The 80/20 rule as an Interior Designer

Meeting with a speaker

Some of you may have heard of the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle. The 80-20 rule is a principle that states 80 per cent of all outcomes are derived from 20 per cent of causes. It's used to determine the factors (typically, in a business situation) that are most responsible for success and then focus on them to improve results.

As an Interior Designer, there is more to the job than just selecting furniture and fixtures for clients. A large part of the job involves a tremendous amount of administrative work. There is a definite misconception about the actual role of an Interior Designer. In reality, the workload is typically split 80 per cent administrative/project management, and 20 per cent creativity.

Creativity and vision are extremely important as an Interior Designer, being able to design a space that is both aesthetically beautiful as well as functional is the essence of what we do. Once the creative design concept has been established, the 20 per cent, then the administrative work begins. The execution of the project is “where the rubber hits the road.”

The responsibilities and requirements needed to make the project come to fruition include:

  • Communication
  • Research and specifications
  • Project management
  • Budgets
  • Team management

Interior Designers must communicate effectively with clients to understand their needs, preferences and budget. They must also provide updates on project progress and seek approval for design choices.

Along with client communication, the designer is also required to have constant communication with their suppliers and trades. Whether it is in the form of emails, phone calls, in-person or online meetings, there is a multitude of individuals involved.

Researching and sourcing the right materials for the application is necessary to make sure that not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but are also durable, functional, within budget and depending on the application within code requirements.

Interior designers are responsible for managing projects from start to finish. This includes creating project timelines, coordinating with contractors and suppliers, and ensuring that the project stays within budget. They may also be responsible for obtaining any necessary permits or approvals.

Logo showing choosing budget from a list

Interior Designers must work within a client's budget to create a design that meets their needs. This requires careful budgeting and cost control to ensure that the project does not exceed the client's financial limits. They may also negotiate pricing with suppliers and contractors to keep costs down.

Managing and leading a team effectively is key to the success of every project. Whether or not the business is as an independent designer, or one that involves many team members, the principal designer is responsible for every component of the project. With many components involved in the execution of the job, possessing strong leadership skills are critical. Organization, efficiency, leadership and communication are essential for a successful outcome.

By shedding some light on the inner workings and the 80/20 rule for Interior Designers, it clear that the designer is responsible for ensuring that every element of the project, from start to finish, is planned for, costed, communicated to all stakeholders, reviewed, approved and delivered safely within the timeframe discussed.

Crystal Collinson is Principal Designer at Collinson Interiors.

Brought to you by:ontario