The Design Process

When you flick through an Interior design magazine and admire the numerous perfectly presented homes, or if you’re invited to the opening night of a new retail shop or office, you’re seeing the finale of months (if not years) of hopes & dreaming, planning, design and construction. Each project is unique, and the outcome reflects this.

The Brief: Getting to know You

The Initial Consultation is a critical step in the process where the scope of work for your project & your style preferences are defined. We’ll walk through the site, identify the areas that need work, discuss your budget and review any existing architectural elements & furnishings that may need to be incorporated, and provide preliminary advice for your project. This meeting is important to get right, and usually takes at least 2 to 3 hours to define all the elements that will form the ingredients of your project. Most designers will charge for this service, as it also takes hours additional work behind the scenes afterwards to pull together a full written brief, scope of works and accurate itemised fee proposal & timeframe for you. Because each project is unique to each individual client, a ‘one size fits all’ fee is not possible for the vast majority of Interior Design projects.

Concept Design: The Fun Bits start

Once a client has approved the fee & paid a deposit, I take the time that is required to really plan through your project. A full site survey is needed to measure the space and identify services locations, existing furniture sizes, art, finishes, and any other details that need to be taken into consideration for a successful outcome. Sketch plans are developed to explore potential layouts before settling upon the final plan. Inspiration is taken from sources that may include books, magazines, movies and art. All this ideas are curated to create a mood board of images, colours & materials to reflect the look and feel of your project.

Concept development: Getting down to details

Once you’ve signed off on the concept, these preliminary ideas are developed further to fully realise your project. Floor, wall, ceiling treatments, cabinetry finishes, fixtures, lighting, appliances and furnishings are sourced, including checking compliance with code, availability & cost.

The plan is further developed, and any custom cabinetry & furnishings is conceptualised. The ceiling structure and lighting design, including custom or special pieces are incorporated, and coordinated with the layout. Any necessary elevations and 3D views will be developed at this stage, in order to help you fully understand the design.

If external consultants are needed (such as building surveyors, engineers, or even a builder’s advice, etc) this is generally the stage they are brought into the picture early on to provide expert advise that may impact on your design and needs to be incorporated before proceeding further.

Throughout the entire design & documentation process, I meet with the client regularly to update them on the progress of the project & present the package as it develops & make any changes required.

Documentation: The Hard (but necessary) bit

Once you’ve signed off on the Developed Concept, we get going with the work of design detailing and documenting. Behind the scenes the full tender package of documentation is developed, including resolution of partition & doors, detail drawings for all custom work including custom joinery, furniture, lighting, and signage if necessary. Full specification documents are developed for all fixtures, furniture and finishes.

The plans are fully coordinated with services engineering & any other consultants drawings, and a coordinated ceiling plan is produced if necessary.

Building Permit

Many projects require a building permit. At this stage, the package is submitted to the building surveyor for the permit application process (some clients prefer to do this themselves, or appoint a project manager or builder).


Construction is definitely one of my favourite stages, to see the ideas that have taken months to plan are now becoming a reality. I regularly attend site meetings during construction, and respond to builder’s requests for information. Shop drawings for custom cabinetry, furniture, signage etc are reviewed at this stage before they proceed into construction. Upon completion of construction, ‘as built’ documentation is produced, and if necessary, a manual with materials, appliances & fixtures maintenance information.

It’s particularly satisfying to see our vision of your space to be transformed.

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Alright. Back to work!


Lisa xx

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