Interior Design and Interior Fit Out: A Beginners Guide To Design And Build Services

DNL provides interior design, interior fit-out, design and build, turnkey solutions, FF&E, and MEP in Dubai. Our staff can handle projects of varied sizes and requirements in sectors such as food & beverage, hotel, commercial, retail, and residential. When we get service requests, clients are often confused about the distinction between interior design and interior fit out Dubai. This article compares the two services’ components.

Interior Design

When we speak about interior design, we are referring to the appearance and feel of a room. It is a broad profession, but in a nutshell, it is the art and science of transforming a blank canvas into an aesthetically beautiful and useful area for the end user.

The current interior design profession arose from the desire for optimal space use. It is a creative career that is continuously evolving and adapting to new trends. It also requires the ability to analyze people’s behavior in order to give a well-trained grasp of how people are impacted by their surroundings. An interior designer, for example, could influence how an end-user feels and interacts with a room by knowing the psychological effects of colors. Colors can make a place seem peaceful or anxious, large or tiny, and it is thus critical to choose the ideal color combination to work towards obtaining the intended mood for the end-user. Smart space planning, and visually beautiful and useful interior design, whether for a retail shop, restaurant, workplace, or house, will considerably maximise the user experience. High-quality interior design, in particular for commercial facilities, can attract clients, keep them coming back, and boost the return on investment.

Interior designers often collaborate with architects, engineers, and interior fit out contractors to ensure that the structural aspects of the interior environment are not only functional but also safe and in accordance with local building laws and regulations.

An interior designer’s job often involves frequent discussions and meetings with key stakeholders throughout the following stages of the interior design process: 

  1. Strategic Planning Phase
  2. Conceptual Development Phase
  3. Design Development Phase
  4. Construction Documentation Phase
  5. Construction Management Phase


Interior Fit Out

When we speak about interior fit-out of space, we mean the interior design stages are completed and fit-out contractors are hired to make the interior space ready for occupation/use. The developer normally completes the foundation structure (shell and core area), and the occupier does the final fit-out. The basic or current interior fit-out will often be one of the following:

Shell & Core: The important word here is ‘shell.’ This is the very first stage of a building’s construction. It is a basic construction with walls, cladding, a base plant, and toilets.

Cat A Fit-Out: This area is already finished and ready for use. A category A fit-out often comprises raised floors and suspended ceilings, MEP service distribution, and interior surface treatments. In essence, it is a fully functioning yet empty place.

Cat B Fit-Out: This room will typically feature completely equipped kitchens and utilities, as well as partitioning, fixtures, ceiling design, floor finishes, wall finishes, staircase installation, and furnishings.

The amount of fit-out already present in a client’s space will eventually influence the bill of quantities (BOQ) and scope of building works to be performed by the interior fit-out contractor.

The quality of fit out of a client’s space will affect the bill of quantities (BOQ) and scope of building operations. The total building process follows these major phases:

  1. Authority Approvals
  2. Site Mobilization
  3. Demolition Works
  4. Civil and MEP Works
  5. Ceiling Design/Closure
  6. Final Finishes
  7. Joinery
  8. Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment
  9. Completion Certificates



    Interior design and interior fit-out have very small differences, but they make a huge impact on the overall appearance and feel of your space. One is related to planning while the other focuses on execution. If you’re looking to get interior design services, DNL, the premiere design, and fit-out company is here to help you. Contact us today and bring your vision for dream space to life.