designer – PROJECTAZ

A Comprehensive Look At What an Interior Designer Does

Living and drinking room

Pulling a room together takes energy and talent. There are many decisions to be made about color, finishes, size, scale, focal points, and room layout. Not everyone is cut out to make such decisions, and it can be overwhelming.

Luckily, interior designers are trained to transform spaces by taking the guesswork out of home design. Interior designers can create the feeling in a space that the client is looking for but doesn’t know how to create on their own.

Let’s take a look at what interior designers do!

Living and drinking room

What is an Interior Designer? What Do They Do? 

An interior designer is an individual who specializes in creating aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces within a residence or commercial building. They are tasked with the creative task of developing practical, visually appealing solutions for any given space, such as bedrooms, offices, kitchens, living rooms, etc. 

Leveraging their expertise in color theory and composition and up-to-date knowledge of furniture design and architecture trends, they create innovative yet timeless designs that will stand the test of time.

Drawing upon years of experience working closely with clients – interior designers must have excellent communication skills and technical insight when it comes to providing cost-effective solutions tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. Skilled at translating abstract concepts into tangible results – interior designers bring imagination and creativity to every project while considering the budget provided by their clientele. 

The Different Roles and Responsibilities of an Interior Designer

Interior designers play a vital role in creating beautiful and functional living spaces. Their responsibilities range from understanding the customer’s needs to selecting materials, products, furnishings, paint colors, and fabric selections that create cohesive interior design elements. They are also expected to collaborate with architects and other construction professionals to ensure accuracy during the installation process.

Interior designers must be knowledgeable about craftsmanship processes and safety regulations related to building codes. Furthermore, they should possess excellent communication skills as they often need to liaise with different project stakeholders, such as clients, contractors, or vendors. Ultimately their goal is for each client’s vision of their space to come alive through thoughtful design choices that reflect personal style preferences while staying within budget guidelines.

The Tools and Resources Used by Interior Designers

A example of an interior designer office

Designers have access to a wealth of tools and resources to help them complete the job effectively.

From online design software to state-of-the-art 3D visualization systems, these resources provide unparalleled opportunities for creating stunning interiors without having to physically be in your home. For that reason, many designers like myself will take jobs all over the world.

With advanced photorealistic rendering capabilities, designers can visualize a space’s appearance before construction begins, ensuring that each project is perfectly tailored for its intended purpose.

Moreover, many design tools enable designers to quickly identify patterns among different elements and suggest optimal layouts, eliminating costly trial-and-error cycles during the creative process. By leveraging this powerful technology, interior design professionals can focus on honing their craft while ensuring every job meets the highest standards possible.

two blue sofas and a tv in a living room

How Can an Interior Designer Help Improve Your Space?

An interior designer will help to elevate your space and transform it into something extraordinary. Interior designers use their creative expertise to craft custom designs that bring out the best in a room or building while providing practical solutions for typical design dilemmas.

You’ll benefit by hiring a professional who specializes in understanding how individuals interact with spaces — who knows what materials work together, which color schemes are most aesthetically pleasing, and what furniture will be comfortable yet still provide optimal function. With an experienced eye for detail and a knack for making spaces look effortless yet polished, engaging an interior designer is often the perfect way to maximize style within constraints such as budget or time limits.

When working with an interior designer on a project, you’ll receive personalized recommendations explicitly tailored to your needs and tastes — giving you unique results that ensure every inch of your home looks intentional but not over-designed. As well as suggesting new furniture or artwork that may fit into existing styles better than expected, these experts can advise on other important elements, such as lighting placement, so all aspects of any given space feel balanced according to modern standards.

Investing in a good design not only makes a space more enjoyable, but also can increase your property value.

Interested in a Detailed Conversation?

Interior design is an art form dedicated to creating beautiful, aesthetically pleasing interiors – and the professionals who create this art are called interior designers.

From selecting furniture and fabrics to understanding the building codes governing your space, much goes into designing a room or space you love coming home to. 

If you’re looking for an experienced interior designer in New York City or beyond, who can transform your living spaces with tailored solutions catered specifically to your needs, contact PROJECT AZ today!

How to Align your Interior Preferences with your Designer’s Style

A Tailored living room, by Project AZ

Do you know how to align your interior preferences with your Designer’s style? Choosing the right designer is essential to ensuring that your home or property meets expectations after design. But with so many different styles, how can you be sure you’re choosing a designer whose style aligns with your own? Even if you can appreciate someone’s design work, there may be a better fit for your project.

But first, you need to determine if you are looking for something custom and personalized to you and your family or something out of the box and generic. If you need more clarification, check out our recent article explaining why bespoke design is typically a better investment!

This article will explore tips for defining your personal style, researching different designers, and asking the right questions to find the perfect match. So if you’re ready to learn how to choose the right designer, read on!

Defining Your Interior Preferences & Style

A woman analyzing a report

It can be challenging to know what your interior design preferences are in a home. There are so many different styles out there it can take time to decide which one will fit your personality and lifestyle best. However, if you want to live in a home that reflects who you are and how you use it daily, you need to start by defining your ideal aesthetic. You don’t have to worry about matching an exact style – instead, focus on creating a foundation that reflects who you are. Once you understand your style well, start looking for home interiors that match it.

The following are some popular terms to search for to get you started. We suggest using Pinterest for inspiration! 

  1. Farmhouse
  2. Scandinavian
  3. Bohemian
  4. Industrial
  5. Mid-century Modern

Several factors go into determining your style. For example, how do you spend your free time? What kind of foods do you like? What colors appeal to you? What is your personality type? Once you know these things about yourself, you’ll start to gravitate towards your ideal interior that you will appreciate the most for years to come.

After all, having a beautiful home should be something everyone can enjoy, especially the ones that occupy the most space!

Researching Different Interior Designers

Now that you have your preferences for design style in mind, this step becomes a lot easier! 

If you’re feeling lost in this process, don’t worry—there are two easy ways to begin. First, start with Google and search for interior designers in your area. Another excellent place to search is Houzz, a search engine specifically for the design industry, or 1stdibs. You should be able to customize filters to help narrow your search.

It is crucial to read reviews and closely examine their projects. There are many more considerations to hiring an interior designer besides their styles aligning with yours. 

Another way to find a designer that suits your needs is to ask your trusted inner circle. Friends and family, coworkers, and realtors may be able to deliver quality referrals and recommendations to consider along the way.

Lastly, you can scour design magazines where designers are quoted, such as Architectural Digest, where you can learn more about their methodologies and preferences to ensure they align with your needs.

Shameless plug: if you are a modern urban interior fan, check out our projects and reviews

Questions to Ask a Potential Designer

When looking for a designer for your home, it is essential to ask the right questions. Here are three questions you should always ask when evaluating a potential designer:

  1. What experience do they have with designing interiors like yours (apartment, house, condo)?
  2. What is their step-by-step process to design?
  3. How does the designer tackle projects of various sizes and budgets?


Ahmad, from Project AZ

Choosing the right designer for your project can be daunting but worthwhile. First, you will need to understand your style and do the proper research to make the selection process much more manageable. 

PROJECT AZ is a design firm that works all around the world. So, review our extensive portfolio to see if we align with your interior preferences. If so, we’d love to speak more about your needs to know if we would be a good fit for your interior design needs. 

While you are at it, we’d love to share our recent experience as one of the 24 designers selected to represent the Kips Bay ShowHouse in Dallas, Texas. This was such a fun project to be a part of!

What Is It Like Working With An Interior Designer?


Have you ever thought about hiring an interior designer but are unsure what the process would be like? In this article, we’ll take you through a standard working process with an interior designer, from the initial consultation to installation and finalizing the design.

So if you’re curious about what it’s like to work with an interior designer for your home or commercial space, read on!

Qualifying the Designer/Client Relationship with a Detailed Consultation

Although we live in a technological world with repeatable processes and automation, there are still some things that require in-depth human interaction. For example, when consulting with a designer about an interior design project, it is essential to have a detailed consultation process. This allows both parties to understand each other’s concerns and ensure proper expectations are set.

A good interior design consultation begins with clear communication between all involved parties. For example, when hiring someone to redesign a space, you should be able to explain the wants and needs precisely so that the designer clearly understands expectations. This is one of the most critical phases of the design process as it qualifies the client for the designer and vice versa, making it easy to go in different directions if the relationship isn’t suitable.

Main reasons why a designer and client relationship may not be a good fit:

  • aesthetic compatibility
  • timeline
  • budget

Additionally, consultations should include detailed notes so both parties can review the discussion later if/when necessary. 

Defining Functionality of the Space

A High Level Kitchen

Understanding the functionality and how occupants use each area is vital when redesigning a space. This includes determining necessary tasks in each room to make the space more functional. 

Functional spaces can be created in every room, from living rooms to kitchens and closets. By determining which areas are necessary for proper function, property owners can save time and money on renovations and be happier with the outcome. For example, suppose your family spends time hosting a game night every week. In that case, a designer should be aware of this to help implement a solution that easily accommodates those activities.  

Defining Budget

Budgeting for design and construction projects can be complex, but it’s essential for success. A well-planned budget will keep costs under control and ensure that the project meets deadlines and expectations. Before starting any project, determine the budget in mind so a designer can put together a scope of work that reflects your means.

A designer needs to consider all costs when creating a budget. Some expenses are straightforward (like materials and labor), while others are more complicated (like contingencies or permitting fees). 

During the proposal phase, property owners should provide accurate budgets so the designer can directly coordinate with contractors. At this time, the designer may realize you have an excess budget to which you could add some custom requests or a meager budget that needs details cut from the scope to make the project work. This way, both parties can avoid expensive misunderstandings down the road.

Creating Floor Plans

Creating floor plans is an essential step of any design project. Floor plans help property owners and designers understand the layout and dimensions of a building before the interior design installation begins. Floor plans also help ensure that construction proceeds correctly and that the furnishing is chosen to meet room specifications.

Depending on the project type being undertaken, there are several different methods for creating floor plans. Some standard techniques include drawing sketches or using CAD software programs to create 3D images of buildings. 

Using 3D modeling software like Maya or Autodesk Revit, teams can create accurate renderings of their projects that show off every detail down to the last millimeter. Contractors then use this information during negotiations for better pricing and help homeowners stay informed throughout all stages of the design process.

Presenting Samples and Finishes

A comfy and stylish bedroom

One of the most important aspects of any home are the finishes chosen. Not only do they add value to the property, but they also play a crucial role in how it looks and feels. Designers can help property owners decide upon a selection of finishes that complement the space and fit within budgets.

Finishes can include the following:

Finishes create symmetry and consistency within the entire space. When a designer presents options to homeowners, they have in mind your style and preferences. Therefore, they will choose options that will fit the needs of the overall space. 

Installation and Finalizing the Design

Finalizing the design with  a frame

Finalizing the design of a property can be daunting. Whether you’re an experienced homeowner or just starting, there are plenty of details to consider. From figuring out the layout to finalizing furniture and decoration ideas, finalizing the design of your property can be a complicated process. But with the help of technology, it’s now easier than ever to get everything right.

Once you’ve finalized your design concept, it’s time for construction crews to start putting it all together. The designer should be able to estimate timelines for installation during the proposal phase.

Be prepared to have rooms inaccessible during this phase or even a place to stay during renovations if the project is complex enough. 

Next Steps: Hire a Designer and Get Started!

As you can tell from the detailed process above, working with an interior designer is a powerful and cost-effective way to achieve the desired outcome for your property. By consulting with a professional, you’ll be able to define the functionality of the space, create budget-friendly floor plans, and present samples that will showcase the finished design. 

If you are still trying to decide if you are ready to hire a designer, check out the 5 reasons why you should hire an interior designer.

About Our Design Firm:

PROJECT AZ is a design firm that works with clientele worldwide. Led by designer Ahmad AbouZanat, the company’s home base is out of Manhattan. Many of his projects boast city views and beautiful modern interiors. Recently, Ahmad was recognized in the “Visionaries” feature by Christie’s Luxury Real Estate Magazine.

Contact PROJECT AZ today to get a consultation on the books or submit a project request if you are clear on your details!

When is the Best Time to Hire an Interior Designer?

Downtown Project, Tribeca

Transforming your home begins with a vision and understanding timing. Once you have an idea whether you need an updated interior on a faster or slower timeline, you can define the scope and larger ideas for your space. So when is the best time to hire an interior designer, and how are they best suited to help you transform your space? In the following guide, we explore this central question for interior design and renovation projects.

Determine which project phase you’re in

The services an interior designer is able to provide are tied to which phase of a project you’re in. Are you getting ready to gut an old space and renovate? Bringing in a designer before the start of a major renovation can provide valuable insight into elements that might influence the renovation process. For example, if you are determined to have a certain type of lighting, an interior designer can help you map the lighting layout, run it by a contractor to confirm it’s doable, and then have the idea implemented and executed for your space.

A new build project will have a very different timeline than a renovation. Because these types of projects can become quite complex and involved, it’s best to bring in an interior designer early on to provide expert insight into the design, development, and construction process.


What if your project is less involved- such as decorating a new space you are moving to? In this case, your interior designer can provide you with cosmetic services such as selecting paint color, or advising on furniture and art selection. Regardless of the type or phase of the project, it pays to set up a consultation with a designer early in the process. Here at PROJECT AZ, Ahmad explains this idea for renters and homeowners alike:

“The ideal time to hire an interior designer is once you know which space you want to work on. At this stage, a designer can help you identify the full potential of a project, including many unforeseen challenges you may not anticipate at the beginning. It’s a process that requires patience and passion, as designers need time to gather information, ask questions and understand your lifestyle. This includes how you envision using a space. A functional, comfortable, and beautiful design is the accumulation of many small decisions, and the result reflects your individuality and lifestyle, a space that feels like home.”

Madison Square
Madison Square

Decide what you need expert input on

When you are redesigning your space, it’s important to identify what areas you need the most help with. Maybe you have a specific aesthetic in mind for the space, but aren’t sure how to make it a reality? Find a designer with a portfolio that matches your desired aesthetic.

Let’s say you have a color palette picked out, but have no idea where to purchase quality furniture for your space? You’re best off hiring a designer that also provides furniture sourcing services. If you go into the interior design hiring process with a clear idea of what you want, it will make it all the more easy to find the right designer for the job.

As clients trust in the process, they should also recognize timing for expert feedback and idea generation. “I truly believe that spaces affect us and shape our quality of life. To make a house feel like a home, and to trust in the process with a designer, involves an exchange of ideas. While it may take up to six weeks to submit the initial design phase, the end result will be a better space if you invest in this time and trust in your designer” notes Ahmad.

There are generally four phases of an interior design project: the first involves the floor plan and identifying larger items like furniture, as well as understanding the full scope if the project will be a larger renovation. It will include organization, initial ideas on schedule and timing, as well as sending samples to clients to see how they react to different ideas. This is when a client can expect to see the first round of options based on the agreed upon scale. After that, you move to smaller pieces once the major elements and scope are decided.

If it’s a renovation, the project may include the designer working on the technical side of things with the contractor, including lighting plans, electrical layouts and detailing. The third phase is contracting, construction and install, which often means waiting for orders to arrive and the space will start coming together. This is often when artwork and interior elements with shorter lead time may arrive. Finally, once any construction is complete and details are in place, the last step involves styling and accessorizing the space. This often gets overlooked by clients for time or budget purposes. But this phase brings out the individuality and character of the design, including documenting the space and ensuring the renovation, furnishings and styling make a space feel like home. It’s important to remember that a designer can be engaged for a range of services, and at different points in a project. In the end, it’s about clients enjoying their new interiors.

NYC Midtown
NYC Midtown

Remember it’s a collaboration

An interior designer’s mission isn’t to impose his own vision on a project, but rather, to guide you toward an outcome that you are satisfied with. For designers, it’s rare to be given complete creative freedom over a project from the start, and it can be a richer process when working with a client that trusts the designer as they provide feedback. As this trust is established, a designer can take more creative control and bring the interior design ideas to life. Especially when you are dealing with a space you have to live in, or a project with a budget you need to stick with, it’s important to remember that the process involves collaboration. The more you are able to clearly communicate as a client, the better the outcome in the long run.

Are you looking to hire an interior designer for your home? PROJECT AZ is a residential design studio that has worked on many interior design and renovation projects in NYC, from Manhattan penthouses to Chelsea apartments. Lead Designer Ahmad AbouZanat’s focuses on finding unique design solutions that work well with his client’s modern lifestyles.

Contact us today to get started on your next design project.

5 Key Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer

Hudson Yards

Great interior design appears effortless. In a well-designed home, different elements come together to create a harmonious and functional space, and nothing seems out of place. Having a beautiful home brings both personal and financial value, in addition to making it a pleasant place to live.

A seemingly effortless, elevated aesthetic requires skill, knowledge, and a great eye. There are so many little details that go into a great interior design, and it can be a lot to keep track of. There are many decisions to be made, from choosing the right wall color and lighting fixtures to the finishes on the door handles; when every detail counts, this can be a lot to consider. That’s where an interior designer comes in. If you’ve been wondering whether or not to hire an interior designer, read on to discover 5 reasons why a designer can help you transform your home. 

You have a vision for how you want your space to look and feel

Getting a room to look like the magazine-worthy picture you’ve got pinned on your “Dream House” Pinterest board takes a lot of dedication and skill. If you have a specific aesthetic in mind for your space- whether it’s a dramatic toned bedroom, or a light and airy living room- an interior designer can help you execute your vision. Interior designers are experts at combining texture, color, lighting, and furniture, and will be able to help you find ways to combine different elements to achieve the results you want. 

You like being surrounded by beauty, but are on a budget

Interior design services are available for a range of budgets. – In fact, if you have a strict budget to furnish and decorate your home, interior designers are excellent at getting you the most bang for your buck. Not only will they use their industry knowledge and connections to get you deals that are typically not available to the public, but chances are, they will also help you find higher quality and more stylish pieces than you would on your own. An interior designer will also be able to help you figure out what you value the most and can break down what to save on.  For example- if you spend a lot of time in your living room and want to create a cozy space for you and your family, an interior designer might help you budget for and find the right sofa. At the same time, they can integrate soft textures like throws and pillows for comfort. An interior designer can even help advise on how to re-use your current furnishings.

Chelsea Project
The Chelsea Project incorporates the owner’s existing art and collectibles.

You want to incorporate unique or heirloom pieces

Maybe you fell in love with a giant abstract painting at a flea market- or inherited a cool, retro sofa from a relative. Sentimental and heirloom pieces can be the most eye-catching part of a design, but can be equally challenging to integrate into a room cohesively. This is the challenge most people have with making their favorite pieces work in their homes. Interior designers are excellent at incorporating unique furniture and art into spaces. In fact, they might design the entire room with the intention of really complementing and highlighting that special piece you’ve grown to love- maximizing the joy you get out of it, and leaving you with a great conversation piece when entertaining guests.

Cooper Square Project

You have no idea where to start decorating

Not everybody likes decorating or designing rooms, and that’s ok. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, hiring an interior designer might be your answer. Just as interior designers can help clients who know what they want execute their ideas, they can also guide clients who don’t by helping them figure out their goals, priorities, and budget- as well as sourcing the designs. If you’d prefer to have someone else take the reins and make your space look great, without being too involved- an interior designer can do just that. Before hiring a designer, make sure you take a look at their portfolio to get a sense of their personal style and aesthetic. 

You like people and value expert opinions

An interior designer can listen to your needs and desires, and distill information into an actionable plan for creating your dream interior. They will be able to utilize their training and experience to connect you with the best resources and vendors to execute a vision and are there to offer professional advice when you’re faced with making major decisions. They can also help you anticipate and plan for potential problems down the road such as structural, permitting, or contracting issues when implementing a design. This is extremely valuable as a time, money, and sanity-saving measure.

Ahmad AbouZanat

Hiring an interior designer is an investment that pays off in the long run. Especially now that many of us are spending more time at home than ever before, it’s even more important that you feel happy and comfortable in your own space. Interior designers can make that happen- and thanks to modern furniture, lighting systems, and home decor, seeing your house turned into a signature home is more accessible than ever before. 

Eager to turn your space into a dream home? PROJECT AZ is a residential design studio that has worked on many interior design and renovation projects in NYC, from Manhattan penthouses to Chelsea apartments. Lead Designer Ahmad AbouZanat focuses on finding unique design solutions that work well with his client’s modern lifestyles. 

Contact us today to get started on your next design project. 

Choosing Services: An Intro to Working with Interior Designers

An Intro to Working with Interior Designers

Often when people think about hiring a designer for an interiors project they only consider aesthetics: fabrics, furniture, wall colors or art. But the right designer can work with you to tailor their services to your needs, and in doing so, create the right project for your budget and your home. The result is a streamlined process and an elegant, comforting space that’s as functional as it is inspiring and beautiful.

Interior Design Service Types

To begin with, it’s important to understand the different service types. The main difference between remodel and renovation as services is that remodels usually involve making something new. This can also mean a structural or formal change to a building or space. On the other hand, a renovation usually entails restoring something to a previous state or bringing a space back to life.

When designers talk about cosmetic services, they are referring to updates that improve the appearance of a building without changing its size or structure. Think of painting a wall, or replacing carpet with hardwood floors. The walls or floors remain more or less the same in terms of size and position, but they visually look different. Other cosmetic examples include fixing minor cracks in walls, updating basic household hardware, or light fittings and window furnishings.

Interior Remodels – Partial and Full

Hudson Yards Apartment
Hudson Yards Apartment

For remodels, renovations and cosmetic changes, they can be both partial and full. That means that if you’re looking to renovate an older home, you can hire a designer to work on a specific space or spaces (partial) instead of an entire house or apartment (full). Maybe you’d only like help with a kitchen and bathroom design, or need additional feedback and input on a series of bedrooms and an entry foyer. You can work with a designer to specify the right amount of work for your project, and remember that different services have cost implications.

Interior Furnishing

Madison Square Park Tower Apartment
Madison Square Park Tower Apartment

Another important service to explain is furnishing. This is a broader category that can take on different meanings depending on the designer. For the most part, it involves selecting furniture, fittings and other decorative accessories like carpets or curtains for a room or entire house. It can include fabrics for upholstery for comfort and utility, as well as selecting art. It can encompass accessories and styling objects to give a complete and finished look for your space. If you’re interested in art specifically, there are many ways to select the right pieces for your style.

Interior Design Consulting

Consider how services can be combined for different scopes. You may want to work with a designer on a partial remodel for one specific room of a house, and only choose furnishing for another room that’s already complete. This is where it’s important to work with a designer and discuss the right option for you. These discussions are called consultations. They can be both in-person and virtual. Consultations are their own type of services, and can be a useful way to get feedback from a trained professional. They also allow you to learn more about the process and have better understanding how long projects take and how much they can cost to execute.

Whether working on a remodel, renovation, furnishing or other project type, services are part of interior planning and design. A designer works to make a client’s home feel harmonious and comforting, a reflection of their personality and character. If you haven’t done it before, the idea of hiring someone to undertake this task can be intimidating, but only if you don’t know what to expect from the process. However, working with an experienced designer is a positive and transformative experience, and the main key to your desired result is communication.

At PROJECT AZ, we provide a range of services to clients depending on their home and needs. From remodels and renovations to furnishing and consultation, we work directly with clients to bring their vision to life. If you’re looking to redesign your home and want to explore different services, please reach out to us today.


PROJECT AZ is a residential design studio dedicated to crafting modern and functional spaces. As lead designer, Ahmad AbouZanat’s approach focuses on learning about his clients’ lifestyle and applying modern solutions to create new spaces for them. The studio started in New York City in 2017, a product of passion for design and 10 years of extensive learning through a career that took place in multiple architectural and design firms around the world.