Back to blog



Conceptual-Rendering_Grosu-Art-Studio: Interior Design Process, Hatch Interior Design Blog
You might feel like planning isn’t fun, but you know what is? Having a space that looks like this because you did plan. Kudos to Grosu Art Studio for their trailblazing design concept pictured above; we know pulling this off takes planning.

Have you ever wondered about the interior design process for a commercial project? What is involved and what steps your interior designer takes to help deliver a killer project to you when all is said and done? We bet it’s more than you think! Read on to learn about how we at Hatch Interior Design approach your project.


There is a lot that happens on our end even before we know that the project is ours. For the large majority we provide you, our potential client, with a fixed fee proposal. In order to do so there are a few things that need to happen first.

An initial meeting to talk to familiarize ourselves with the specifics of the project. This includes:

  • learning about the business from a number of different angles including brand message, target market, daily processes and procedures, number of staff, types of spaces required, etc.;
  • learning about the space that is either being updated or moved into, we want to know the size, have a look at the existing plan (which often can be supplied by the landlord) and often times conduct a site visit to fully understand the scope;
  • understanding your budget;
  • discussing options for the construction of your project, either hiring a general contractor or tendering.

Howard-Wangs_Pulp-Studios: Interior Design Process, Hatch Interior Design Blog
Does your space look like this, but your brand indicates it should really look like that? Then you’re probably thinking “I need a professional interior designer”. Pulp Design Studios lead the transformation of Howard Wang’s Southlake as pictured above.

Once we have all of this information we may bug you with one or two emails requesting clarification or asking questions that have come up since our meeting. It may seem like a lot of information to provide before we have agreed to work together, but the goal is for us to know enough about your project to provide you with a comprehensive and detailed fixed fee proposal. “Fixed fee?” you ask. We practice transparency with our clients and believe that this scenario is in your best interest. The proposal we provide outlines the scope of work as we see it in a very detailed way that communicates to you exactly what our fee will get you.

Other activities that go on during the Pre-Project phase involve getting really excited about the design possibilities, dreaming up interesting features that would uniquely express your brand and set you apart form your competition, realizing we are getting ahead of ourselves as we do not yet have a contract in place, continuing to dream about your project because it doesn’t matter, it’s just something we like to do.


So we’ve decided to work together! Now it’s time to get moving on the Programming phase of your project. This is a short, but very necessary phase where we get into the smaller functional and technical details of the information you provided in our initial Pre-Project meeting. Although restraint can be difficult in the midst of new-project-excitement, we need to shelf ideas of what the space will look like and what materials are going to be used for a later date.

Boardroom__Zazzle-Office_Studio-O-plus-A: Interior Design Process, Hatch Interior Design Blog
Yes, boardrooms are still used for things like…your visioning session during the interior design programming phase, (or playing cards). This creative boardroom was designed by industry-giant Studio O+A for Zazzle.

At this point we really need to know the goals of your business; we want to dive deeper into your brand, get to know the core values and gain a better understanding of your target market. We also need to understand functional details: the number of offices needed, linear feet of product display you are hoping for, furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) and storage requirements…you get the picture. Depending on the size of your project and how much time you have been able to spend thinking about adjacencies, support spaces, etc., this may be taken care of in one meeting or may require a few to really nail down the details.

Schematic Design

We love this phase of the project; it’s where we get to start figuring out how to lay out your space, kind of like a puzzle. This is a space planning exercise that our Registered Interior Designers excel at. It’s rare that we sit down and everything falls together. A lot of thought, organizing and reorganizing is involved to settle on a plan that meets your functional requirements. In some cases there are obviously more than one way to plan the space, in others it becomes clear that because of the shape and size of the space there are not many options. We ensure that we look at your space from all angles and show you the options that you have.

Dance-Studio_Tsutsumi-and-Associates: Interior Design Process, Hatch Interior Design Blog
Here’s a dance studio designed by Tsutsumi and Associates that, even in the built form, feels conceptual. Don’t be fooled however, a lot of planning surely lead to this achievement.

A couple of meetings with you during the Schematic Design phase are important to go over the layout(s), discuss areas that aren’t working for either you or for us, massage the plan and look at other options for achieving the end goal. Once a final plan has been agreed upon we are ready to move onto the next fun phase of your project; Design Development.

So, sounds like a lot of work hey? Yup, and we’re really just getting started! In our next blog post we get into the Design Development phase where your project begins to take on 3D form complete with finishes and furniture. Make sure to check back in a few weeks to learn about our approach and scope for this exciting and pivotal stage of your project.

» Could your business use an update to strengthen your brand? Contact Hatch Interior Design located in Kelowna, British Columbia – Because Good Design is Good Business™.