All About Our Process: The Design Phase

Have you been following along? We’ve started a blog series all about our interior design process so you can learn more about what it’s like to work with Mackenzie + Company! Catch up on the first post here, and the second post here if you’d like.

Once we have our official on-boarding meeting and your project goes on the docket for our team, we are able to move on to do what you sought us out for initially: design. 

But just because we’re in the design phase, doesn’t mean we’re jumping into furniture selections and cabinetry customizations. Far before any of those things reach the surface, we take everything we’ve learned about the client thus far and begin to craft an inspiration board for the project. During this time, you’ll often find us scrolling through Pinterest, flipping through fabric samples and curating various objects, photographs, memorabilia and pieces of interest that we may be inspired by for the project at hand.

The board is not just a collection of color-coordinated fabrics and shots of other interiors—the various elements we’ve selected and arranged work harmoniously together to evoke a feeling and specific emotions. These elements can often include, but are certainly not limited to, travel and places, fashion, art, photography, things from nature, and of course, more quintessential interior design selections such as fabrics, rug samples, trims and paint swatches. By now you likely get the idea that we don’t like to limit ourselves creatively!

Once we’ve nailed down our inspiration board and feel it aligns with both our goals for the space, along with the clients’ vision and lifestyle, we move to floor planning. However, we’re still not quite moving to the digital space just yet. Floor and spatial planning starts with good ole fashioned pencil and paper, typically the graph and tracing kind. Here we are figuring out the layout for your home and each space we are designing or styling, where we want furniture to be and what kind of furniture will fit the space, physically and aesthetically. 

The ultimate goal for spatial planning is to make sure the final plan will fit the lifestyle of the client. This means taking into consideration questions we likely asked in the initial meeting together, like how often the client entertains guests, whether they watch television frequently or prefer to read and how often they might spend time in a particular room. This aspect of designing, and truly the entire process in itself, is anything but random or done “just because.” We take pride in knowing that we employ a thoughtful process that includes feeling, evokes emotion and centers around the client’s unique needs, specifications and vision.


After floor plans become official and we’re ready to move forward, we then shift to the final aspect of the design phase: product selection. Our principal designer works with the project manager, as well as the design assistant, to research and source products, furnishings, art and accessories for the client’s home. As mentioned above, this entire process is extremely thoughtful and intentional, and therefore all selections we make for a client fall into their pre-discussed budget that has already been approved.

From here, the design phase comes to a close as final product selections are made and sectioned off room-by-room. What comes next? Stay tuned for the next blog post in our series to learn more about what comes next in the Mackenzie + Company interior design process: the presentation and feedback.

The Mackenzie + Company Team

Angela Hamwey