Our Interior Designer Process, Explained

Choosing the interior design is often one of the most exciting parts of building your dream home! The problem is, with so many decisions to make, how do you know you’re making the best choices?

As part of the Design & Build process, some Landmark Homes clients will team up with an interior designer or colour consultant (put throughout) to bring their vision for their home to life. But what does that involve? We interviewed Landmark Homes North Shore’s interior designer, Shannon Pepper, to shine a light on the interior design process.

Landmark Homes Interior Designer Shannon Pepper

What does interior design in a new home entail?

‘’When people think of interior designers, they often think of cushion choices and bathroom colour palettes. However, when you’re building a brand-new home from the ground up, an interior designer is involved in far more decisions than that,’’ smiles Shannon.

“When the client comes to the Interior Design department, we have to select everything in the home right down to doorstops and door handles. It isn’t just dressing their home; it’s constructing the house as well” she explains.

“We’ll choose things like paint colours, architraves, carpet, tiles, cabinetry in the bathrooms and kitchen, lighting, flooring, benchtops, bathroom fittings, and that’s just the start!”

Essentially, you’re working together to create the whole aesthetic and feel of the house beyond the bare bones of the house plan.

Landmark Homes North Shore kitchen design

Designers are brought in right from the beginning

Another common misconception is that interior design is the finishing touch on a home, and the final step in the process, but that’s not actually true, says Shannon.

“Generally, I would come on board when the house plans are being drawn. So, at that point, we’ll be thinking of a direction we want to go in and getting a concept in mind with the client.”

Coming on at this early stage is important because there are some interior decisions to be made at that early stage which could impact the end build, such as stud height, window placements and window coverings.

Planning ahead in this way ensures you’re running the most cost-effective and efficient build – minimising the chance of needing to make changes further down the track (although of course, Landmark is always happy to do that, too).

Resources to make design decisions easier

There are a lot of decisions to be made? in the interior design process, but the Landmark Homes North Shore and Rodney team have lots of resources and support on hand to help.

Pinterest is a much-loved tool for client and designer collaboration.  “We create Pinterest boards for clients all the time. I often find myself pinning on a Sunday afternoon because every client project is always in the back of my mind, even when I’m off duty!” she laughs.

“During the initial discussion phase, we’ll take clients into the Selection Room where we’ve got a bit of everything: paint samples, timber samples, flooring samples, tile samples” explains Shannon.

There you can get a feel for your options and see some samples of Landmark-quality fittings. And since it can be helpful to see these things in a more completed manner, there is a big computer screen in The Selection Room that gets a lot of use too.

“We often get clients to look at products in action online? Should online be here?, rather than expecting them to picture their bathroom by looking at a piece of stone! So it’s  a combination of using samples and visuals to help them make informed decisions,” says Shannon.

Helping you keep your interior design within budget

A large part of Shannon’s job is helping a client get what they want within budget.

“Sometimes we have clients that come in and have a vision that is greater than their budget. In that case, we have to try and create something for that client that they want, but within a budget they can afford — so, either on a smaller scale or by choosing some key features of the concept they’ve given us rather than the whole thing.”

“We will also provide advice on what products are best for what area, whether it be budget dependent or lifestyle dependent.”

For example, you may want to get a similar aesthetic to tiles in your master bathroom for your guest bathroom but without the price-tag. That’s exactly the kind of decisions your Landmark designer can help you with thanks to their insider know-how.

Landmark Homes North Shore bathroom

Product knowledge a-plenty

Having designed so many homes over the past decade, the Landmark Homes North Shore team already has lots of local product knowledge.

When it comes to staying on top of the latest local product releases, they rely on their robust relationships with representatives from New Zealand homeware companies.

“Companies contact us saying they’ve got something new,” says Shannon. “Then, we book a time to view and talk about their new product and upskill us on that product.”

However, not every product gets the Landmark seal of approval. “We screen every single product to make sure it’s going to fit with the quality that Landmark Homes want to deliver. So, everything is tested and proven before being used in a home and recommended to our clients”.

This product testing process and inherent quality standard means you’re getting access to all the latest innovations with none of the flops.

Hands-on or hands-off

There are different ways you can work with your Landmark interior designer, depending on the level of input you want over the end result. For example, says Shannon, “we have clients at the moment that love the quality of the houses that we build, so they said, ‘Can you choose everything right down to carpet and curtains — then let us know when you’ve got it all together.'”

“We’ve got one client like that right now who is based in Chicago for a year, and we’re designing and building their home remotely.”

Creating cohesive themes and a home that feels harmonious 

One of the big benefits of working with an interior designer is creating a sense of harmony rather than haphazardness throughout your home…which can happen if you’re left completely to your own devices!

“There’s definitely a type of harmony that you’re looking for with your hardware, fittings, colours and soft-furnishings like curtains and carpets,” says Shannon. “That comes from the outside, in, too, and includes the exterior paint choices. If they’re not in balance your home won’t look as good.”

An interior designer will help you look big picture and make sure every piece and element work together to create a cohesive and complementary finish.  A prime example of this is a project that Shannon was recently involved in; the Waitemata showhome which blends earthy tones to create a natural feel.

Landmark Homes North Shore Waitemata Showhome in Riverhead Auckland

Ultimately, it’s about bringing your vision to life with our expertise

Every client and every home is different, so whatever your preferred aesthetic, your Landmark interior designer is there to fuse their expertise with your ideas to create the desired end result. It’s a fun, customised process, with experts guiding you every step of the way to bring your vision to life.

“I’ve heard of designers being pushy or forceful, but we’re not like that here. We don’t put our personal style into every home because every home is created for our clients, not for us. We’re not there to tell you what to have. We’re there to guide you, advise you, and help you realise your vision for your home,” smiles Shannon.

That’s what it’s all about, folks.

Are you looking to build your dream home in 2022? Contact your local Landmark team here!  

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