Writing an Interior Design Concept Statement

by Fraser Sherman - Updated September 26, 2017
Man and woman shaking hands at desk, mid section

An interior design concept statement is a project proposal. It spells out what you're going to do and how you're going to do it. You don't have to detail every step of your ideas in a statement. The statement's purpose is to convince a client you're right for the job; if she agrees, the details can follow. A concept design statement can be just a couple of sentences, like an elevator pitch, or a couple of paragraphs.

Define the Goal

For some interior design jobs, your goal is simple. The client has a vision such as a more up-to-date family room or a more functional office. Your statement has to show how you'll make the vision real. A different client, however, may be dissatisfied with her status quo but can't say what's wrong with it. Your statement has to offer a design concept even if you don't have clear directions on what the client wants.

Intention and Strategy

Suppose your client wants her breakfast nook to feel more appealing. That gives you a clear goal, but there are many designs that might accomplish that. Your design statement has to show how you'll reach her goal better than the competition. It should express your design intentions and your strategy for making them real. For example, your intention might be to make the room feel like the heart of the house; your strategy might include replacing the current furniture with warm, comfortable wooden chairs.

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Your Own Thoughts

A good concept statement expresses your thoughts. It doesn't just repeat what the client tells you she wants, or talk in generalities or obvious statements. "People will love to eat in the breakfast nook" doesn't tell the client much. A good statement provides enough detail for the client to understand your intentions and strategy. "The breakfast nook will delight everyone because of the warm, inviting furniture under the morning sun streaming through the skylight," for instance, gives the client some solid details to think about.

Perfecting the Statement

The design concept statement isn't just to sharpen your ideas. It's also supposed to sell the client on your ideas. There are several approaches you can take. You can describe the most eye-catching single feature, or discuss the mood or emotional reaction your concept will invoke. A simple statement about how you'll fix the problem may be enough, as long as you're not just parroting the client's words back at him. Work on your statement until it conveys as much as possible about your idea in as few words as possible.

About the Author

A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.

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