For several months running, I have been talking about “What to Expect” in the design process, referencing the “go-to” pregnancy book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which has over the years gotten many nervous moms, including me, through what felt like uncharted territory.

Which is a great analogy to remember at this point in the process. Because babies are born, rooms are designed, all the time. And despite that fact, anxieties arise, and it helps to be informed or reminded about the stages and signposts you may encounter on your journey to your new home design.

Interior Design Master Bedroom Skyline Drive Oakland, by LMB Interiors

Last month, I talked about the third stage of the design process, The Waiting (Quotes, Proposals, Orders, Deliveries), which is the slow phase, although maybe also sweet, depending on how much pleasure you take in anticipation. (To review that article online, go to

This month, we address Phase 4: The Rush (Installation, The Reveal)

This is it! The grand finale — the moment we are always waiting for, that we fast-forward through design-shows on our DVRs to get to (what, you don’t do that?)…

This phase is all about installation day. And as much as we might think we know what that entails, here are a few things that clients are sometimes surprised to learn:

Expect that clearing your space for install day may take some advance planning. Do you have outgoing furniture that you would like to have donated or handed-down? Maybe your niece just moved to her first apartment? — let us know, so we can refer you to movers and haulers, or we can suggest charitable organizations open to receiving your donations.

Out with the old, in with the new, means deep cleaning, too! We recommend hiring a cleaning service to detail clean your space(s) before we come in with all of your beautiful new things.

Sideboard with objects, interior design by LMB Interiors

Expect to clear yourself out, too.

It’s understandable, after such a long wait, you might want to be there to greet your new furniture.

And, this is ultimately what you’ve hired us for, the big reveal. You get to come home to a beautifully put-together house. We designers love the power of transformation. To that end, when we can, we collect all of your new items in storage, and bring them all to your house (with the help of movers) to install in a single day.

Thus, when we are ready to bring all of the elements together, in your space, consider taking a spa day.

There’s another reason why we like you to be gone while we do this work.

Receiving and moving furniture, placing delicate fixtures, hanging art, all of this is highly detailed work. If you are looking over our shoulders, and the shoulders of our vendors while we do it, it actually hinders our ability to problem solve if something does go awry. If you are not there, we can use all of our energy and resources to handle the situation, and have it right for you by the time you get home.

Expect to feel all the feels. You might have a wide range of emotional responses, from utter joy, to the possibility that you may be uncomfortable — initially.

Many of our clients are simply excited and thrilled by change, however if you are the sort of person who has trouble getting used to alterations to your environment, there’s a chance you might need time to adapt to what we’ve created. We suggest, before you decide how you feel, give the new design 21 days.

The brain settles in that time, lets go of the idea of what used to be there, and opens up to the newness. The old is comfortable, comforting. But if you wanted to stay in that place, you wouldn’t have hired a designer. In the end, we designers are creating beauty and magic, just for you.

Interior design by Laura Martin Bovard and LMB Interiors

We want you to be happy, in a space that inspires and supports you to live your best life — a space that invites you to “come home to your Self!”

A version of this article originally appeared in the Piedmont Post

Related articles in this series:

The Interior Design Process, Part 1

The Interior Design Process, Part 2

The Interior Design Process, Part 3

How to Determine If Being the Client of a Designer Is Right for You

The Iron Triangle Theory

Letting Go of Perfectionism

Finishing Touches: Important Moments of Beauty and Grace