Typical approach to a project

Client Brief
Kate is often consulted before a client has even decided to buy a property so that with Kate's guidance, they understand fully what they might be taking on. KAW Design undertakes a wide variety of projects from small cottages to major country houses. Kate passionately believes in the conservation of all types of buildings and enjoys working on small projects as much as on large ones.

At the start of a project, Kate will listen carefully to the client, paying attention to the kind of interior they want to realise and how they want to use the building. She also considers and assesses the building concerned, sensing its strengths and weaknesses. Just as wearing clothes that are too small or too large doesn't feel right, buildings that are redesigned in an inappropriate way feel wrong. [see Conservation].

This initial process may take a day or even several, depending on the complication of the client's and the building's requirements. It is a vital stage upon which hangs the success of the project.

Initial Concepts
From the client's brief, a fee proposal will be produced taking into account the time and processes involved. Once this is accepted, along with the terms and conditions, Kate will begin developing initial conceptual ideas for discussion.

Detailed design proposal and specification
If the initial concept is liked by the client, Kate then works these into a fully detailed design proposal. Once the design proposal is finally agreed, the necessary paperwork including specifications and tender documents are put together. Kate will also negotiate and liaise with planning authorities, the client's architect and any other professional consultants who may be required. The choice of contractors or suppliers is usually a joint decision reached between the client, Kate and any other consultants working on the project.

Furnishings are a major part of any project. Curtains, upholstery, furniture, carpets, light fittings, ironmongery, pictures and other works of art, and accessories, all need to be carefully considered. Schemes to give a clear indication of how a completed room will look are put together using as many aids as necessary (samples, drawings, or models). The key thing is to produce a scheme that is in keeping with the spirit of a house and which does not look as if the decorators have just left!

Work in progress
Once work is underway, KAW Design's responsibility is design supervision only. Kate will liaise with all specialist contractors to ensure that what the client wants and has agreed is carried out by the contractors to the standard required. For example when working with mechanical and electrical engineers, appropriate locations for plumbing and electrical needs such as radiator positions, pipe and wire runs will be agreed. Kate also takes particular care with the positioning of light fittings, switch plates, and any security equipment. Kate will draw up a furniture layout with the electrical layout superimposed so that all these elements are coordinated.

The administration of a building contract is the responsibility of a project manager or building surveyor.

At the end of a project, site visits are made to ensure that all work has been completed to a client's satisfaction and any outstanding issues are dealt with.