Interior design presentations are visual overviews of a planned design concept that interior designers use to communicate their ideas to clients.

These presentations as part of the design project proposal showcase the designer’s proposed plans for the layout, furnishings, materials, color scheme, and other details for a residential or commercial interior space.

Examples of elements that may be included in an interior design presentation are:

  • Floor plans – 2D drawings showing the layout and dimensions of the space
  • Furniture arrangements – Digital renderings or models showing furniture placement
  • Fabric and finish samples – Physical swatches of proposed fabrics, carpets, tiles, woods, etc.
  • Color scheme – A palette of proposed paint colors and accents
  • Lighting plan – Technical drawings indicating lighting layout and fixture selections
  • Material specifications – A detailed list of all proposed materials and finishes
  • Concept boards – Mood boards with inspirational images, materials, and colors
  • 3D renderings – Digitally generated imagery showing the designed space in perspective
  • Lifestyle vignettes – Styled set-ups showing proposed furniture arrangements
  • Project description – An overview of the design concept and goals

Presenting these elements visually allows clients to better understand and provide feedback on the interior designer’s proposed design before implementation. The presentation brings the concepts to life.

Picture of George Nicola
George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

The presentation boards allow the designer to display these details in a graphic, visually-oriented format. They bring together all elements of the design into a cohesive presentation.

An interior design project may be the second biggest commitment for a property after the purchase of the property from a client’s perspective!

overview of the presentation process

Interior designer presenting a project to a client at a desk in front of a window.
Interior designer presenting a project to a client at a desk in front of a window.

The process follows roughly the same path, but the resources and division of labor vary by studio size. Communication and collaboration are key throughout.聽

Presenting the design is ultimately a team effort.

Solo Designer

  • Research – Gather inspiration, analyze client needs
  • Concept – Develop overall design direction and color schemes
  • Schematic Layouts – Rough space plans
  • Design Refinement – Materials, finishes, details
  • Production – Create presentation boards, models, renderings
  • Presentation – Present to client, get feedback
  • Revisions – Refine based on feedback

Small Studio (2-10 designers)

  • Research – Conducted collaboratively
  • Concept – Team brainstorming session
  • Schematic Layouts – Work divided amongst team
  • Design Refinement – Collaboration on details
  • Production – Divide tasks like boards, renderings
  • Presentation – Often presented together
  • Revisions – Team approach to refinements

Large Studio (10+ designers)

  • Research – Conducted by project designers
  • Concept – Presented for group critique
  • Schematic Layouts – Work divided by project phase
  • Design Refinement – Specialists for materials, etc.
  • Production – Often outsourced renderings, models
  • Presentation – Led by project designers
  • Revisions – Implemented by project team

What are the 3 phases of interior design presentation?

Interior design presentation consists of 3 main phases with up to 13 different elements incorporated under them. Each element builds on the others to create a comprehensive, visual presentation that is part of project proposals.

Interior designers combines the three phases in a strategic way to communicate the design narrative and details.聽

Typically, an interior design presentation incorporates 4-13 different elements that work together to convey the design concept.

The design process that leads to the presentation can be broken down into several key phases:

Programming Phase: The initial stage where the client’s needs and goals are identified. This informs the overall direction.

Schematic Design Phase: Rough layouts and space planning are developed that align with the programming needs.

Design Development Phase: More detailed design work is done to refine the schematic design, including material selections, lighting plans, etc.

The presentation then pulls visuals, drawings, and samples from these phases to depict the design.聽

Common elements include:

  • Bubble diagrams and hand sketches showing initial concepts
  • CAD and hand-drawn floor plans showing layout
  • Axonometric drawings demonstrating spatial relationships
  • Interior elevations and section drawings showing finishes and architectural details
  • Physical and digital materials boards with finish samples
  • Digital and physical presentation boards with concept collages, sketches, etc.
  • 3D interior modeling studies and renderings bringing the design to life visually where color schemes, references and real life measurements are combined into 3D concept.

Visually Communicating Value with new clients

Interior design presentation
Interior design presentation

The goal is to establish trust and rapport through professional, polished presentations focused on collaboration and exemplary service.聽

Design is problem solving; presentations reflect that philosophy.

Here are some key elements of an interior design business philosophy as it relates to client presentations:

  • Communicate don’t dictate – Presentations should facilitate an open dialogue, not just convey demands.
  • Educate the client – Take time to explain the rationale behind recommendations.
  • Collaborate, don’t confront – Welcome ideas and aim for compromise, not conflict.
  • Guide, don’t direct – Gently steer clients towards quality, even if more costly.
  • Anticipate needs – Strive to present what clients want before they ask.
  • Sell the process – Demonstrate how careful methodology leads to better outcomes.
  • Reinforce expertise – Leverage presentations to highlight specialized skills and value.
  • Be transparent – Clearly convey all costs, lead times, and constraints. No surprises.
  • Make it visual – Show don’t tell; visuals bring concepts to life.
  • Think long-term – Build lasting relationships not just transactions.
  • Present comprehensively – Demonstrate attention to all details big and small.
  • Pursue perfection – Constantly aim to improve presentation skills and tools.

What is Programming Phase?

The programming phase is the first stage of an interior design project. It involves gathering information about the client’s needs and goals for the space.

Key activities in the programming phase include:

  • Initial client meeting and site visit – To understand project scope, requirements, and constraints.
  • Interviewing stakeholders – Speaking with all end users to identify needs.
  • Conducting research – Investigating relevant laws, building codes, regulations.
  • Performing analysis – Analyzing site, architecture, existing conditions.
  • Defining project goals – Identifying the client’s vision and objectives.
  • Determining space requirements – Including sizes, adjacencies, capacities.
  • Developing program documentation – Compiling research into a written program.
  • Presenting findings – Reporting key details back to client.

The programming phase essentially establishes the “rules of engagement” that guide the design moving forward. The interior designer works collaboratively with the client to define all functional, legal, budgetary and aesthetic goals for the project.

Having a well-defined program provides an effective roadmap as the designer transitions into conceptual development and space planning. It also allows the client to review and approve project expectations before design work proceeds.

The programming phase is a crucial foundation for success.

What is schematic design presentation

A schematic design presentation communicates the initial spatial planning and layout of an interior design project. At this early stage, the presentation typically includes.

  • Bubble diagrams – Initial space planning sketches
  • Hand-drawn floor plans – Rough layouts showing adjacencies
  • Digital floor plans – Preliminary plans from CAD software
  • Furniture arrangements – Rough blocking plans for furnishings
  • Spatial blocking plans – Generic shapes showing spatial zones
  • Area calculations – Basic sizes/capacities for spaces
  • Concept sketches – Early hand drawings of ideas
  • Mood boards – Inspirational imagery and samples
  • Design narratives – Written description of concept and goals

The schematic presentation focuses more on spatial relationships and broad concept rather than refinements. It establishes the foundation that the design will later develop from.

This allows the client to review and approve the proposed spatial layout and functionality before the designer progresses into more detailed design development. The presentation ensures the design is aligned with the client’s programming needs and goals early in the process.

The schematic presentation is an important first step in bringing the client into the design process. It initiates a dialogue that continues through the evolution of the design in subsequent presentations.

What is bubble diagram interior design

A Digital Interior design bubble diagram displaying the different types of household spaces.
A Digital Interior design bubble diagram displaying the different types of household spaces.

A bubble diagram is a basic planning tool used in the early stages of the interior design process. It uses simple shapes and symbols to represent spatial elements.

In interior design, bubble diagrams are typically used during the programming and schematic design phases to explore initial layout options and spatial relationships. Common elements included in an interior design bubble diagram are:

  • Circles/bubbles – Indicate rooms and other spaces
  • Arrows – Show connections and relationships between spaces
  • Squares – Represent fixed elements like stairs, columns
  • Text labels – Identify the function of each space
  • Size variations – Show relative sizes/proportions of spaces
  • Colors – Differentiate space types or zones

Bubble diagrams are quick, flexible tools to experiment with different space planning scenarios. They help identify spatial needs, adjacencies, layout possibilities, and circulation patterns in a low-detail format.

Interior designers use bubble diagrams to collaborate with clients, ensuring the layout meets their functional needs and goals early in the design process. The simplicity of the bubble diagram facilitates effective communication and exploration of options.

Bubble diagrams provide an important starting point that leads into more detailed space planning and interior design development. They reveal opportunities and issues before committing to a layout.

What is material board presentation?

A material board is a key component of many interior design presentations. It allows the designer to physically showcase proposed materials, finishes, and samples to the client.聽

Examples of items that may be included on a material board are:

An interior design presentation featuring a 3D drawing of a tray showcasing various colors of paint.
An interior design presentation featuring a 3D drawing of a tray showcasing various colors of paint.
  • Fabric swatches – Samples of proposed upholstery, drapery, and other fabrics
  • Carpet and area rug samples – Carpet tiles, bound rugs, swatches, etc.
  • Tile samples – Stone, ceramic, glass, and other tile types
  • Wood samples – Stain swatches, veneer samples, solid wood samples
  • Wall covering samples – Wallpaper, grasscloth, metal sheets, etc.
  • Paint color chips – Chips showing proposed paint colors
  • Hardware samples – Knobs, pulls, hinges, lighting, plumbing fixtures
  • Accessory samples – Such as pillows, throws, vases
  • Natural material samples – Leather, stone, glass, etc.
  • Marble, granite, quartz samples – For kitchen and bath surfaces
  • Appliance samples – Brochures, spec sheets, swatches

The material board allows the client to see and feel the products being proposed for their space. It brings the materials off the page, helping the client better visualize the designer’s plan. The board serves as a tactile complement to the rest of the presentation.

Interior design project timeline

Between 80 and 90% of design projects feature similar phases and timeline.聽

  1. Programming – Gather project goals, requirements, constraints
  2. Schematic Design – Develop initial space plan and layouts
  3. Design Development – Refine plans, select finishes, furnishings
  4. Design Presentation – Present concept to client for review and approval
  5. Construction Documents – Create detailed drawings and specifications
  6. Bidding/Estimates – Obtain contractor pricing for construction
  7. Construction Administration – Oversee and manage installation process
  8. Furnishings Procurement – Purchase and install furnishings and d茅cor
  9. Installation Completion – Final walkthrough and handover to client
  10. Project Closeout – Final documentation, payments, contractor evaluations

The initial design presentation usually occurs after schematic design and design development, allowing the designer to present a comprehensive concept showing the spatial layout, materials, and vision for the project. This presentation is crucial for aligning with the client before moving into construction documentation and implementation. It is a pivotal milestone in the design process timeline.

The tradition of the design presentation

80% of interior designers are not makers but thinkers with a maker’s way of thinking, and only 25% of all designs have mastered their design presentations.

If a great design idea is not presented in the best light to the client, often this leads to a break-up in the relationship between a designer and client.

The presentation is the crossroad that can earn high profits and fame or break the project and it all starts with the interior design process.

Traditionally, young designers are taught in schools and colleges to create design boards composed of 2D drawings, sketches, fabric swatches, little materials samples, and inspirational references.

The interior design process is also briefly taught in the design school but often, implementing it requires much more experience and knowledge.

Although this is an excellent tactile way for clients to “experience” the project, if you ask, most designers will tell you that their clients always have hundreds of questions after such presentations.

One may experience the fabric and compare references, but it will have difficulty linking the 2D diagrams and plans with watercolor sketches. All of this creates more work for the designers to explain every element with cutout images or other ways.

The design process of presentation

The design process is the pillar of each project. If a project does not have a well-organized design process, often called “programming,” or “Pre-design planning” the risk of failure and mistakes is high, which will always lead to breaks in relations with clients, loss of profit for the designs, and increased budgets for the client.

Pre-design planning (also Programming) represents a detailed analysis of the client鈥檚 needs, requirements, and budget. Everything is put against any architectural or site constraints.

Newbie designers overlook the importance of having even simple programming in place. This shows the clients each step of the project and establishes the designer’s credibility and communication skills.

Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation are the three main stages of an interior project.

Analysis – it includes phases of defining and translating the project’s problem.

Synthesis– all potential problems and requests are formulated with one or multiple solutions (for discussion with a client)

Evaluation – often has a few rounds of critical reviews, comparison of pros and cons of each solution.

The importance of the pre-design planning phase is so high that the process can be compared to a business justification and options appraisals, all leading later to better-optimized budgets for the client and increased profits for the designers.

Picture of George Nicola
George Nicola

Each of the above phases has multiple stages, and they may have different names for each designer, but in general, they lead to the same outcome – solving the problem. Design teams of 5+ teams often have dedicated programmers in charge of the management and communication. Since every project and company are different, programming varies on the type – the size of the project and the amount of useful information presented by the client.

More on this you can read our article How to develop an Interior Design team?”

Below I will try to explain the most common types of interior design presentation tools and grade them with scores for complexity and effectiveness.

Interior bubble diagrams

Complexity: 4 / 10
Effective: 6 / 10

interior-bubble-diagram

Think of bubble diagrams as a way of early schematic brainstorming. These diagrams can quickly generate multiple concepts. Each bubble has a rough scale according to the space’s proportion, representing its location and adjoining spaces.聽

Based on an approved diagram, the concept is further developed into a floor plan, hand sketch, or 3D drawing.

This technique is used by architects, designers, engineers, marketers, developers, and many more professionals where problem-solving is required.

Interior design hand sketches

Complexity: 8 / 10
Effective: 4 / 10

interior hand sketch presentations

Hand sketched presentations are the oldest and most widely used tool for presenting three-dimensional interior schemes.

Considered almost an art, they require a lot of time, skills, and techniques to be brought up to a level that design clients can understand and read.聽

Being able to sketch an interior to such a degree shows your clients you know what you are doing and impress them.聽

Unfortunately, the downside to this design presentation is that only a tiny percent of clients can understand the details of their future homes in-depth.

Thus interior designers who rely solely on hand sketches need to bring additional tools to support and convey their ideas.

Here we’ve explained in-depth the most common types of Interior design hand sketching techniques.

Hand drawn floor plans

Complexity: 7 / 10
Effective: 5 / 10

hand-sketched-floor-plan

Floor plans, also known as (horizontal building sections) are drawings depicting the building or room layout as if looking through the ceiling with a horizontal cut approximately at half the wall height.

Floor plans are drawn to scale, which may vary according to project conditions.

Larger-scale plans are used to show the general layout without specific details, and smaller-scale interior floor plans are used for highly detailed presentations.聽

Hand-drawn floor plans are not common today as it takes a long time and effort to produce, which may have to be amended after each client meeting.
NDA Uk has produced valuable insight into sketching the initial concept here.

CAD floor plans

Complexity: 7 / 10
Effective: 6 / 10

interior design presentation

CAD floor plans are the modern version of the sketched-by-hand plans, which present a much more refined process, quicker to amend details identified by clients.

In addition, CAD plans benefit from having to vary a variety of graphic annotations for each element and attribute.聽

These orthographic drawings are abstractions of the idea with a specific goal – illustrating and delineating items are walls, windows, boundaries between spaces, and other new or old elements of the project.聽

The most significant positive side of CAD plans is flexibility.

axonometric-interior-drawings

Interior Axonometric drawings

Complexity: 7 / 10
Effective: 7 / 10

A large percentage of interior clients have difficulty understanding everything if presented independently without supporting materials, which leads to designers producing early in the project additional support drawings as axonometric drawings

Axonometric drawings can be hand sketched or CAD models; either has its own pros and cons

interior-elevation-plan

Interior section drawings

Complexity: 5 / 10
Effective: 6 / 10

Section drawings are vertical planes slicing the volumes of the spaces that form a projected image of the elements of the interiors.

Their main goal is to identify and refine interior details around walls, doors, and window fixtures. It is important to note that there are multiple internal sections and elevations stages as a project progresses.

Interior model study

Complexity: 6.3 / 10
Effective: 8.3 / 10

interior model study

Interior model studies can be done in 3D software or traditional paper and styrofoam miniature. Primarily used by architects to explore the shape and principal components of buildings, interior designers have adopted the tool for the use of internal exploration.聽
Interior studies are part of the concept design phase when the foundation of the concept is laid.聽
This tool is also known as 3D floor plans in the real estate sector.

Traditional interior design board

Complexity: 3 / 10
Effective: 6 / 10

interior-design-board

Design boards (often material presentations) are always put together for the client to understand the overall color-material palette of the project. Meetings often are conducted in-house. This part of the project presentation is important as it covers the colors overall and often may have specific references to ready-to-buy furniture or lighting.聽
Often such design boards are accompanied by floor plans, hand sketches, or sections.

Digital Interior design board

Complexity: 2 / 10
Effective: 5 / 10

digital-interior-mood-board

Digital design boards are a thing today since it’s much easier to compile and send to the client via e-mail for review. This virtual brother of the traditional design board is used mainly during the preliminary discussions and concept direction. Digital design presentations should be part of the process and work along the actual design board at the end.

Interior 3D drawing

Complexity: 6.2 / 10
Effective: 8 / 10

Interior-3D-drawings

SketchUp is easy to use and affordable modeling program used by more than 80 million people worldwide. Being the most straightforward and intuitive for building 3D models of interior spaces and not only.

SketchUp models can be exported into 3rd party rendering software since the software does not have an integrated photorealistic renderer.

Many Interior Designers use hand drawings and SketchUp models to help their clients envision the project. Hand-drawn projects often are used for preliminary client meetings for quick hatches and depiction of ideas, while SketchUp is used to refine everything in a highly-accurate Interior 3D drawing.聽

Since SketchUp is only a modeling software, it does not have an integrated rendering module.

Often designers export rough models and overlay them with digital watercolors or another method of digital painting to make them more appealing and artistic.

Interior 3D rendering

Complexity: 9 / 10
Effective: 9 / 10

interior-3d-rendering

Think of Interior 3D renderings as the extension of the Interior 3D drawing tool, the cherry on top of the cake for your interior project.

Interior 3D renderings are the highly refined photoreal product of 3D drawings and models. 3D renderings are images with depicted natural light, colors, shapes, and textures of the interior space in all of its beauty.聽

This is the most effective tool in a designer’s toolbox. Most savvy designers use 3D renderings combined with the other mechanisms explained above to have maximum impact on their presentation.


This article has the “Most common 3D rendering questions a designer asks

Why interior presentation is important?

Thoughtful presentations throughout the design process lead to better outcomes and often save time, costs, and headaches down the road. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Reasons why interior design presentations are important, especially for firms looking to save time and resources:

  • Aligns vision – Ensures designer and client are on the same page about design goals and concept direction before moving forward.
  • Provides feedback – Allows client to give input on layouts, selections so changes can be made early.
  • Validates concepts – Gives the client opportunities to react to and validate the design concepts.
  • Manages expectations – Clearly conveys what is technically achievable within budget and site constraints.
  • Sells ideas – Enables designer to persuade client towards bolder/progressive design choices.
  • Refines details – Opportunity to tweak finishes, furnishings based on client comments.
  • Establishes scope – Solidifies what is included before construction documents commence.
  • Saves rework – Avoids wasted time from major redesigned if issues are caught earlier.
  • Tracks approvals – Provides documentation of client approvals at key project milestones.
  • Manages budget – Ensures costs are aligned with client goals at various stages.
  • Builds confidence – Reinforces the designer’s expertise and vision.

Starting an Interior Design Presentation

When presenting interior presentation the goal is to make the client feel comfortable, involved, and excited to see the design come to life. A thoughtful introduction and presentation style sets the stage for an engaging, productive meeting.

  • Welcome the client – Greet them, offer water/coffee, make introductions.
  • Give an overview – Explain the presentation purpose, flow, and estimated length.
  • Show appreciation – Thank the client for the opportunity and input so far.
  • Set expectations – Note that it’s a collaborative process open to feedback.
  • Establish the vision – Summarize the design goals and client wishes.
  • Start with inspirations – Use engaging visuals to introduce design concepts.
  • Present confidently – Be knowledgeable yet conversational.
  • Watch body language – Make eye contact, don’t turn your back.
  • Invite participation – Ask for initial reactions, input as you go.
  • Clarify as needed – Answer questions clearly without jargon.
  • Read the room – Assess reactions; adjust pace/approach accordingly.
  • Have a conversation – Make it an open dialogue, not a one-way lecture.
  • Set a positive tone – Balance professionalism with warmth.

how to present an interior design concept

The presentation should provide an engaging, sensory introduction to the design narrative. Ensure the client connects with the concept on an emotional level.

Here are some tips for presenting an interior design concept:

  • Create a mood board – Collage images, materials, colors that represent the design intent. Help tell the visual story.
  • Develop inspirational sketches – Hand drawings to quickly convey spatial ideas and stylistic details.
  • Use concept models – Simple massing models showing forms, spatial connections.
  • Prepare initial floorplans – Hand drawn or digital plans to indicate layout and functionality.
  • Show materials and finishes – Present physical or digital samples of proposed materials.
  • Use inspirational descriptors – Compose a narrative to explain the concept’s origins and goals.
  • Include spatial vignettes – Model or digitally render key spaces to visualize the concept.
  • Develop title and style boards – Display the project name, client, date, and design aesthetics.
  • Present in layers – Break down complex designs into digestible parts and pieces.
  • Tell a story – Take the client on a journey through the eyes of the end user.
  • Seek feedback – Have an open dialogue to understand responses and make refinements.
  • Be passionate – Enthusiasm for the concept is contagious.

who is involved in creating the design presentation

For solo and small teams often the involved in presentation are lead or project designer and graphics team. While in larger firms more peopel are involved in putting up the design presentation.

There are usually several key team members involved in creating an interior design presentation:

  • Lead Designer – The primary interior designer responsible for the project oversees the presentation creation. They ensure it aligns with the design concept and client needs.
  • Project Designers – Any other designers working collaboratively on the project help develop presentation content.
  • Graphics Team – Graphic designers, CAD technicians, render artists create the drawings, boards, models, etc.
  • Support Staff – Administrative staff may assist with scheduling, printing, assembling materials.
  • Construction Team – Contractors and tradespeople may provide estimates, feedback on constructability.
  • Specialty Consultants – Lighting, acoustics, AV consultants help develop technical details.
  • Photographers – For projects involving site photos, lifestyle images.
  • Copywriters – Can assist with composing the narrative content.
  • Principals/Partners – Senior leadership may review the presentation and provide guidance.
  • Client – The client is the most important collaborator, providing feedback throughout the process.

The combination of the design, technical, and creative team allows for all aspects of the presentation to come together in a cohesive, impactful way. It’s a team effort!

Are FF&E part of the presentation?

Yes, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) are an important part of most interior design presentations.

Here are some of the key ways FF&E may be incorporated:

  • Furniture Floor Plans – Scale drawings showing proposed furniture layouts and arrangements.
  • Furniture Elevations – Scaled drawings with dimensions and details of specific furniture pieces.
  • Furniture Spec Sheets – Manufacturers’ spec sheets for priced furniture items.
  • Furniture Renderings – Digitally rendered perspective images showing furnishings in context.
  • Furniture Samples – Photos, fabric swatches, paint colors for custom pieces.
  • Furnishings Plan – A detailed list of all specified furniture, fabrics, and finishes.
  • Furniture Inspiration – Mood boards with furniture images representative of the style.
  • Furniture Models – Physical scale models or digital models of key furniture forms.
  • Furniture Vignettes – Styled arrangements of furniture, accessories, and finishes.
  • Pricing Summaries – Spreadsheets listing furniture costs, vendors, and lead times.

Showcasing the proposed FF&E allows clients to better visualize the complete design concept and understand how furnishings complement the architecture and finishes. Specifying detailed FF&E is an integral part of the design process and presentation.

What designers need to show presentation on site?

The goal is to bring anything needed to clearly explain the details and vision of the design in the context of the actual space.

It’s important for designers to have a capable laptop or tablet when presenting on site. This allows them to access and display digital presentation materials, 3D files, and other electronic design documents.

A powerful, portable device also enables designers to make edits or adjustments to the presentation on the fly in response to client feedback during the meeting.

The ability to pull up designs, add notes, make changes, and project plans in the space itself helps facilitate an interactive, productive on-site presentation.

With the right mobile technology, designers can make the most of the opportunity to share and discuss designs in person.

Allowing clients to review the presentation on site makes it as relevant and tangible as possible.

Here are some key things designers need to bring and show during an on-site presentation with a client:

  • Presentation boards – Physical boards displaying materials, plans, concepts, etc.
  • Digital presentation – Laptop, tablet, or slides to present digital materials.
  • Fabric swatches – Cuttings of specified upholstery and drapery fabrics.
  • Finish samples – Wood, tile, stone, wall covering samples, paint color chips.
  • Furnishings plan – A detailed FF&E schedule and product specs.
  • Floor plans – Scaled drawings of the space layout and furniture arrangements.
  • Lighting plans – Technical lighting specifications and layouts.
  • Finish plans – Drawings or schedules showing all finishes.
  • Plumbing/Electrical plans – If applicable, show rough-in locations.
  • Architectural details – Drawings of millwork, ceilings, built-ins, etc.
  • Perspective sketches – Hand-drawn 3D perspectives of the space.
  • Color renderings – Digitally rendered views of the proposed design.
  • Models – Physical scale models, potentially with materials/finishes.
  • Photography – Before photos, site photos, comparative photos.
  • Specification book – Detailed specifications for all products.

Do designers do free presentations?

Most professional interior designers do not provide full design presentations for free.

However, there are a few scenarios where a designer may provide some initial ideas without charge:

  • Initial Consultation – Many designers offer free initial consultations to discuss the project scope and determine if they are a good fit for the client.
  • Concept Sketches – Some designers may provide a few rough concept sketches at no cost to give a sense of their design approach.
  • Sample Boards – Small sample boards with a couple finish options are sometimes provided as part of an initial meeting.
  • Portfolio – Designers will freely show their work portfolio during meetings.
  • Proposal – When bidding on a project, a presentation or proposal may be offered.
  • Existing Relationship – Designers working with past clients may start new projects with some pro bono work.

However, developing a full presentation with multiple detailed boards, drawings, specifications, etc takes a significant investment of the designer’s time and resources.聽

Most interior design firms will charge for the full presentation, typically billing hourly or as a percent of the overall project fee.

While free consultations are common, clients should expect that a comprehensive interior design presentation will have associated costs and fees in line with the scope of work involved.