Designing Your Space: Our Process

Designing Your Space: Our Process

Our goal is to help our clients envision spaces that enable their best lives – and enjoy the process it takes to get there.

Collaboration is at the heart of our process: first with you, then with our team of creative design pros. In this post, we’ll give you a sneak peek at what it’s like to work with us, from our first meeting to the delivery of the official drawing sets your building team will use to help your project come to life.  

No matter the scale of your project, a methodical design is a thoughtful process (and a few unique tweaks) away.

Five phases of design

1. Programming Phase 

First, the team (you and us), gets together for a candid conversation where we identify your needs, wants, and goals. We’ll look at the site (socially distanced or digitally). We’ll take lots of notes and make sure we have an accurate understanding of your vision. 

We’ll probe and ask the deep-cut questions to figure out what elements of home matter most to you. Where and how do you spend the most time? Are there any special considerations (from accessibility to sustainability)?

Together, we’ll define your project’s scope, size, function, and aesthetics (look and feel), and draw an initial outline (AKA concept sketch) of the design. 

Note: Before the ADU can fit you, it has to fit the site. Contractors can give game-changing insights into site-specific constraints (like plumbing or electricity hook-ups). The earlier this input is integrated into the design, the better.

2. Schematic Design (SD) Phase 

The schematic designs are like the outermost pieces of a puzzle (or an essay outline for the writers out there). 

In Phase II things get fun (and a bit more technical). We’ll take measurements of the existing space during a site visit. With these, we’ll be able to level-up the brainstorming to illustrate a more accurate view of the space. These will form an initial site plan, which will form the basis of the designs to come. 

Based on this initial site plan, we’ll create a floor plan option(s) to provide a more true-to-life glimpse at what the future space could look and feel like. By true-to-life we mean 3-D. Like I said, fun.

3. Design Development (DD) Phase

Next, the team collaborates to make design tweaks and add detail to our rough draft. 

We go back to the drawing board if we need to, and then come back to you with a set of more polished drawings. These include more floor plans, elevation and section views, and lists of products, fixtures, and materials that will go inside the final product. These essential elements come together to express the ~vibe~ in a model of the future home, to provide clarity and context for the final design. 

By this point, the puzzle is painting a clear picture. The only things missing are those final few elusive connecting pieces, which we fill in in Phase IV.

4. Construction Documents (CD) Phase 

This is the final draft, where we take the designs we developed in Phase III and make them construction-ready. 

The final set of drawings are the official permit and construction sets, which you’ll need to get approved by your local building authorities. Once the plans are approved, the team can start construction! 

5. Construction Phase

Our work isn’t done once the project moves beyond paper.

We’ll be here to answer any questions you or your builder may have, interpret construction documents, and help the process along until it’s time for you to move in! 

Further reading 

Keep in mind that each project is different. If you’re curious what the steps might look like for your unique vision, reach out to us and let’s schedule a consultation to get going.

If you’re like us and want to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can before putting words to your idea, here’s some further reading to get you oriented.

Let’s Talk About Your Project

No matter where you’re at, we always begin with a friendly, collaborative, and totally free virtual conversation.