Understanding the Interior Merchandising Process

Successful interior merchandising is not just selecting art and accessories. It’s about highlighting great architectural elements that emphasize livability. In fact, interior merchandising is a vital factor in marketing a property that will standout from the competition. Simply put: good interior merchandising evokes a positive feeling and helps properties sell.

But how does it work? How can you, as a builder, work with an interior merchandiser to create a show-stopping, standout product? The first step is in understanding the process. To help explain, we’ve highlighted the steps in the interior merchandising process. Note that this process is specific to Lita Dirks & Co. and that other design firms may operate differently.

Step 1: Research

The first step is research. During this stage, the design firm will gather as much information as possible. Research on the client’s target market, location, goals, budget, etc. The team should understand the vision and goals of the project as best it can.

Step 2: Brainstorm

Next, brainstorm. Based on the research gathered in step one, the design team will develop a multitude of style and color directions that meet the client’s objectives, budget, and target buyers. After several iterations, the design team will determine the best design direction and finalize design concepts to present to the client.

Step 3: Presentation

Ideally, presentations take place in person. However, regardless of location, this is where the cohesive merchandising design plan is shared, including style, fabrics, and furnishings. An overall design direction is shared.

Step 4: Collaborate

Together, with the client, the design team will develop final design and spec selections. This includes paint colors, flooring, cabinetry, etc. Collaboration is key to a successful project.

Step 5: Finalize & Purchase

Once all the final selections are made, the merchandiser will place the orders. This includes furniture, art, and the like. Purchasing agents coordinate with vendors, warehouses, and movers.

Step 6: Installation

With designers on the ground, they will oversee all aspects of the installation. From unloading furniture to the hanging of wall art, the design team will work to ensure a seamless transformation of the space.

Photo courtesy of Traditions of America, in Cranberry, Pa.

Step 7: Approval

Once the installation is complete, the design team will complete a walk-through of the space. Along with the client and their sales team, the team will make sure everything has been done to the client’s satisfaction. In addition, it is during this time that your merchandiser should provide the sales team tips on how to best show the merchandised product.

Step 8: Share

Finally, celebrate a job well-done! Share all professional photos, news mentions, and other marketing efforts on all social channels. For an interior merchandising firm, the clients’ successes are their successes.

Post courtesy of Sue Ridgeway, Director of Marketing at Lita Dirks & Co., an interior design and merchandising firm based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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