Explaining the Design Process: Taking The Brief

You may know roughly what you want (and almost definitely what you don’t want) to achieve for your Interior Design project. We can’t begin your design with a lot of guesswork; this allows us to begin to target in on what you need for your individual project. This is the time we gauge if you need 1-2 Sketch Plans or maybe even more.

The Brief is a critical element in the design process for your project. It does the following:

  • Provides a preliminary scope to start to designing.
  • Provides a document that is used in conjunction with the Sketch Plan and Moodboard to inform your Project Manager & Builder to develop a very rough estimate of the project (It’s too early to obtain a definitive figure at this stage).
  • Gives you the chance to tell us what you want (and don’t want), and what your must-haves & priorities are, as well as your ‘wish list’.
  • We discuss what level of quality you’d like for your design.

The Brief is a meeting done face-to-face, we’ll visit your current site and discuss with you some of the elements that will influence the design:

  • Do you need to increase or reduce the amount of space for certain areas. For example, if it’s a Salon, do you need more styling stations, or waiting chairs? Do you need to fit a beauty room? Is the current space poorly planned?
  • Are you looking to relocate to a new site? Do you need to see if everything you need will fit?
  • What works well and what doesn’t? Is the back of house staff area large enough? Do you have room to sit & eat lunch? Do you have room to do admin?
  • We talk about what type of Client Experience you would like to offer your customers.
  • Do you like your current style/look & feel? Is the space tired? Does it reflect your Brand & Values?
  • What Mood & Aesthetic do you want to reflect in the new design?
  • Do you have any inspiration images? Have you already collated a Pinterest page that you can share with us?
  • What level of quality for materials & furnishings would you like?
  • Is there anything you want to refurbish?
  • What existing conditions drawings do you have of the space? We make the assumption that you have reasonably accurate & good quality existing conditions plans that we can use as a base plan for the Sketch Plan.
We take a 3D scan like the one in the video above for your existing site (& new if applicable), and take a written brief, discussing what needs to be achieved.

After the brief is taken & the Initial Site Investigation done, we examine all the information available, and explore different layouts during the Sketch Plan process.

Our standard project timeline below illustrates where the Taking the Brief fits into your overall project.

  • Information Gathering: Initial Site Investigation, taking the Brief & Sketch Planning & the Moodboard

  • Investment estimate (by Your Project Manager & Builder)

  • Concept Design, schematic illustrations & sketches, FF&E Preliminaries & Joinery Preliminaries

  • Update Investment estimate (by your Project Manager & Builder)

  • Detail Design & Documentation, drafting plans & elevations for permits, detail design of Joinery, scheduling of FF&E, coordinate with consultants

  • Permit Application (by your Project Manager

  • Construction Documentation, Tender stage RFI’s, revisions to documentation in preparation for construction

  • Tender (by your Project Manager)

  • Construction Stage Design Services, Site meeting & inspections, site instructions & responding to RFI’s, materials approvals, Shop drawing review, Defects Inspection & report, As Built documentation, Handover attendance.

  • As Builts

Related Case Study: Absolu Hair Salon

Why is the design process broken down into stages?

The design process is divided into stages intentionally to ensure we get from that first meeting & brief-taking step to your sign-off of full construction documentation while ensuring that the design evolves along the Design Process path to meet your expectations, whilst also taking your level of investment into consideration. It’s a strategic step-by-step formula that delves into what you want & need, and each stage along the path from sketch plan to moodboard to finally interpreting it into an overall design.

Explaining the Design Process: Construction Stage Design Services

We stay engaged on your project to support you & your builder throughout the Construction process; our level of involvement may differ from project to project depending upon the level of complexity. I take personal pride in giving you a design package that is as comprehensive as possible, with detail to make the design intent…

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Explaining the Design Process: Detailed Design Development & Documentation

You might think that all the important work is done once the Concept Design stage is completed. No – we’ve only just begun hammering out the details. During the Detailed Design Development and Documentation, we work closely with consultants like your project manager, services engineer, structural engineer, architect, building surveyor, other specialists & your builder…

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If you are planning a refurbishment, please explore our flexible Design Package Options designed to serve you for more information.

Lisa is a very dedicated professional with a keen eye for fine detail and accurate documentation. I have worked with Lisa on more than 10 airport lounges and I can highly recommend her work. Lisa is also good a reviewing and coordinating services drawings.

D. Johnson

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference)

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference)

(please pin the below graphic to your pinterest board for reference

So, why Hire an Interior Designer?

Unfortunately many people get confused or intimidated by the idea of hiring a professional Interior Designer for their project, and might be concerned about the process of working with a designer & the costs of doing so.

A lot of people I meet feel that they can hire a builder and do the design themselves, selecting materials and fixtures in dribs and drabs, often at the last minute (leading to less choice) with poor planning & lack of an overall vision. This will lead increased costs due to changes, additions and variations that the builder will not have allowed for.

You will save money & time. Your designer will plan functional and appealing spaces, provide drawings, visualisations & material / furnishing selections in a strategic manner so you can get competitive quotes, and you know what the design will look like & cost right from the start.

You require a Qualified Interior Designer & Registered Building Practitioner for any commercial project or residential project that requires a building permit; a proper interior designer is a highly trained & experienced registered professional, not just someone with ‘a good eye for colour’ and a knack for picking furniture.

Let’s make something beautiful together, book an appointment to explore your dream project.

Image: Omar Rodriguez @ormphotography