The question of whether who pays for the interior design materials has been stumping clients and interior designers alike. To answer this and finally help shed a light on this question, first we must understand how the design process works.
First is the preliminary design phase. This is where the designer and client meet for the first time. This is also where initial interior design plans are first laid out by the designer or the client. Depending on how this preliminary phase went, the designer-client meeting may move on to specific design specifications by the client. And if this goes well, then the designer and the client can now move to the next phase. The second phase is the budget phase; this is where the designer-client agrees on the project price with the designer bidding an offer price that would include building and design materials and the client agreeing or rejecting the designer’s project budget proposal. Once they have arrived at an agreed-upon price for the budget, they can now discuss on whether who will buy the said materials.
The answer on who will buy the interior design items may be brought up in the designer-client meetings leading into the budget phase. But if they haven’t already, it will depend on the project the designer is working on. If it is a renovation project where most of the stuff that will go into the design is already owned by the client hence, he or she would naturally want himself or herself to buy the materials since he or she knows what materials his or her existing stuff are made of. But if the design project is a new design project, designers usually submit a proposal (different proposal from the budget proposal) on the design materials, and the client either accepting or rejecting the proposal. Once agreed upon the designer can then proceed on buying the materials with the expenses of course shouldered by the design project budget.
It can also depend on what type of design project the designer is currently working on. If it is a private residential design project, the client/owner usually wants to have his or her say in the design materials that will go into their house. But if the project is for commercial or public space the design material decisions are solely the designer’s responsibility as long as all is within the agreed-upon and prescribed budget for the design project.
So, the answer to the question of does the designer or client buys the interior design materials rests on a lot of factors and is not always one thing or another.