I have been working on and off as an Interior Designer for over 28 years. I will explain the "off" later.
I have worked with architects on commercial interiors and I have done residential projects as well. Trust me, the residential is harder. I always try to educate my clients about quality, color, style selections and planning. Yes, there is an order when undertaking a design project.
You CANNOT come up with your color scheme UNTIL you have your major pieces, the ones that cost the most and have the most impact on the room. He brought in a piece of drywall, painted a basic "BLAH" shade of greenish taupe. In other words they had already picked the paint, painted their basement where the cabinets would be. This client returned the samples, telling me he would have to buy unfinished cabinets and stain them himself. He wanted the cabinets to match the carpet and paint.
Paint is basically cheap.
Paint is an accessory to complement your more costly pieces, like cabinets, furniture, the beautiful view or woodwork.
Wallpaper is relatively cheap too, it is a home accessory mean to complement your major design pieces.
Carpet, Fabric, Lighting, Artwork (decorative) are all accessories meant to enhance the major pieces. You should never select a major purchase to "go with" your lesser ones. That is the perfect case for much aggravation and frustration.
Ladies… I know you are guilty of this. You find a fabulous pair of pricey shoes on sale, and then you are spending time and effort to find an outfit to go with those shoes. That’s the same thing when you pick home accessories before the major pieces.
In the past I have been hired to plan a design to go with 10 gallons of Sky Blue paint that a client had gotten on sale. I have been asked to design an entire great room around expensive "clearance" wallpaper. I tried and it was a lot of work, so now I have come to the decision that I will never work that way ever again.
After doing this for years, I know when to turn down a job. I always want a client to "love where they live" and I take pride in the end result. In these design situations the pay is not worth the frustration or a dissatisfied client.
Now you know about the "off" I mentioned earlier.
Are there exceptions?
Sure. There is an order to designing a project. I will talk about those in upcoming blog posts.