Interior designers often receive inquiries as to how they determine where to begin the process of designing a project. I always relate it to the process of building a home. You can't begin unless you have a good foundation. In the case of a room, that foundation is in the space allocation and planning.
Take a look at the library plan, above. It is in a home, I am designing, which happens to be currently under construction. Without having the benefit of laying out the room, based on the client's functional needs, I wouldn't have been able to properly plan for electrical outlets, hanging light fixtures, area rug sizes, and furniture scale. While the blueprints were being addressed, I worked with the client, the architect and the builder, to be certain the space would meet long term needs. It's also always easier to go back to the drawing board, before the footings are poured!
This concept also applies to an existing home. If the client is thinking of upfitting or remodeling a space, we can determine if a remodel is really necessary or if it's just due to a bad room plan. We can work through many issues of balance and use the space plan for color design. If there is a need to "tweak" the space, we can see what the challenges are and offer suggestions to be presented to the contractor.
Allowing your interior designer the proper time to gather all of the information, at the first or second home visit, is a good investment. It will save time and mistakes,on the back end of the project, and you will be more pleased with the results. It's all in the details!