top of page

3 Canned Emails for Delivering Bad News as an Interior Designer

As all interior designers know, the creative journey is not always a smooth ride. Prices change. Items become unavailable. There's damage to pieces you've received, and delays you can't control. Your job quickly turns to crisis manager, and it's time to remedy the situation with clear communication and proposed pivots. We know that finding the right words to deliver not-so-great news especially to clients can be a difficult task. You might find yourself staring at a blank cursor trying to come up with the right words to break the news the best way possible. That's why we created our Client Email Templates for every anticipated step and unexpected situation. Today, we're sharing three canned emails for delivering bad news as an interior designer: damage claim to a vendor, price change to clients, and discontinued items to clients. These are three of the most common problems we hear designers having to navigate. Use these templates as a guide for when the inevitable happens.

Living room with fireplace, 2 lounge chairs, and patterned sofa

Design: Caitlin Flemming | Photography: Stephanie Crusso

Damage Claim to a Vendor

An all-too-common occurrence. You've waited weeks if not months for an item to arrive, and when your receiving warehouse opens it, it's damaged. Not remedying the situation can lead to further delays down the line, so it's your job as the designer to get in contact with the vendor as quickly as possible. Here's a clear and concise email for when it happens to you. Don't forget to include photos so that the vendor can see the extent of the damage and offer the best solution.

Subject Line: Damage on item [Item Name]

Hi [Rep or Customer Service Rep Name],

We hope this email finds you well. We are reaching out to let you know that [Item Name, SKU] on Order Number [vendor provided order number] has a damage. Below are images of the damage from our receiving warehouse. Please let us know what can be done to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Please let us know if you have any questions that we can answer.



Price Change to Clients

Even with all your proper planning and research, things change, especially when it comes to pricing. So when the inevitable happens and that item you planned for your client has had a price change, here's a well-crafted email to not only inform them of the situation, but also proactively offer alternate solutions.

Subject Line: A Quick Update!

Hi [Client Name],

We hope this email finds you well. We are reaching out to let you know that [Item Name, room] has a price change since we last proposed the price to you. The item price changed from [old price] to [new price]. Please approve this change by simply responding to this email with “approved” in the body of the email. Once approved we will make the change in our systems. If you do not approve the change we have some solutions:

[List out solutions here] Please let us know if you have any questions that we can answer and take care until we can chat again.



Dining room with wood ceiling, large windows, wood dining table and large dining chairs

Design: Marie Flanigan Interiors | Photography: Julie Soefer

Discontinued Items to Clients

Similar to a price change, discontinued items are a common challenge, but we've made it easy to reassure your client with this templated email. Start by giving them the bad news that the item is discontinued and end it with your recommendation on how to move forward. While your client might feel disappointed at first, those feelings are immediately assuaged with your forethought of including an alternative.

Subject Line: A Quick Update!

Hi [Client Name],

We are reaching out with some good news + bad news.

The bad news: The piece we ordered for [enter room] has been discontinued. 

The good news: [your solution/recommendation].

Every project has tiny setbacks—we expect them! Our job is to pivot and continue working toward the end goal. We apologize for the inconvenience + welcome your feedback about the solution we have presented.



Large kitchen with exposed wood beams and marble kitchen island

We know that delivering bad news is never easy, but with the right words and a genuine commitment to making the situation better, your client will ultimately thank you. Communication is key as an interior designer and navigating these conversations with transparency and proactivity will strengthen the confidence that your client has in you. These three email templates are just a taste of what our Client Email Templates have to offer. From first contact to last goodbyes and everything in between, these 62 inbox-ready emails were created with every step of the design process in mind.

bottom of page