and bespoke items that really makes a design stand out.

Wrapping Up: Administrative Duties and Client Updates

As the day draws to a close, it’s time for the behind-the-scenes work to take the spotlight. Like many in my field, I’ve leaned into remote work, including offering e-design services. This approach has been invaluable for managing all the admin tasks from the comfort of my home.

I dive into preparing contracts, drafting purchase orders, and creating invoices keenly, ensuring every financial detail of my design projects is recorded accurately. This meticulous documentation ensures everything runs smoothly, even when it’s not in plain sight.

Keeping Business in Order: Office Time

Office hours for me as an interior designer aren’t just about the design; they’re heavily focused on the nuts and bolts of business management. This includes keeping track of payments, getting quotes from vendors, and tackling all sorts of clerical tasks that keep things running smoothly.

Before I go ahead and place orders for those unique, customized pieces of furniture and decor, I ensure my clients have settled their bills. Vendors typically ask for payment upfront for these bespoke items.

I also manage phone calls, and setting up meetings as part and parcel of my day-to-day. These tasks are crucial for ensuring that the business side of things flows without a hitch, allowing me to focus on creating beautiful spaces.

Communication is Key: Review and Report

Communication takes centre stage. I make it a point to carve out time every day to touch base with my clients, keeping them in the loop about how their projects are shaping up, including any unexpected twists or adjustments along the way.

Keeping an accurate and detailed client database is crucial for this, as it helps me track each client’s preferences, our history of projects together, and even spot opportunities for future collaborations.

This ongoing dialogue ensures we’re always on the same page and helps build a solid foundation for both the current project and any we might tackle down the line.


How Does Travel Influence Interior Design Ideas?

Travel opens up a world of inspiration for interior design. From the intricate patterns found in Moroccan tiles to the sleek simplicity of Scandinavian decor, each destination offers unique elements that can be woven into designs. It’s about bringing a piece of the world into your space, creating a rich, eclectic vibe that tells a story.

What’s the Secret to Mixing Old and New in Interior Design?

The magic lies in balance and contrast. Pairing an antique wooden table with modern, sleek chairs can create a dynamic dialogue within a space. It’s like having a conversation between generations, each contributing its uniqueness to the overall design. This approach adds depth and character, making a room truly one-of-a-kind.

How Can Interior Design Promote Sustainable Living?

Sustainable design is all about making conscious choices that reduce environmental impact. By selecting materials that are renewable, recycled, or repurposed and incorporating energy-efficient lighting, we can create beautiful spaces that are also kind to the planet. It’s about blending aesthetics with ethics to shape a better future.

How Does Lighting Shape the Mood of a Space?

Lighting Design is the unsung hero of interior design. It can transform a room from cozy and intimate to bright and energetic with just the flick of a switch. Using a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting, we can control the atmosphere of a space, influencing how it feels and functions at different times of the day.

What Role Do Textures Play in Interior Design?

Textures add dimension and sensory experience to a space. A smooth, marble countertop paired with a rough, woven rug can create a tactile contrast that makes a room more interesting and inviting. It’s about engaging the senses, making a space not just visually appealing but also a pleasure to touch and inhabit.


My day as an interior designer is a dynamic mix of creativity, meticulous planning, hands-on execution, and constant communication.

Starting off with a burst of creative inspiration, moving through site visits, piecing together designs, and ending the day with administrative tasks, it’s a journey full of both challenges and triumphs.

It truly showcases the dedication and passion that we, as designers, pour into our work, tirelessly striving to turn spaces into environments that are both beautiful and practical. It’s this commitment to transforming interiors that makes every day rewarding.

Project Manager (PMP), Interior Designer and 3D visualizer. Member of the Project Management Institute - Netherlands Chapter.

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