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A Detailed Walk Through of Our VIP Full-Service Interior Design Process

Interior design can seem like a mysterious industry. It’s one of those services that sounds luxurious and fun, but there's not always a clear image in our minds of how it actually works. If this is how you feel about interior design, then you're in the right place!

Many of our clients have never worked with a designer, and they step into working with us feeling the same way. Today, we’re going to take some of the mystery out of the industry and walk you through our most robust service, VIP Full Service Design. If you're curious about our Designed in a Day sessions, you can read about those here.

Principal designer Lauren Figueroa at work.

Process Overview:

We take a 10 Step approach to our full-service projects, broken into three billing phases. Depending on the type of project and the scope, our process may vary slightly, but the following outline will give you a good feel for what working with our firm looks like.

The three billing phases are as follows:

Phase 1: Project Initiation

​Phase 2: Research | Design | Presentation

Phase 3: Purchasing | Construction | Installation

Project Initiation

Project Initiation covers the steps involved in leading up to signing a services proposal and making the design relationship official.


This is where it all begins. The discovery meeting is our chance to get to know each other, understand your project, and determine if we’ll be a good fit. This appointment is a two hour working meeting and takes place in the space to be designed (unless it it not yet existing).

During the meeting, we’ll walk through the space, discuss goals, your style preferences, and budget----everything I need to know to get a sense of the scope of work and put together a proposal, which is step two. Together we’ll look at a handful of photos to see what colors and styles you’re drawn to, layout, function, mood, and overall feel.

Principal designer Lauren Figueroa's desk.


Next, we draft up a detailed project proposal based on what we discussed in our discovery meeting. This is a proposal for our services only; no designing is included in the proposal.

Our firm uses project based pricing as opposed to hourly pricing, with Phase 2 and Phase 3 broken out into two separate amounts. Phase 2 (Research, Design, Presentation) is due at the onset, and Phase 3 is due the date of our design presentation, or, following the round of revisions included in your project.

Step two concludes by walking through our proposal and, if everything is acceptable, signing a letter of agreement and submitting Phase 2 design fees. .

Phase 2: Research | Design | Presentation

Phase 2 of the project happens largely behind the scenes and culminates in a presentation of the entirety of the project.


At this stage, LFID will take measurements of all spaces to be designed, or, we'll gather the documents provided by your builder or realtor and recreate them in our design software. We'll talk with your preferred trades/builder and get photos of all spaces on site.


This next phase is happens mostly behind the scenes and gives you a chance to take a break! During this stage, we put our creative minds to work and draft a complete plan to execute in your space.

This means developing mood boards (collages of images, colors, and textures), space planning, and pulling various finishes, fabrics, fixtures, and furniture pieces to help you visualize our plan for your space.

We also collect estimates for all the products and some outside services (aside from construction) required for our space so that you have a full understanding of the cost implications to carry out your project.

A moodboard featuring citrus colors and Miami charm.


Depending on the size of your project, this may be a rather long meeting (snacks are encouraged!). We'll present our floor plans, elevations, product selected for your space, fabrics, fixtures, finishes—EVERY single thing that goes into creating your dream space will be presented during this meeting.

At the end of the presentation, you'll receive a detailed estimate outlining all furnishings and decor pieces we'll be purchasing for you and an estimated design fee based on that total.

While we DO provide estimates for furnishings and decor, we do NOT provide estimates for anything on the construction side of your project. These estimates should be provided to you directly by your builder or trades person.

One round of revisions is included within the agreed upon Phase 2 design fee, and once that is executed and everyone is happy with the plan, we'll request payment to begin placing orders, as well as your Phase 3 design fee.

Phase 3: Purchasing | Construction | Installation

At this point, we dive into the hands on execution of your project. This phase typically takes the longest, but is also the most exciting!

STEP 7: ORDER PLACEMENT (if applicable)

Up to this point, everything has been conceptual. Nothing has been purchased, no construction has taken place, but you've seen numerous samples, made lots of decisions, and you're finally ready for this project to START! Now we order all your items.

We keep track of product lead times and begin to plan for your installation and styling. As items arrive, we receive them at our warehouse where they are checked for damages, and then stored until all items have arrived.


Fairly straight forward! If your project involves construction, this is the point at which that would begin. If needed, you and your builder may schedule site visits with LFID to ensure the vision of our design is coming through. Involvement in execution of the construction side of your project is billed hourly.


At LFID, we believe that holding one big installation day is this best way to implement a your furniture and decor. This prevents you from having your items show up one at a time at your door, and allows you to see our overall vision implemented ALL at once. It's also incredibly fun to see the space transformed in so short a time.

Accessories (smaller items, such as throws, vases, bowls, etc.) are purchased in the weeks leading up to installation and are styled/placed among the furniture and decor at installation, and clients then get to decide if they'd like to keep or return said accessories.

On install day, we ask clients to give us the space for a day (or more, depending on the size of project!) so we can work our magic and reveal the completed space all at once.


At this point the project is completed and YOU are one happy client :) Final invoices are issued, any additional documentation is provided, and we schedule a time to have your BEAUTIFUL new space photographed for our portfolio.

Ready to Get Started?

Our step-by-step process is designed to carry out your project efficiently and successfully. We find projects go most smoothly when clients are informed about our process and have realistic expectations. Tell me about your project here to see if your project is a good fit for our firm!

Helpful Links:


Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design

LFID is a full-service interior design firm serving West and Southeast Michigan. We work with clients from Detroit, to Grand Rapids, to Holland, to Traverse City, and anywhere in between, and we pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!

If you have a project on the horizon, get started by telling us a little about your vision here, and you can view past projects here. Thanks for stopping by!


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