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Our 5-Step Design Process

Decorated kitchen area utilizing our 5-step design processWe just celebrated our 20th year in business—so exciting! We are constantly working to improve our process—more streamlined and a better client experience. Over the years, we have added project management systems, automated onboarding and scheduling, systems for sourcing products, and the list goes on.  

What hasn’t changed is our 5 step design process. The steps are constantly improving, but the 5 still remain.

This is the process that we use for all of our design projects. The process is straightforward and linear, meaning each step must be completed before going to the next. This process is essential to get optimal results in aesthetics and functionality. 

If you’ve been following me, you know my passion for having a well-designed home. A home that is designed well can support your life: save you time, foster connections with your family and friends, encourage rejuvenation, and just plain help you get out the door in the morning with your sanity.


Here is our 5-step design process:

  1. DiscoveryDesigned dining area utilizing our 5-step design process

Discovery is just that: discovering. Some of it is tactical: measuring and photographing. But most of it is determining the goals of the spaces: the look, the budget, the purpose, the function, and the layout. The discovery is where we dream big about the space and how to make the most of it. How it can work for your family and how you want to live. How it can support your life. The discovery process is the time to dig deep because it is the foundation of our design. We talk about determining the goals for spaces in this blog

  1. Concept

Based on all the information gathered in the discovery phase, we start pulling together concepts for the space. This phase is where we figure out how to translate all the goals into each room and what all of the rooms will look like. We put together mood boards to show the feel and vibe of each space, draw the floor plans to show the layouts, and develop preliminary stories with samples to convey each area’s design direction. We usually have 1-3 concepts for each space, and we revise these concepts as needed to ensure a clear direction for each room. Once the concept is approved, we move to the design phase.

  1. Design Designed desk area with our 5-step design process

The design phase is when we take the concept and bring it to life. It’s taking the design direction and refining it to make it the best it can be. We work within all budget parameters, ensure we accomplish the determined functional goals, and then go all in with the aesthetics. The discovery is the foundation, the concept is the direction, and the design is where the magic happens. We love to think outside the box to create some kick-ass designs.

  1. Implementation 

Once the design is approved, it’s time to implement it all. Spec packets are made for contractors, paint and wallpaper schedules are completed with samples, and everything gets ordered. We provide detailed information to ensure things are being implemented as they should based on the design.

  1. Installation

The messy work is completed, everything is painted, and the wallpaper is up. Now it is time for the installation: rugs, furniture, draperies, artwork, and finally, accessories. It’s when the whole vision comes to fruition, and all that is left is to enjoy.

Decorated table

These are the steps we take when designing an entire house or a single room. Whether the project is big or small, it’s important to take each step at a time to ensure a great outcome. In general, people want to jump right to the design phase, but the design part is irrelevant, in my opinion, unless you have the foundation from the discovery and concept phase. Yes, I can design a beautiful room without either of those, but that’s all it will be– beautiful. Beauty plus function is where the sweet spot is. It’s like that old saying; Beauty comes from within. I believe that is the case in design, but the real beauty comes from planning. And an excellent process!

Have you read our 10 Biggest Design Mistakes series?

Design Mistake #1: Keeping Things You Don’t Love

Design Mistake #2: Designing with Fear

Design Mistake #3: Not Designing for Real Life

Design Mistake #4: Not Knowing Your Budget

Design Mistake #5: Picking Paint First

Design Mistake #6: Not Having Art

Design Mistake #7: Incorrect Rug Size

Design Mistake #8: No Focal Point

Design Mistake #9: Hanging Draperies Incorrectly

Design Mistake #10 Not Finishing






Molly Hirsch interior designer Ridgefield, Connecticut

Hi, I’m Molly Hirsch, and I help women founders, executives, and entrepreneurs translate their highly effective work approach to their home design, creating a space that rises up to meet their needs while enhancing the warmth and style of their family home. Discover all the ways we can work together to create a home of your dreams.

You’re one step away from a well-designed life.