Understanding “Scope” & Why it’s Important for your next design project

A white farmhouse style kitchen with grey washed wood tones and stainless steel appliances.

You’ve envisioned the fresh, breezy interior that makes your soul giddy first thing in the morning + full of contentment at the end of the day. Maybe you’ve even imagined the details all the way down to that breathtaking built-in or stone fireplace.

But what’s our first step to making that dream come to life before your eyes?

I know, the title gave it away… it’s defining scope! But first, what the heck is scope anyway?

What is your project’s scope?

Okay, I'm going to go all Webster on you for a second here... by definition, scope is “the extent of the area or subject matter that is being addressed.”

In this case, the subject matter is your home, and the extent that's addressed includes all the big, small + wildly awesome things getting the special treatment in your remodel… so it’s no surprise that it’s so important!

A gray washed office desk and chair with white linen drapery and hardwood floors.

How does scope affect your project’s budget?

Scope doesn’t just tell us as your interior designer where to spend our efforts + TLC… it also affects your budget!

Spoiler Alert — I'll be talking about design budgets in a blog post next month — but until then, let's just say the two are peas in a pod. You can't have one without the other!

Now, you might be thinking — But Sherri, I know exactly how much I'd like to invest in my home! — and I love your forward thinking, sister.

But a magic number doesn’t make a budget. A design budget is a strategic approach to getting the most value in your home with your investment.

It helps us grant you more wishes than a genie. ;)

How does scope affect your project’s timeline?

Timeline is another aspect of your design project that’s usually determined by the scope of work. Once we know everything you want to accomplish, working with our contractors to coordinate your remodel project we’ll create the most realistic + efficient timeline for you.

However, if you already have a timeline you need to meet, we'll do our best to achieve your desired scope within that frame. Buuuuutttt, and this is a big but, remember when I shared the differences between design IRL + what you see on TV?

It's possible that if your timeline is too short, your desired scope simply isn't possible. Of course, this is something we'll talk about during our phone pow-wow, again during our on-site design consultation + last but not least, we’ll also discuss it during our trades day when we meet with contractors at your home.

Trust me boo, we got you! You'll know well in advance what's doable!

A purple linen queen bed tucked with white sheets and linen drapery in a Bellevue, Washington condominium.

What is "Scope Creep?"

If you've been around the world of design + renovations (or binge HGTV on the reg), you've probably heard the term "scope creep."

Sounds a little icky, am I right?

Not so, chika! Scope creep is simply a term given to a project that grows after it's started.

For example, maybe we're zen-ifying your bedroom design when you realize you want an entryway that makes your heart go pitter-patter when you walk through the front door.

Now we've added a phase to your project + it will alter your budget as well as your timeline.

Voila! That's scope creep.

More exciting than anything, if you ask me. Interior designers should probably rename this phenomenon… any suggestions? ;)

How Do We Determine Your Project's Scope?

By now, you know how important scope is to your whole design project... so how do you determine what your design entails?

First, know that you won't be alone, my friend — we'll hold your hand every step of the way + skip around your house together to talk about it.

Before we do that, your only homework — who doesn’t love homework?! — will be to understand HOW you'll be using the space…

Is your living room going to be the hot spot for after-work Netflix + snuggles?

Will you be cooking your little heart out + entertaining in the kitchen on weekends? You get the big, beautiful picture. ;)

As long as you know what you want, we can help you get there! Read more on our process here.

A white mug and round plate sitting on a queen size bed with lots of bedding.

And there ya have it — if you’ve stuck with me until here, high five, sister!

But in all seriousness, determining scope is truly the first step toward achieving the design you want in your home… and the deliciously fulfilling, soul-happy life that goes with it.

For more savvy + first dibs on all our finds, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter below. See you next week!

— Sherri




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