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What Makes Good Design?

Updated: Oct 1, 2023


Good design starts with you - the client. Every decision we make on your behalf is in your best interest on all aspects of your renovation and decor project. Good design is totally subjective on what means balancing beauty and practically for you. We always start every project with an in-depth Initial Consultation with you in your home to do a deep dive into how you want your home to function for you now as well as in the future. This discussion is the basis for all decisions made moving forward with your project to make your home everything you dream of.


Space planning is always the first step of the Conceptual Design Phase. A good space plan creates efficiency, not only in how your home functions once the project is complete, but also efficiencies in the design long term and construction process. Ultimately, this initial planning will save you time and money.

Often clients approach us thinking they need more space, more storage, more rooms. Often, once we work through their wish list while reworking the floor plan and furniture layout we can provide everything they want without going bigger. It's all about creative and thoughtful design to use each space to its fullest potential.

Renovation and Decor project: Client called us to plan an addition to the back of their home. We quickly realized that removing a second unused staircase and reconfiguring the master bedroom vs family room location we could provide them everything on their wish list with no addition.

Before Photo: removed an unused staircase and opened up the dining room to create a large kitchen for the family. The addition of the wall of windows creates a light filled center of the home


For our clients, a professional process and flawless execution are as important as the inspired design, so all three of these goals define our practice. We think of each stage of the design process like an iceberg. Ensuring we are all on the same page on the overall design intent early in the process saves time and investment in each subsequent stage of the project as we move to that exposed point of project completion.

​INITIAL CONSULTATION: Getting to know you

The initial consultation starts the project with us getting to know the impetuous that is really driving you to do a renovation. Design is a personal experience and it is important that we get to know our clients as well as how they want their space to look and function. We will use this time productively to determine your dreams and desires for your home or business, provide you with guidance and recommendations, discuss timelines and budgets, and allow you to see our firm members as their authentic working selves.

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN: The Dream Takes Shape

Then the Conceptual design phase is getting real about the scope of the project based on the budget and timeline implications the final project will incur. We always want to ensure you are comfortable moving forward with the detailed design phase and exactly what that scope of work looks like. It would be a waste of everyone's time and your investment to source all the finishes and design details on a portion of the reno which will not happen until further in the future.

During this phase, we will confirm the general design direction, layout, and investment estimate of the project. Our design team develops drawings to strategize and resolve any known issues, as well as to address your style and functional needs based on your budget and timeframe for completion. We present these ideas to you in person, preferably onsite, or at our design studio and go through all the features and options so you understand the reasoning behind the design.

3D rendering provided for client to visualize the proposed finishes and expanded kitchen layout

DETAILED DESIGN: The Vision Becomes Clear

After conceptual design, our team digs into the details. Detailed elevations, sketches for custom pieces, and a lot of sourcing dominate this time. In this phase, we complete selections in accordance with the approved inspiration we shared earlier, and finalize floor plans. Then, we propose all items for your approval with a complete summary of the design components in our detailed design presentation. There, you will see each fabric, finish, and detail that we have carefully selected for you.

Flat Lay

DESIGN MANAGEMENT PHASE: The Dream Becomes Reality

If your project includes a renovation, this is when the construction begins. We liaise with your general contractor and trades to maintain the integrity of the project, and ensure that the right materials are being installed as designed. New construction and remodelling projects are very involved, and it helps to have a checks and balance system to keep the project on track. The idea is for everyone involved to work together for the common goal of producing a beautiful and high quality product that you will love and enjoy for years to come.

During the design management phase, we will be having regular site meetings and walkthroughs. We will also be taking care of ordering, tracking, receiving and inspecting all the design products for your home.

Once the construction is complete, we arrange for delivery of all the furniture and decor and set up everything so you can return home to a HGTV like reveal.

Reviewing all decor finish details before ordering


The final element of the Conceptual Design Phase is to set a realistic budget. We always want all parties moving forward on the project to have a fully informed idea of the cost, scope of the project and timelines before committing to moving forward past the conceptual design.

We work with trusted contractors to review the proposed renovation plans, finish level expectations, as well as furniture and decor proposed budget. This allows us all to be involved in the Conceptual meeting to determine if you as the client are going to move forward with the full scope of work, if the work needs to be phased. And if it is phased what is the best course of action to break out the phases to not repeat any of the project in the future.

We always want clients to complete any room touched by the project to be finished to completion. There is nothing worse than investing in renovation of your space and then not being able to furnish the room. Not finishing it to completion means you will not enjoy it fully as you will not use the room as intended and come to regret investment you did put into it.


In order to create sustainable designs, we need to focus on quality products, timeless designs and the impact that each choice will have on the end user and our environment. Our motto is to plan properly and budget according to create a sustainable design. Keeping renovation products and poor quality furniture out of our landfills is the biggest impact we can have on the environment.

Furniture detail: reused the clients antique marble coffee table, new wood table and custom wood area rug which will last generations

As interior designers, it is our job to see the big picture when it comes to your renovation, new build or decor project. But even more than just having the vision of the end look, we need to look beyond this to understand the environmental impacts made from our decisions and selections. Each design choice has an environmental impact and we have the responsibility to have those impacts made for the better.

"Quality is key, as materials and construction affect how a person experiences the finished room. Good quality materials have a sound and a feeling that’s different than poor quality materials" Joelle Nesen


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