Construction and Project Management for Interior Designers – The Design Paradigm


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Construction and Project Management for Interior Designers.

7. Navigating turbulent seas with bodacious boat building, buoys of brilliance, blueberry buckles and a bit of bravado.

Construction administration and the building process demystified. And the best ways to manage more monkeys in your circus tent.


8.Wrestling water buffalo while flying a plane. Upside down.

Free falling with grace and dexterity while handling 697 tasks all in the normal course of a day. Project management in the twilight zone.

Be brave. The battle for your sanity. 

This section will release in January and the workshops will meet once a week for 2 hours every Tuesday at 12 noon central.  Live workshops- August Septemer 

Access to the ACT accountability app will begin 2 weeks prior to the first live coaching and end 2 weeks after the live coaching. 

36 credits towards DGD certification. 



  • 4 live dynamic workshops discussion and feedback ( 2 hours each)
  • Video and in depth written subject material in Kajabi for each subject you see here
  • Exclusive App with course highlights

  • Accountability assessments and communication for questions via app

  • Guest speakers that will make you money not just be influencers to meet and greet 

  • Additional “office hours” for annual enrollees

Additional Deliverables include:

  • New Build Calculator–never seen!
  • Template for Contractors Scope of Work
  • Budget outline for internal allocations
  • Subcontractor Agreement
  • Example specifications binder
  • Materials Schedules template ( and will show you how we make ours on click up)
  • Approvals Process outline, checklists & how to get all the details from the office to the jobsite
  • Client facing visual cabinetry legend
  • Project Management Milestones and how we execute these
  • Drawing Standards checklist for as built drawings
  • Drawing Standards checklist for final delivered drawings
  • Project management “hot list” of considerations you need to assess every time on a job site
  • The Project Planner- an epic guide for clients to remodeling and building –and also for you. Explaining everyone’s role and what comes next

Construction and Project Management for Interior Designers.

Construction and Project Management for Interior Designers

What to do next! 

  • Register in advance at launch pricing.

  • Multiple LIVE workshops scheduled within each of the 12 sections.

  • If you miss a class you have the option to take it the next time offered live but this is limited to class size

  • Damn Good Designer certification – minimum number of credits required: 100
  • Can purchase full course options or individual sections (see Investment page for details on pricing)

  • If you purchase the entire program a monthly payment plan is available.


“Sending an email or dropping paper at a desk is not sufficient handling of the hot potato(i.e. the “task”) We expect our team to manage that potato until it is delivered to the next person or until you produce the potato salad.”

 Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Subject Topics in this Section:

Be brave. The battle for your sanity. 

Whether you’re new to integrating your interior design business with the madness of construction, or you’re rockin’ a Cruella de Vil streak of grey hair from your years of dedication to the cause… herein you’ll find an exploration of the critical core of how worlds collide and what you can do to prepare your client and the contractors themselves for the collaboration of the century. Belly up to the bar and learn the ABCs of construction – understand industry expectations and how to get in front of them, and how to create the most foolproof process that protects your efforts.

The Building Process

Knowing the order of operations of the building process and working to develop a strong relationship with the contractor and their team with whom you collaborate is a critical part of what will get you where you need to go. But what are the pitfalls? How often do you have to be on site? And what do you do when the project isn’t running smoothly?

Managing Subs and Contractors for a profitable relationship

Yes… we said it. You want to get deeper into the details of interior design as it parallels with construction and you are going to find yourself needing to manage subs and contractors. Just wave the yellow flag now because this is going to be your new head scratching, teeth-biting, twitch of the leg when the phone rings in the middle of working on a budget bad habit. Deep dive with us into how to set expectations, tone, and be the expert in the room (even when the contractor is the best in town!) 

Drawing to Communicate

Our perspective here comes from over 2 decades of reviewing and revising plans, sitting in the trenches with our subs and proactively aiming for a higher bar as thorough plan documentation is such a critical piece to the productive execution of a job.

The Client Fiduciary Relationship in Construction 

While the allure of being a badass designer who commands attention on a jobsite is a lovely sight to set your trajectory for, there is SO much you have to cover your tush about when it comes to where your input, know-how, and advice starts and stops. Get your contract in line. Set boundaries with your team and make sure your client and subs understand why you have them. Learn how to do this with grace and be constantly aware of how you are protecting your client AND being an honest team player in a construction environment.

Estimating and Bidding

What we want most is an educated consumer, a client who understands where their funds are going and why, and who understands and feels our value in organizing the process so that no stone is left unturned . Navigate the ins and outs of developing work orders and bid requests, establish good habits on site when meeting with subs so you aren’t “leading the witness”, and learn how to get the information you need to ensure you understand what things cost and why so that when you client reviews costs you can help direct the discussion in a direction that makes the most sense for your end goals AND theirs.

Successful project planning. And getting paid for it

Your ability to create a knock-out vision for your client’s interior space is likely the number one reason why they will hire you. This ability to concept and determine the parameters with which to translate ideas is part of your intellectual property and the magical unicorn dust you can share to make real magic and transformation happen. But an idea is only half of the battle. The execution is the other half.. In this course we’ll address what project management is, why you have to understand it’s value and sell that idea to your clients, and how to get paid for making the magic happen!

Managing Scope and the Critical Path

Determine how involved you are qualified to be (and how to ramp up your experience in this type of environment if you want more control). Understand the process to focus and elevate your design concepts with preconstruction management type services, sussing out potential problems before demo starts – and just generally how to be on the ball before it’s even tossed your way!

Time Management

This can be a very particular process because everyone learns and operates best under different circumstances – BUT – analyzing how and when you work best, how and when you get most distracted, and taking control over your time and the processes you need to make your day productive AF is part of being a smart business person and a good steward of both your client’s funds and your own allocation of time for their project.  This course will help you define where your weaknesses are in this realm, and how to set realistic expectations and communicate as effectively as possible.

Mandatory Milestones

Because this are mandatory — no more the client cheaping out and saying “oh well the contractor will handle this”—not on most jobs. We insist on it and to be perfectly frank, I feel the clients actually are relieved. We have checklists that help facilitate the site visits and make them the most productive so no bells and whistles are missed.


Why is The Design Paradigm different?

For anyone who knows Cheryl well, it’s no secret that her world view of business has evolved from a long study of behavioral psychology and a deep passion and understanding of how the decision making process is influenced by consumer behavior. In her own business she works tirelessly engaging her team on how to harness this understanding in the business of design–a high touch and emotional business– cultivating good habits for critical thinking and technical brilliance when it comes to solving problems and winning over clients.

This outlook influences the way she teaches anything and everything about business and marketing.

Along with this unique vantage point, there’s no avoiding the wealth of experience her career affords having running a successful firm for 22+ years (20 of which has been with a team!) These insights will shape everything you learn from The Design Paradigm. She and the In Detail team are working actively in the trenches along side you, dealing with the same daily learning opportunities, shifts in market activity, and struggles with all facets if the business in an effort to do their best work and leave a trail of happy clients in their path. There is NO OTHER opportunity like this and is why it has taken a year to put together. Join us for Construction and Project Management for Interior Designers!

Our greatest strength is the unique approach we take to building a business-one layer at a time.

What does this include?

  • Live workshops to put into practice what we are talking about in the subject study. This is a key difference between The Design Paradigm and other programs. We are going to ensure everyone understands the concepts and can put them into practice. 

  • Access to our signature APP with the key highlights of each subject you are enrolled in. This is a very cool app and super helpful in reinforcing the information learned. 

  • The “highlights’ of each subject will be dropped on the app so that you can it on the go as well as refresh on the key points of each area. Includes checklists and such that will be beneficial. And this is the place to ask quick questions for Cheryl and LIz as well as a place for us to “check in” with you and review progress. We are here with you for the duration! Everything we can do to help YOU be held accountable for learning the content. 

  • Video that accompanies each self paced class

  • Templates, forms, checklists, spreadsheets and more tools to help you run your business. 

  • Most excellent guest speakers to enhance the value.  

What is Damn Good Designer® certification and why does it matter?

  • It is fun.

  • You can put DGD on your cards and laugh when no one ever asks about it but your close friends

  • It illustrates that you showed up and took the business of business seriously.

  • Did I mention it was just fun?


How it works

  • Register in advance at launch pricing.

  • We will be in contact with you right away. 

  • There will be a kick off event in December. 

  • Multiple LIVE workshops scheduled within each of the 12 sections.

  • Subjects within the section have fully self contained video teaching as well as a written outline.

  • Not all classes are immediate. They will be dropped as they are ready to launch.

  • Damn Good Designer certification – minimum number of credits required: 100

  • If you purchase the entire program a monthly payment plan is available.