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What Exactly Does An Interior Designer Do?

Sophisticated and timeless livingroom

Photo: COR London

What Does An Interior Designer Do?

As professionals in the field of interior design, we often receive a wide range of questions from clients and people who have little understanding of the full scope of our work. A common misconception is that our job is limited to selecting fabrics and colour schemes to enhance the visual appeal of a space. However, this is far from the truth. While we certainly assist clients in choosing fabrics and colour schemes, our job is much more complex than it seems and involves a wide range of tasks beyond selecting colours and fabrics. So, what exactly does an interior designer do?

When you bring us on board, you can expect a wide range of benefits. We provide new visions, a fresh perspective, creativity, enthusiasm for your project and a realistic view of what can or cannot be accomplished within your budget, space and time frame.

What is indeed part of an interior designer job but is mostly overlooked by many are the project management skills, a crucial aspect of the interior design profession, and the greatest unknown value an interior designer brings to your project. At COR London, we bring an organised approach to an otherwise chaotic and stressful undertaking, and our mission is to provide world-class, hassle-free service and experience. Remember, experienced designers have seen it all and can come up with quick and straightforward solutions to any problems. Another underrated aspect of an interior designer job is the budget responsibility. We are responsible for spending your money wisely and taking a thoughtful approach to your project, suggesting the right solution to fit your budget and needs.

Last but not least, at COR London, we specialise in designing functional spaces that are visually appealing and tailored to meet your unique requirements. Our approach demands a highly specialised and organised methodology integrating research, analysis, technical skills, mathematics, and creativity. We are active listeners and intuitive creatives and, as a result, design bespoke spaces that showcase our clients’ identities whilst staying environmentally considerate and having fun!

In summary, the role of interior designer is a complex and multifaceted field that requires a broad range of skills and expertise. At COR London, we are dedicated to creating functional, sophisticated, inspiring and timeless spaces for our clients.

When To Hire An Interior Designer

Undertaking a renovation project all by yourself can be a daunting and frustrating task, especially when you have a busy schedule. In such situations, hiring an interior designer can be the best solution. Although, there is no fixed formula for when to hire an interior designer. It's essential to consider a few factors before beginning.

Did you know that working with an interior designer from the start of a project can lead to incredible results? Many projects make the mistake of only involving a designer at the end, which can lead to missed opportunities. By having a designer on board from the beginning, you can ensure that your project budget is well-informed and optimized. This is because fixtures, fittings, and equipment can account for a significant portion of the total build cost.

Moreover, involving an interior designer from the beginning will help in finding and implementing the works, and coordinating the tradespeople involved in the project, in most cases.

In conclusion, we recommend contacting an interior designer before starting the project for the best result. If you have any questions regarding your new project, feel free to contact us today.

Before and After Bedroom Revamp

Before After

Photo: COR London Photo: COR London

How To Go About Choosing My Interior Designer

If you are considering hiring an interior designer, there are several important things you should keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

  • Look at the designer's portfolio to see if their style matches your preferences. You can check out COR's latest project for reference.

  • Do your research and come prepared with inspirational photos and clear goals for the design process.

  • It's important to hire someone who inspires your trust and confidence in their expertise.

  • Understand the designer's process and what they will deliver, including package revisions, FF&E schedule, etc. You can check out COR's packages for more information.

  • Respect the designer's working hours and understand the systems they use. Master the tools the designers offer to stay informed about the latest developments and to share your opinion on the project's progress.

  • Understand how the designer sources materials and whether they are open to your suggestions.

  • Understand the designer's pricing structure and what you will be charged for each phase of the process.

Photo: COR London Portfolio

Whether you are looking to redecorate a room, renovate your entire home or create a unique commercial space, our experienced team is here to help bring your vision to life. To discuss your project and explore your options, or if you have questions about our services, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.

Benefits Of Hiring An Interior Designer

Hiring an interior designer can offer more benefits than simply making a space look good. A designer can help increase your space's functionality, save you time and money, and prevent any potential frustrations. Check below our brief list of 'five reasons why you should hire an interior designer' for your new project:

  1. We begin by prioritizing a well-planned space. This step is crucial to ensure that the area serves its intended purpose effectively and allows us to create resourceful and imaginative solutions to meet your requirements. This approach can enhance the value of your property and maximize your return on investment;

  2. Identifying your design style is a crucial step in any project. At COR London, we help our clients discover and define their preferred style through a series of well-crafted questions. We then combine their vision with our expertise to create a design presentation that perfectly reflects their unique style. Our mission as designers is to fully understand your identity, vision, and style and blend them into a sophisticated and timeless design that reflects your persona;

  3. We help you to save money in various ways. For instance, we may have access to trade discounts on certain products, and we can provide special treatment from vendors regarding deliveries, returns, and any unexpected situations you may encounter. Additionally, at COR London, we help our clients prevent project mistakes and delays, which can lead to wasted time and money. With our experience and knowledge of all the technical aspects of the work and best practices at COR, we can guide you throughout the process to ensure that everything goes smoothly, reducing the chance of frustrations and upsetting moments;

  4. Fit your budget and timing. If you want your project to be successful and hassle-free while on a budget and respecting your schedule, we recommend seeking an interior designer's assistance. At COR London, we have the knowledge and experience to create a detailed 'schedule of works' which identifies and highlights all the costs associated with each element and phase of your project. This complex task is crucial to ensure you stay on budget and on time. By hiring us, you can rest assured that you will clearly understand the total cost before any work begins, avoiding any unpleasant surprises down the road;

  5. Finding reliable contractors and tradespeople. Finding the right tradespeople for your project can be very time-consuming. However, with the assistance of an interior designer, we can help you quickly identify reliable and trustworthy contractors, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled professionals from within the industry. We also collaborate with architects, decorators, gardeners, and other experts you may need for your projects. Allow us to assist you in making your project a reality without the hassle!

In conclusion, hiring an interior designer can provide numerous benefits for your project. From planning a well-designed space to finding reliable contractors and tradespeople, at COR London, we can help you save time and money while ensuring that your project stays on budget and on schedule. Let us help you bring your vision to life and create a beautiful space you will love for years. Get in touch today!

An Interior Designer's Responsibilities

As an interior design studio, we are responsible for providing a wide range of services that cater to our clients' unique needs and preferences. From space planning to sourcing and managing suppliers, we work closely with our clients to ensure we deliver the best possible results. However, we often receive a wide range

of questions from clients and people who are strange to the sector on what an interior designer's responsibilities are. Interior Designer responsibilities are bespoke to each project, and this can be affected by many factors, for instance, the number of players involved in the project (ex., engineer, architect, contractor, subcontractor), the project scale, the client's budget, the size of the practice, etc.

Sophisticated, male bedroom design

Photo: COR London

Nevertheless, the distinctive interior designer's responsibilities are the following:

  • Site survey to assess the project area;

  • Space planning, concept boards and colour palettes based on the client's personality and needs;

  • Estimate project costs and create a detailed schedule of works;

  • Lighting plan and bespoke lighting fixture design;

  • Product 2D and 3D project plans;

  • Produce photo-like renderings;

  • Define and specify the FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment) schedules;

  • Source the FFE items, liaise and manage the suppliers' relationship;

  • Place orders for the furnishings, fixtures and equipment;

  • Create project timelines;

  • Coordinate the contractors regarding plans and specifications;

  • Create detailed instructions to ensure efficient and correct product installation.

  • Assist with the snags and after-care;

In conclusion, as an interior design studio, we understand that our clients rely on us to provide tailored services that meet their project's needs. Although our responsibilities and services can vary depending on the project's specifics, we will still help apply the final touches to your space and ensure everything goes as planned.

Visit our 'how we work' page and our 'service' page to learn more about COR London Studio.


COR - Design Process

At COR London Studio, we have a structural design process divided into six phases to ensure that we provide exceptional service to our clients.


This is the first phase after we receive your request. We will send you a personalised questionnaire and a colour quiz to ensure that the process goes smoothly. You will also receive our Welcome Package, which covers all the necessary information.

Phase I – The Concept:

This phase includes a site survey, a 2D floor plan of the area, and a written report of all areas. It provides details such as walls, floors, windows, existing electrics, fixtures, and room orientation. We also offer questionnaires and full consultation to finalise the Client Brief. After receiving all the information from the client, we begin the research and cohesive concept with a mood board, colour scheme, shapes and forms, finishes and materials guide, and accessories guide.

Phase II – The Creation:

At this stage, we focus on two key areas: space planning and light planning. For the space planning, we organise an in-person meeting to discuss the furniture size and position, required storage, and proper space allocation for each of your needs. You will receive 2D furniture layout plans with the seating plan and FFE plan. Regarding the lighting plan, we produce a lighting floor plan and a switches and sockets floor plan. Lighting plans are important as they demonstrate how to efficiently illuminate your home while considering the rooms' purpose, design, and colour.

Phase III – Model:

In this phase, we produce 3D models to showcase the design and layout plan. It is extremely helpful to visualise the design in a 3D model and help visions come together with relative ease. We also offer in-house rendering so you can see your space through photo-realistic images before bringing the design to life.

Phase IV – Design Development:

Once the concept and model are presented to our clients, we move to the Design Development stage and work around the FEE schedules, running all the sourcing and procurement on your behalf. The Fee schedule helps us to have accurate cost estimations and provide a list of all furniture, fixtures, and equipment to be procured and keep the timeline. At this point, we can start working on the most exciting stage, Sourcing. We specify the technical requirements of all the items needed to bring the design vision to life, source, liaise, and negotiate with the suppliers. We then present you with a sample board so you can have a better understanding of the materials, textures, and colour schemes that we are proposing. Procurement is a simple retainer and billing system that makes budget management simple. We communicate with suppliers to negotiate prices, trade discounts, and delivery schedules.

Phase V – Completion:

After we have procured all the FFE, the completion programme starts with the schedule of works, list of tradespeople required, and installation order. We provide the installation plan with technical drawings and installation guides when required to ensure that the appointed contractors carry out the installation correctly and efficiently. However, even when we try our best to deliver, things might go wrong with the items being delivered or slight changes that require us to solve. We, therefore, pride ourselves on assisting with any issues and collaborating with the client to solve them in the fastest and easiest way possible.

Project Coordination:

Following the completion of Phase IV, the designer and client will communicate weekly to ensure that everything is proceeding according to schedule. We have the means to provide additional monitoring services with occasional site visits and regular meetings with the appointed contractor and applicable team to ensure that the design vision is implemented correctly. A monitoring package might be discussed individually because some projects may call for more or fewer visits.

Camila Rodrigues COR London founder

Camila Rodrigues

Photo: COR London


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