SWG PL: The Future Looks Bright For Interior Designers. Here’s What Brokers Need to Know

December 23, 2020

It’s certainly not news that COVID-19 has disrupted the way we work and do business. The interior design industry is no exception. By May 2020, 77% of designers reported that they’d had projects canceled or postponed. (1)

Yet despite these setbacks, interior design businesses were resilient and quickly adjusted to the new normal. Only 6% of interior designers reported they were worried about shopping in-real-life, which could indicate that more professionals are comfortable shopping online. (1) Meanwhile, as people spend more time indoors, offices and homes are transforming, leaving no shortage of work for design professionals.

The Future Of Interior Design, According To Experts

Industry experts (2) have made the following predictions about how the interior design industry will shift in the coming year:

1) More creative constraints:

Interior designers will be working with more constrained budgets due to their clients’ lack of surplus in capital - the kind of constraints under which designers tend to thrive. Similarly, brick-and-mortar firms will be working with smaller teams and leaner production facilities. New firms will likely be more financially savvy compared to previous years.

2) Client spending will remain steady:

Client spending looks optimistic. Experts expect that while interior design is easy to put on hold, there will be pent-up demand for these services, and no shortage of affluent clients willing to pay a premium.

3) Office spaces aren’t going anywhere despite the shift to remote work:

Though more people are working from home, the need for collaborative office space isn’t going anywhere. According to Kelly Griffin, a principal at the architecture firm NBJJ, “Office culture will remain an integral part of the employee experience for most companies,” she says. “We can specify materials that are non-porous, easy to clean, and reduce the likelihood of infection, but the safest workplaces will be those that follow the guidelines of local health officials. An integrated approach of policies, operations, and personal responsibility will be required.”

Sizing Up The Interior Design Market

For brokers looking to enter this sector, here’s a bird’s eye view of Canada’s interior design industry.

Interior design firms comprise small professional teams. In 2019, the breakdown of employer establishments in this industry was as follows:

77.5% of them were considered micro, employing less than five employees;

22.4% were small establishments. (3)

Annual revenue ranged from $30,000 - $5,000,000 in 2019, (3) with an average industry growth of 2.4% from 2014–2019. (4) Last year there were 7,561 interior design businesses in the country, employing 5,410 professionals and boasting a $1bn market size (4).

According to stats from members of the IDC, the breakdown of client industries were as follows:

35% Workplaces

31% Residential

8% Other

5% Public and Institutional Spaces

5% Multi-family Residential

4% Restaurants, Bars and Clubs

4% Healthcare

4% Retail

4% Hotels (5)

Why Interior Designers Need PL

Often when clients incur a loss or damages after the provision of a service, the client will sue the person responsible - whether or not the service provider is actually at fault. Reasons for a lawsuit might include:

The client might be unhappy with the results of the interior designer’s work, or might claim it doesn’t match the original concept.

Unexpected expenses or project delays might warp a project into something more costly than originally agreed.

The interior designer might be working with subcontractors, employees of their own, or other contractors such as carpenters or architects.

The interior designer might be held liable for professional negligence if they recommend a material that proves unsafe/unhealthy (i.e. violates fire codes or other building codes), or might make an error in the amount of material recommended which could lead to issues down the road.

Interior design can come with a very emotional type of clientele, on the one hand, because it’s their home. Corporate clients, on the other hand, can be very bottom-line focused as well. Either way, if a client is dissatisfied with the result, they will want some kind of compensation from the interior designer.

SWG PL: Interior Designers

SWG PL - Miscellaneous Professional Liability insurance offers a packaged E&O and CGL policy that covers a wide range of classes of business. Tailored E&O coverage protects small to large firms from a broad range of miscellaneous risks. SWG provides a Miscellaneous PL policy at competitive rates, bringing extensive knowledge and underwriting experience in professional liability.

In addition to interior designers, we also cover the following industries:

Bookkeepers

Business Consultants

Collection Agencies

Travel Agents

Employment Agencies

Event Planners

Interior Designers

Leasing Agents

Management Consultants

Translators

Utility Locators

And more - contact us if you don’t see the type of professional you’re looking for.

Visit our website for more information.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.

Sources:

  1. https://businessofhome.com/articles/covid-19-s-impact-on-interior-design-by-the-numbers
  2. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/8-ways-covid-19-will-impact-the-future-of-interior-design
  3. https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/app/cis/summary-sommaire/54141
  4. https://www.ibisworld.com/canada/market-research-reports/interior-designers-industry/
  5. https://www.idcanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/IDC_AnnualReport2018_WEB_FINAL.pdf