How Long Does It Take to Design & Renovate?

In the world of Amazon Prime and next-day deliveries, we’ve started to forget that often, we can’t have what we want tomorrow. I am as guilty as anyone in this thought process!! In a post pandemic world, we’ve really had to grasp long lead times, and our patience has been tested.

We’ve learned that supply chains are complex processes (that can slow down sometimes), and service providers are real people with limits on their time & productivity. As hard as it has been to adjust, I think we’ve all learned a bit more about the importance of patience!

Whenever I hop on a welcome call with a client, one of the first questions I’m asked is “how long will it take?” (Followed quickly by the desire to start tomorrow. 🙂 Ah…I get it!! You’re ready!!) Our answer to this timeline question can sometimes come as a surprise. Especially as we explain how far out we’re booked out for starting new projects.

While no two design firms are alike, and the pipeline and creative process/timeline can vary, we’re living in a season of high demand. Good Designers are in high demand, and with the current constraints on both the delivery of goods, and the availability of quality skilled labor, both Furnishing and Renovation projects have long lead times, too.

interior design concept timeline for renovation computer measurements lamp

Once you get on a Designer’s calendar, and have waited for your project start date (which can often be a couple of months), it’s best to think of your project as running in phases. For us, it looks like this:

  • Phase One: Conceptual. This is when we create the actual design — more on why this is the right place to start here)
  • Phase Two: Build & Expedite. When you are renovating or waiting for your goods to arrive.
  • Phase Three: Installation & Completion

Let’s talk about each of these…

Phase One: Conceptual Design

You’ve waited patiently to finally kick-off your project with us, and now we’re diving into design. During this phase, we’re actively working to pull together your dream space. There are materials to select, furniture to specify, floor plans to draw, samples to order, and all of this can take 4-8 weeks from start to finish. Once in your hands, it’s time for approvals & revisions–and the quicker these go, the faster you’re ready to move on to the next phase!

design concept tile samples measurements floor plan

Phase Two: Build & Expedite

Renovation takes time. Getting Furnishings takes time. Often, lots of time. Most good contractors are not available tomorrow, so it’s best to expect a bit of a lead time on construction, which will also give you time to order (and wait for!) materials or appliances for your project.

Furnishings are currently in such high demand that we’re seeing unprecedented lead times. Up to 20 weeks (sometimes longer) for some custom upholstery and case goods.

Overall, this phase can easily take 5-8 months (or more), depending on the scope of the project.

interior designer project management overseeing build documents

Phase Three: Completion

Ah! The goods are here, the renovation is complete, and you can finally add all the bits and bobs that bring the space to life! This final phase can be quick, if you can book a handyman & everything has arrived. It’s just a matter of coordination.

So let’s do the math:

Waiting to get on a Designer’s calendar: 3-6 months

Phase 1: Conceptual Design: 2 months

Phase 2: Build & Expedite: 5-8 months, depending on project size

Phase 3: Completion: 1 month

Grand Total: 1-2 years

That’s right. I hate to break the news…but HGTV has been misleading you! This simply does not happen overnight! Right now, we are setting our clients’ expectations in a fair & honest way, making sure you know that from first call to completion, it could be up to a year, or more.

So now I am curious… Does this surprise you? If you’re still tempted to try to rush to the finish line, read this first!


Styleberry Creative Interiors specializes in fresh, relaxed design crafted in a meaningful way. With a team and process you can trust, we’ll help you create soul-soothing spaces that inspire you to unwind, connect, and finally… exhale.

Styleberry Creative Interiors is based in downtown San Antonio, Texas. We serve clients in the Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, greater San Antonio Metropolitan area and Nationwide with Full Service and Virtual Design.

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