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When the opportunity came to design the interiors of a beautiful property on Wales’ Llŷn Peninsula, ONE17 grabbed it with both hands. The story gives an insight into how the company’s interior design* service works.
OH WE DO LIKE
*I.D. BESIDE THE SEASIDE!
All photography © Brian Ormerod
Billy Butlin revolutionised holidays in Britain. In truth the accommodation in his early holiday camps closely resembled army barracks, so it should come as no surprise that some camps were pressed into service for the military during the 1940s. What Billy had an eye for, and what helped make the camps a success despite the whiff of army austerity that lingered after the squaddies had left, was location, location, location.
Pwllheli on the south coast of the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales has all the necessary attributes to convince Billy to build a holiday camp there and long after Britain has moved on from the novelty of Knobbly Knees contests, this stretch of coastline remains one of the jewels of the British seaboard. Further along the coast from Pwllheli in an enviable cliff top location, ONE17 were recently invited to undertake the interiors for a new detached holiday home for a private client. The different stages of the process, which are generally applicable to most domestic interiors projects, are described here with illustrations of work in progress as well as the finished results.
STAGE 1: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CLIENT
Like a first date, but without the butterflies. It is essential at this stage to get up close and personal with your client. We all live different lives and enjoy a multitude of lifestyles. No two interior design briefs are the same; a ‘normal’ life is something that just does not exist. The more detail that can be shared at this stage about how your client lives, their tastes, what does and doesn’t work in their current living situation, is all invaluable information which will help to inform the initial concept proposals. Budget and time constraints are also to be considered at this early stage.
STAGE 2: GETTING TO KNOW THE BUILDING
A site survey is invariably carried out early on in the design process. This allows us to gain better understanding of what we have to work with. Where does the sun rise and set in relation to the rooms? In which direction are the best views? Where are the main access points, and do we need to be concerned about the neighbours?
STAGE 3: CONCEPTUAL DESIGN
From the client brief, sketches, mood boards and, scale drawings are developed for client comment.
Drawings at this stage will be accurately to scale, and include full spatial proposals including fitted and loose furniture positions. Lighting proposals, feature ceilings, finishes and materials are also considered at this stage.
STAGE 4: DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
Following client feedback from Stage 3, the design is taken to the next stage, further refining details and making final design tweaks before putting the scheme into CAD. Technical drawings for major elements such as the staircase and bespoke cabinetry are worked up alongside detailed plans, interior elevations and sections. Staircases often play a very important role in determining the direction of an interiors scheme. They are often the fulcrum around which the overall design revolves. A 3D model of the space/s is worked up at this stage, creating a ‘fly-through’ experience for the client to fully understand and approve the scheme.
STAGE 5: SPECIFICATION
Decisions, decisions, decisions. The stage when things start to get really real (and really exciting). Specific choices of furniture, equipment, materials and finishes begin to be made. Consideration of how all aspects are to work together is essential and the further development of mood boards and proposals sheets play a large role at this stage. Fitted furniture items begin to be finalised and technical drawings are developed for manufacture.
STAGE 6: ON SITE
Once the contracting team is appointed, things begin moving on site. Any stripping out / demolition works are completed before the new space starts to take shape. It is always best if the client can move out during site works. It is less traumatic for them and progress is quicker.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING WITH MOST INTERIORS IS WHEN THE CLIENT HAS MOVED IN AND LIVED WITH IT FOR A WHILE.
STAGE 7: ROOM DRESSING & COMPLETION
Once the building work is completed and the paint is finally dry, it’s time to get the loose furniture items positioned. Up until this point, the space/s may have felt a little soulless. Not for long. The colours and textures of the loose items and soft furnishings will immediately inject life and character into the space. At this stage placement of personal decorative items such as vases, books, artwork and photographs are encouraged to make the space your own.
A discussion of the care and maintenance of new finishes, furnishings and equipment will be had, to ensure they are there for many years of enjoyment. Snagging lists of minor issues requiring attention are compiled at this stage to ensure all is perfect before the team leaves site.
We often work with specialist local tradespeople, listening where appropriate to their experience and knowledge, and this usually results in a satisfying blend of aesthetics and constructional “rightness”.
At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding with most interiors is when the client has moved in and lived with it for a while. Only when the “shock of the new” has worn off and the fit of the completed scheme with the client’s lifestyle and aspiration can be judged do we really know if we have been successful. In this particular instance the scheme received an enthusiastic thumbs up. Nothing, but nothing beats a satisfied client!