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How our design process works

This week I am thrilled to be handing over the blog baton to Lauren (aka Loz) who heads up the norsu Design styling team. You may have noticed on our socials channels recently we have lots of projects on the go. We've received lots of requests for more info on how our team can help you in your renovation and decorating journeys. So it’s time to get our expert Lozzy to talk you through the nitty gritty.


The first stage of the design process would have to be one of the most important stages when renovating or building a home. Nailing the floor plan and layout of the home is absolutely vital, not only to create beautiful design features throughout, but also to create a highly functional space. Your foundations are key – having a designer like me involved at this stage will make sure that small details are looked at right from the get-go which will prevent issues arising down the track and be a huge time saver! You will need to find a draftsperson or architect (we have recommendations for you!) and their role is to create construction drawings for your builder to follow. They are the experts needed to ensure your plans adhere to council regulations, engineering requirements and will be responsible for all documentation required to get the illusive permits required to start! We often work alongside your draftsperson or architect in either two ways. We can help before, creating an initial conceptual floor plan (different to construction drawings) to hand to your draftsperson or architect giving you a head start, or we can commence when you have your first draft from them where will take on a “reviewing” role. To use a “real life” example, our gorgeous client Skye has kindly invited us to step through her journey. Skye got in touch when she had received the plans from her draftsperson and wanted the eye of a designer (aka me!) to help review and refine them, and asked me to come up with the overall vision for the home. We completely understand this stage can be overwhelming and stressful and we like to think we can hold your hand through the process and provide the confidence needed when making such a large investment. It’s the old adage that you don’t know what you don’t know and we like to think we bridge this gap.

As a designer who is utterly obsessed with technical drawings and layouts, it is at this floor plan stage that I start to envision where I would be placing joinery (cabinetry, wardrobes, island benches, etc) and looking at bathroom layout and positioning, making recommended tweaks to the initial plans to convey my overall vision. Our speciality is also looking at where your furniture with be positioned to make sure each room is meeting my clients’ brief. For example; will their existing furniture fit? Realistically, how much space are they working with? And finally, what furniture they can have in each room? Here’s a snapshot of Skye’s to show you what we do!


Once the plans are nearly complete (we can commence this stage while you’re waiting on your permits) we start the fun part! This is when we design the joinery and select the fixtures, fittings, and materials. It is the detail of the handmade tiles, smooth stones, oak timber flooring, soft wool loop pile carpet, flowing linen sheer curtains, leather handles and brass knobs that I recommended in Skye’s house that has turned it into a home. These are the features that bring personality and life into a space. The design concepts we create give a visual representation of how each space will look and these can be passed on to all your trades! The concepts include moodboards showing all recommendations, a floor plan with dimensions and annotations, and elevation drawings – a set that is rendered with annotations and another set showing the internal storage with all measurements. Providing your builders with this level of detail ensures the whole process runs a lot smoother and will reduce the chance of errors! Please see examples below!


As beautiful as our design concepts are, and even though they give a really good representation of the finishes selected, it is so important that our clients view the samples and colours in person to make sure they love the look and feel. When selecting my recommendations, I have a play around in our norsu headquarters with the physical samples, creating a ‘flat lay’ which I then present to my clients along with the technical drawings. Skye said this was the “ah hah” moment when it all came life.


Throughout the build process questions can pop up from the builders and often our clients feel more confident running these by us. We offer an ongoing service to help with all additional recommendations, site visits to assist trades, quick design related questions, etc. We simply do this on an hourly consultation rate. Of course for Skye’s we have visited numerous times - some could call us control freaks!


Not only do we offer services for all things renovation, we also offer styling and decorating expertise. Furniture and accessories are our bread and butter here at norsu, and this is how we differ from the rest! Our norsuHOME styling team can help with all furniture and accessory selection and placement…from your sofa and dining table, down to the candle on your coffee table, our team can do it all! Being a retailer, we are so lucky to have amazing relationships with so many different suppliers, and we’re a little obsessed with everything new that hits the market. Similar to our renovation concept boards, we create moodboards for the furniture, soft furnishings and art, including the suggested placement. We also help with the ordering and delivery process too. Our incredible Studio Manager pulls together a detailed schedule of all the pieces for our clients and communicates with all the suppliers – again another service we offer which separates us from the rest! Let’s have a look at what our team created for Skye.


The final step that we offer is the install of the furniture and accessories. This is the final finishing touch, one our clients love, because everything they have purchased is placed to perfection by our norsuHOME styling team. One of the most important things I want to note is that we are beyond flexible in the way we work here at norsu. Yes, we offer these six different stages, however we can help you with all, or only with one! Not only do we help with renovations or new builds, a large part of our work is helping our clients furnish their existing homes. We are here to take away the stress and create a beautiful and functional space for you and your family, no matter what the scope or scale!

Hope this has helped, please drop us a note below or fill in our form if you want some help! We can’t wait to say “hi”.

Lauren x

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