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The Interior Design Process

Not quite sure what to expect?  You are not alone in this. 


You may wonder why you need a designer. We can address that another time and perhaps parts of this article will also clarify that.


Each design studio has its own unique approach. Here's a glimpse into how we, as a studio, tackle the design process, showcasing our individuality and what sets us apart.


I should also mention that we do have clients who jump in and out of this process, choosing to do different parts themselves.  This is an option, but for obvious reasons, it is better for us to follow and manage the process to a conclusion.

 


Pre-Design  before we even get started

First things first, our client questionnaire.  It is comprehensive and can feel a little overwhelming, but this is usually because it asks you some pertinent questions.  If you are with a partner or significant other, this is the time to have those difficult conversations that allow you to be on the same page once the design gets underway.  From your position on sustainability, to the things you love in your current house, to how long you think you might live in this new or renovated house to who you think might live there now and into the future…and everything in between. 


Take the time to really think about your answers and convey them in this questionnaire. The more detailed and accurate your responses, the more likely we, as your team of designers, are to get our presentations right the first time. This not only shortens the design process but also makes it more cost-effective (revisions beyond two are usually charged hourly) and enjoyable for you.


Once in possession of your questionnaire, we will organise a site visit.  This usually takes 90 minutes and is the first opportunity for us to meet with you.  At this time, we’re trying to understand you, your vision and then, as a result, the brief. 


From the brief, we can create a scope of work and submit a fee and timing proposal.  This is detailed and allows our client to check that we have understood the components to be completed – how we can help.


Once accepted, we prepare a contract, onboard our new clients and introduce them to the project management software that we use.


At this point, pre-design is finalised and the fun can begin!



 Phase 1 - Creative Direction

In this first phase, we now take our understanding of your vision and prepare mood boards to reflect it.


For example, if on your questionnaire and during our meeting, you said that a large and practical family kitchen is non-negotiable and that you love natural light to enjoy your morning coffee – your mood board and draft floor plan/furniture layout will reflect this. 


As a designer, I would immediately consider the flow of your home layout, given that the kitchen space is important for your family. I would also consider the natural light in the allocated space and how to maximise that. The word “practical” was used, so I would interpret day–to–day cooking - as a true working space. I would also look at durable finishing materials such as your benchtop, kitchen sink, and so forth, and the ability to have more than one person in the space.


Initially, all these things will be conveyed through mood images, which should sum up how you want the space to look, but you should know that there has been a lot more thought beyond that already.


Clients often feel relieved to have some assistance with this first phase. A common comment is, “There are just so many choices, and I like everything!”  with our help, you have now refined what it is you want.



Phase 2 - Detailed Design and Final Documentation


Once satisfied with the creative direction, we move onto detailed design and final documentation.

At this stage, detailed drawings (floor plans, elevations, custom joinery details) are prepared, and finishes and materials, fixtures and fittings, appliances and equipment and furniture are scheduled and priced.


This is a time-consuming part of the design process and one that is imperative to get correct.


We access our vast network of artisans, trades and suppliers to start bringing your vision to life.


We will liaise with your builder to convey your selections through our project management software. The great thing about this is this is, as our client, we have worked with you to complete and schedule all of these selections. You, as the client, can access the project management software at any time. This removes the barrage of last-minute decisions that clients often try to make while juggling busy lives.


Having made all of the selections prior to the commencement of the building also means that you are aware of your costs and have already decided, through guidance with us, where you should splurge and where you should conserve. These costs can now be managed through the building process. 



Phase 3 - Project Delivery


Once the scheduling is approved, we move into procurement (ordering of your goods), delivery, and installation.


Procurement is a lot more complicated than it sounds.  It is actually very detail-heavy with a selection of the correct finishes, sizing, colouring, and liaising with many different suppliers.  It will also involve workroom and workshop visits for custom pieces.


We also inspect goods on delivery for damage and to ensure the correct order, manage returns and replacements.


The absolute best part of the design process is installation day, when all of the hard work comes together and our clients see the results – their vision comes to life!



Summary


Building or renovating a luxury home, boutique business, or yacht is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour.


The options are endless as are the opportunities to get it wrong.  It should be approached with your vision and budget in the forefront.  Both of those items should be used as guidance in decision making throughout the process. Communication throughout the whole process, between all team members, is crucial.  Our guidance, through use of our computer software models, renders and drawings helps clients to make most of the tough decisions, prior to the commencement of building.  Our guidance makes the process feel organised and fun.



                

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