What is an Interior Design Brief?

 In 2018, Project Management

The design brief is the most important document of all when it comes to interior Design. This document will contain all significant aspects of the project including the ever important issue of WHAT SHOULD BE ACHIEVED during the project aka the FINAL OUTCOME.

The Design Brief is usually compiled in such a way that it leads the client to really bare it all in terms of their likes and dislikes, dos and don’ts, expectations, priorities, time frame, budget and more.

It can become a rather lengthy document but does not have to be.

Why do you require a brief for your interior designer?

When correctly compiled, the design brief should help you to “put all the ducks in a row” in terms of what is expected of the project. You will be able to really analyse your motives and surprisingly, you might find that you have actually learned a lot by the time the brief is completed.

It may be hard to look at things in perspective when you are on unfamiliar ground and while you answer questions, you might get to a point where you realise just how large the project actually is. The clarity about the objectives of the project you are about to start, is the one thing that a good brief will bring your way.

The design brief is all about detail. The more you are willing to share with the interior designer the better she will be able to serve you in this project.

What should be included design brief?

  • Key Intentions – what would you like to accomplish?
  • How would you like it to appear, function, feel?
  • Budget – the budget is very important as it guides your designer in selecting the right solution for your design.
  • Timing – when do you need the work to be done? Is it realistic? Do you need to move out of your home if it is a major renovation?
  • Sustainability – how important is this issue to you? We have found that sustainability is something is important to the age group around 40 years old. For those above 55, sustainability becomes less important.
  • Habit – How do you intend to use the space? Do you have children and how old are they? Do you have pets? How often do you entertain and have sleep-over guests? What hobbies and activities do you engage in?

The details listed above are not extensive but more of less what could be found in a design brief. The more detail you can add, the better.

How do you organise your Brief?

It is important to really think about the outcome of the project.

Think about the priorities. For example; you want to have the kitchen and the bathrooms renovated. What you have in mind in terms of products and quality may influence how much of the project gets finished in one go. If top end products are priority and your budget may seem a bit stretched, you may have to decide to start with the kitchen first and complete that with good quality products and items vs the option to use lower quality products and have the entire project done in one go. By prioritising your wants and needs, you will soon figure out just how far you are willing to compromise.


Plan the final outcome of the project.

Write down your key objectives and then prioritise them.

Visualise as much as you can about how you will use the spaces, how you will feel in the spaces, what you want to see there and even how often you will use the paces.

Good research can go a long way and make your life so much easier in making decisions. You can find fantastic ideas on Facebook, Instagram, HOUZZ, Homify and other platforms. We have profiles on all of these that can help you decide what you like.

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