Blog

/Blog/

Cape Town Shopfitters | Artfully Integrating Science and Psychology

Shopfitting – A Potent Tool For Business Growth

The long-term survival and profitability of a business is determined solely by its market impact.

GIC-Interior-Design-Commercial-Business-Office-Shop-Fitting-Cape-Town-Reception-Showroom-D01

In order to create a positive impact and build a sustainable enterprise, a business must master the art of effective customer engagement.

If a business fails in this regard, an early demise due to decreasing patronage and diminishing customer loyalty is inevitable. An active customer base is the heart-beat of a thriving business. Without any customers, there is no business.

In the past, high-quality products and excellent customer service differentiated market-leading businesses from their competitors, but today, times have changed…

Prolonged spells of adverse trading conditions are challenging and testing both the resilience and agility of of every enterprise on many levels. The global economy is mired in uncertainty and customer confidence is waning – hamstrung by financial constraints.

Cape-Town-Shopfitters-Custom-Commercial-Interior-Designers-Shopfitting

Businesses are forced to do more than simply excel at their core competencies in order to remain relevant and competitive. To remain economically viable a business must evolve and adapt to the prevailing market forces which currently place the customer firmly in the pound seats. Expensive marketing campaigns and catchy slogans no longer guarantee increased footfall, patronage or market domination.

The role of CRM

Although CRM systems play a crucial role in customer management programs, an enterprise must maximize returns by doing more with less. This includes leveraging their assets and optimizing their resources to exploit every available opportunity.

The art of “Customer Relationship Management” or “Customer Retention Management”, transcends the capabilities of a software package. There is a very strong correlation between the success of a business and its ability to attract new customers and this places a premium on the quality of the interaction that a business has with its audience – prospects and customers.

GIC-Interior-Design-Commercial-Business-Office-Shop-Fitting-Cape-Town-Reception-Showroom-D02

Presentation – The Portal to Customer Engagement

It is often said that presentation is king. This is absolutely correct. Presentation is everything. Businesses focused on attracting and retaining customers, must invest meaningfully in finding and implementing the best options to present their offerings to their audience. Presentation is the first step in the customer engagement process, irrespective of the location of a business.

Businesses operating from a virtual location in cyberspace face the same “presentation” challenges as those operating from a traditional, physical brick and mortar location.

The presentation of a business is often the first point of contact with a prospective customer. First impressions last, and we only have one chance to make a first impression. These are two timeless truisms that are particularly relevant in the business world.

Modern-day customers are more discerning and look beyond the hype and marketing tricks. Customers or prospects may subliminally equate a professional presentation with the overall professionalism of a business. The presentation of a business is akin to a silent salesperson. It creates a presence and speaks volumes for a business – silently.

An effective presentation is attractive and magnetic. It appeals to the senses and immediately generates interest – akin to a lure and a hook! A business that underestimates the importance of the presentation aspect of its operation will soon find its customers voting with their feet – taking their wallets and patronage somewhere else. The risk of missing out on a high quality product, excellent service or a good deal seldom overrides the drawbacks of poor presentation.

GIC-Interior-Design-Commercial-Business-Offices-Shops-Fitting-Showroom-Counters-Cape-Town-J2

A well-constructed presentation with an irresistible call to action is often the clincher as it converts prospects into customers and expedites the process of closing a deal. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on optimizing the presentation of your offerings for a traditional brick and mortar location.

Consult an Expert

At Gardner Interior Concepts – Cape Town’s leading shopfitting specialists – we are committed to providing your business with the tools for success by delivering solutions that drive effective customer engagement to accelerate business growth.

Cape-Town-Shopfitting-and-Custom-Commercial-Interior-Designers

Our comprehensive service portfolio covers every aspect of designing new stores, offices, kiosks, showrooms and businesses and we also offer innovative solutions for refurbishing, remodeling and renovating. We see your business as the art, displayed on the canvas of a brick and mortar container. We focus on designing inspiring and appealing presentation spaces which create a compelling “sales environment” – conducive to facilitating engagement and leaving your customers with a lasting and indelible impression of your brand.

Enhancing the customer experience

We use science, art and psychology to maximize the impact of your brand by creating a unique, superior and unforgettable customer experience. For customers, retail therapy is as much about ambiance, setting and impact as it is about getting what you want in exchange for your hard-earned dollars.

It is an emotional experience which can be enhanced by various triggers such as lighting, colors, scents, music and overall design within an optimal floor plan and layout. We also include customer comfort, safety and security components in our designs.

Integrating Optimal Space Usage, Flow and Design

Natural flow is an integral feature of our design and at the forefront of our space-planning considerations. Customer flow management can make or break the customer experience. The first impression of your layout, presentation features and signage will immediately influence a customer’s choice as to whether they retreat in haste, or succumb to the irresistible urge to step inside and explore your offerings at close quarters.

Our mission is to optimize your available floor-space for effective usage with an intuitive layout, effective signage and captivating presentation features that are primed to guide your customers along a strategically designed path around the store – from the moment they enter – all the way to your point of sale installations.

To simplify browsing, we can provide different zones to house specific items or categories, together with special zones for featured products or services. We also provide all the required display features, fixtures and fittings.

Cape-Town-Shopfitters-and-Custom-Commercial-Interior-Designers

Our design is informed by the intended flow of traffic, the location of “must see” zones and any other designated “high traffic” areas. We ensure that the design of your point of sale installations, queuing areas and priority displays does not affect traffic flow or impede access to any area.

Conclusion

The implementation of a shopfitting solution that delivers on your expectations and reflects your brand is not an easy exercise. For the best results, it’s advisable to enlist the help of an expert once you have crystallized the objectives of your project. Specialists can help you avoid the many hidden and costly pitfalls of this domain.

The help of an expert can ensure that your results enhance your brand and accelerates business growth. A solution that works well for your customers and gains their seal of approval, is the ultimate reward for your efforts.

GIC-Green-Custom- Interior-Design-Company-Project-Cape-Town-A0

Contact Cape Town’s specialist shopfitters, Gardner Interior Concepts, today for professional advice with your project. We have both the industry expertise and experience to provide the best design solution for your business. Our obligation-free advisory and planning service will assist you with the creation of a dynamic environment to support and enhance your operation, allowing you to focus on running your business.

Simply share your requirements with us and we will do the rest to ensure that your business makes a positive, significant and sustainable market impact. Our solutions including space planning and optimization for intuitive traffic flow, as well as displays, cabinets, shelving, fixtures, flooring and suitable lighting, signage and colors.

Our solutions are designed to “sell” your brand and captivate your customers to ensure business growth, longevity and profitability to guarantee exceptional returns on your investment.

Make a positive impact. Make your first impression last. Make the right choice.

Contact Gardner Interior Concepts today and get your shopfitting project done right, the first time.

Interior Design | Lifestyle and Living Space

“Think about it carefully…”

This loaded statement embodies sound advice but is seldom well-received, particularly at the start of a remodeling or redesign project.

Cape Town Interior Designers Lifestyle Functionality Flow Space

Admittedly, this instructive advice does seem at odds with the very nature of emotive, creative and artistic expression.

Is it not universally accepted that logic and emotion are mutually exclusive and poles apart?

So what’s to think about, when artistic expression is not meant to conform to “logical” filters?

Cape Town Interior Designers Lifestyle Functionality Space

However, the thought-provoking quotes below may encourage us to “re-think” our response to this apparently counter-intuitive advice, when next we embark on a redesign project.

An interior is the natural projection of the soul. ~Coco Chanel

A house is much more than a mere shelter. It should lift us emotionally and spiritually. ~John Saladino

To achieve our desired results – visibly, tangibly and functionally – we have to ensure that our remodeling or redesign project delivers the practical implementation of our choices, decisions and goals.

Generally, many of our choices and decisions are rooted in emotion and creativity – informed by our personal style and taste – which we hope our designer will skillfully wrap in an artistic and impactful presentation layer.

Introducing logic and sound reasoning is often an exercise in futility when the creative mind is at work. Any attempt to “impede the flow”, or derail the creative mind’s train of thought by admitting impediments, is really pointless.

Many ideas seem great and easily pass muster on the back of heightened emotions and optimism, and contrary opinion is an unwelcome intrusion into the realm of growing enthusiasm and bubbling excitement.

Sadly, the implementation of an “untested” idea – characterized by inertia and intransigence – may have long-lasting and far-reaching implications.

Cape Town Interior Designers Lifestyle and Space

Great designers possess the skill and the ability to sift through a myriad ideas quickly; weeding out those that do not fit their vision.

The tale below – which exemplifies the essence of artistic mastery – is attributed to one of the world’s greatest Renaissance artists, Michelangelo. When quizzed on the difficulties and enormous challenges he faced while creating his sculpting masterpiece, David, Michelangelo responded with a simple but powerful description of his artistic and creative process:

“It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”

This timeless quote, although understated, defines the reality of mastering an art: The ability to remove or exclude whatever does not belong. Perfection is achieved by removing imperfections.

When it comes to our living space, it is often our inability to let go or say no, that results in cluttered and dysfunctional living spaces.

We all dream of having a living space which is efficient, stylish and ordered. If our living space becomes unlivable due to structural, aesthetic or practical deficiencies, how would we live? Does our living space bring life into our existence?

Change the face of your space and put a smile on your dial

We can make significant changes to our lives by making simple changes to our living space because our living space is intrinsically linked to our lives. It shapes our lifestyles either positively or negatively.

Does your living space inspire you with vitality or does it mire you in frustration?

We can design flow, order and structure “into” our living space. This helps us to sustain a good mind space to support a healthy life – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Cape Town Interior Designers Lifestyle Functionality and Living Space

The statements below are all true and illustrate how small design elements can have a profound effect on our sense of well-being.

  • We instinctively avoid spaces that make us feel “cold” or “uncomfortable”;
  • We become frustrated in spaces characterized by ineffectual design;
  • A space with unintuitive flow can eventually trigger anger;
  • Certain colors can make us feel happy, sad or unsettled;
  • The design of our bedroom – lighting, color and temperature – can affect the quality of our sleep;
  • The design of our kitchen – functionality, flow, lighting and storage – can affect the quality of our cooking;
  • We maximize our relaxation by bringing outdoor items such as plants, fruit and pebbles into our leisure space;
  • Decor is a matter of personal style and taste, but a photo gallery always adds a special, magical touch.

Can we ever take emotion out of design?

Another pertinent quote I’ve heard goes something like this:

“Do not allow your emotions to design or decorate your space – you may create something your mind won’t embrace.”

Does this mean that design driven by emotion is mindless or thoughtless, or does this mean that emotions can ruin good design? Maybe not. We can indeed use our emotions positively to influence our design choices.

When we have to make difficult and important choices, we often have to look to our past to find the answers to our future. The past often holds the keys to our future, along with vital cues and clues. So how do we use this information?

Let’s say we are planning to create a space that feels homely and inviting. It may help us to look back in our lives and identify the places that made us feel that way – at home, carefree and energized. We can also relive this feeling, by visualizing these places and focusing on their unique elements and characteristics. This is essentially what formed and framed our experiences. Active visualization can ignite our imagination and fuel our emotions.

I suddenly found myself walking into Mom’s kitchen where she’s baking my favorite ginger and orange cookies. That aroma is still unmistakable, and I can virtually taste it. Coming home to a warm kitchen and the heavenly smell of cookies baking in the oven will forever be special to me. It evokes a feeling which still makes me smile, even now.

To complete my memory, I need to grab a cuppa and make a beeline for my favorite seat – the sunny spot by the window – on our comfy kitchen couch. Mmmm… Now I can calmly wait for those cookies to appear. Happiness!

But I digress…

We can use the memories and emotions associated with unforgettable spaces from our past as templates for the spaces we wish to create – depending on their characteristics. Now this is a smart way to engage our emotions to achieve great design results. Clearly, emotional decisions are not really all bad, after all.

Keep emotions at bay when chipping clutter away

By designing clutter out, we automatically design flow and efficiency in. This is how we add style and many other benefits to our lives. The word/term “Lifestyle” is comprises two words, but it implies one life with a personal and distinctive style. Our home – our shelter, our fortress, our foundation and our sanctuary – should be the foundation of that lifestyle.

A space with intuitive flow feels open and inviting, but a space littered with objects seems like an obstacle course. Naturally, an obstacle course is designed to block progress and test our ability to navigate these blockages, both emotionally and physically. To move forward, we have to move through, crawl under, or climb over these obstacles. Every step requires physical effort and mental application.

Who would enjoy or relish the thought of an obstacle course in their home? A cluttered space becomes a breeding ground for negativity and frustration. It cause our blood pressure and heart rates to soar and sets the tone for a life constrained by debilitating emotional weight.

Cape Town Kitchen Designers Remodelers - Renovations Refurbishments Remodeling

Our living space should be our oasis and our crucible – a place where we belong and grow. It should be the source of our confidence and the catalyst for our rejuvenation and refreshment. It should also spark our creativity and sustain our clarity of mind. A cluttered space is a headache and a heartache.

A well-designed living space, in which we are surrounded by objects that we love, is inspirational. It changes who we are, how we feel about ourselves and heightens our sense of self. It serves as our anchor and foundation and provides stability-
a crucial element for success in the outside world.

If you design your living space in alignment with the goals you have set for your life, you are empowered with the perfect springboard to achieve your objectives.

CONCLUSION

Less is clearly more, when it comes to designing a space which supports, enhances and empowers your lifestyle. Optimal design is inspiring, because it raises our levels of confidence, stability and security. A cluttered space on the other hand suppresses our sense of freedom, clouds our mind and stifles creativity.

Every interior will need a few changes at one or other time. Change is an opportunity for a fresh design that meets your needs. We can all do with a fresh start and it does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

Speak to our professional designers and decorators today and get the advice you need. Let us help you transform your living space to match the lifestyle you desire, without breaking the bank.

Call Gardner Interior Concepts today. Let’s change the face of your space and create a masterpiece, together.

Contact us now…

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Gardner Interior Concepts

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation – Innovation trumps frustration

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation projects are always filled with excitement and hype – naturally and understandably – but as much as we believe that our project will be successful, it is better to be in the know.

So, what should we know, and why?

cape-town-interior-designers-custom-bespoke-kitchen-design-cape-town

Truth is: If we know nothing, we will accept anything.

There is much more to remodeling and renovating our kitchen than meets the eye. Let’s explore what this is, and why…

Many remodeling and renovation projects deliver striking and somewhat beautiful results, but a fair percentage of these projects miss the mark on critical issues. To understand what these issues are, and how and why things go wrong, we should review the fundamental characteristics of a successful remodeling or renovation project.

In terms of the final result and finished product, a successful project encapsulates and integrates the three most important design principles, i.e. functionality, ambiance (mood) and style (personality).

Functionality

Functionality – be it additional or enhanced – is the primary objective of almost every remodeling or renovation project. Functionality transcends aesthetics and is the de facto measure of success or failure. If your project enhances the functionality of your space and makes it work really well for you, it guarantees great returns on your investment.

Functionality embodies effective design which optimizes the usage of your space. Functional design improves flow and accessibility; facilitates organization, and places necessities within easy reach when you need it. Effortless efficiency!

Function-rich design replaces frustration with creativity and innovation. When functionality is sumptuously wrapped in tasteful aesthetics, it creates maximum eye-appeal – the “wow” factor. This is essentially the hallmark of a dream project – a resounding success, and a source of pride and contentment for years to come. Great projects deliver timeless results and retain their “wow” factor.

Functionality and Setting

For a project to deliver a magical result, it must deliver the required functionality within a setting which is fitting. The setting of a space is created by the ambiance (mood) and style (character) of the space. Creative, innovative and well-informed designers deliver dynamic and harmonious settings which are fit for purpose and meet your requirements.

In order to achieve a harmonious setting, specific design elements require careful consideration up font.

Balance, scale and proportion are three separate, but intertwined elements. Collectively, these three elements can make or break the mood and the character of a space.

Balance

Balance and equilibrium can be achieved either formally, by symmetrical design, or informally, by using various objects around your space, in order to create balance and equilibrium within the space.

It is important to note that the indiscriminate use of random objects to achieve balance, or to decorate a space, has a negative impact on harmony, because it results in a disjointed or cluttered look and feel. Both the selection and use of decorative objects must be guided by scale and proportion to maintain harmony in terms of color, size and also weight.

interior-designers-cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-kitchen-designs-cape-town

Good balance flows naturally from well-considered design – supplemented with complementary decorations which fit the dimensions of the space and also enhances harmony.

It is impossible to achieve balance within a space if the color, size and weight of the decorations do not create a sense of harmony.

Scale and Proportion

Scale and Proportion are important elements for creating harmonious “size relationships” within a space. If either scale or proportion is not considered as important factors in the selection of decorative items, the balance of the space will be impacted negatively.

All the items in a space must have the correct scale and proportion to fit the dimensions of a space. It helps to measure the dimensions of the space and define the acceptable dimensions of every decorative item in order to maintain a balanced “size relationship” among all the objects in a space.

Conclusion

The objects in a space create, affect and impact the balance – equilibrium and harmony of a space. Formal balance is achieved by design, while informal balance is achieved by the placement of various objects. The “symmetrical design” option – formal balance – creates equilibrium intrinsically and naturally.

The use of decorative items to create informal balance results in a space which is subtly balanced and offers a subliminal sense of freedom, casualness, informality, and perhaps even playfulness.

If our kitchen designer successfully weaves the critical elements of functionality and balance (size, color, weight, scale and proportion) together harmoniously, we have the makings of a magical kitchen remodeling or renovation project. These are the ingredients of the recipe for success, befitting of a celebration for design innovation.

If you are searching for a kitchen designer who understands the principles and subtle nuances of both interior design and kitchen design, contact Gardner Interior Concepts today, and let’s create a masterpiece, together. We aim for success and nothing less…

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Remodeling | Renovation | Cupboards

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation Projects

Part 1 – Focus on success and nothing less!

Remodeling and Renovation projects can be successful and breathtaking or disappointing and heartbreaking. Unbridled excitement can blind us to the pitfalls of a project, because we simply don’t know what we don’t know. The first step towards improving our chances for success is accepting that knowledge is power. We have to be in the know.

cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-bespoke-kitchen-designers-cape-town

So, what do we have know about our project, and why?

Truth is: If you don’t know something, you will fall for anything.

Remodeling and renovating your kitchen is not an overnight exercise or a weekend job. It entails much more than meets the eye. Let’s explore what this is, and why…

Many kitchen projects deliver good results, but lack the “wow” factor. This is mainly because the designer overlooked critical factors or understated the importance of certain critical elements. To understand what these elements are, and how and why things went wrong, our best starting point is a review of the essential characteristics of a successful remodeling or renovation project.

Successful projects encapsulate and integrate important design principles, best practices, the latest trends, artistic flair and practical efficiency. The optimal placement of objects within the layout of a space is guided by the aforementioned elements. The placement of objects can make or break a space in terms of function, mood and personality.

Focal Points

The moment we enter a space, our eyes are automatically drawn to one or other item or object in that space. Quite often, this shift of focus is not merely accidental, but instead engineered. Great designers have the ability to deliberately and consciously grab us by our eyeballs and shift our focus to an object of their choice.

This object is commonly the focal point of the space and the designer is able to shift our focus, grab our attention or draw us in by virtue of the strategic placement of the object, the proximity of the object, the shape and color of the object, but mainly, the layout of the space.

Cape-Town-custom-kitchen-design-interior-design

A focal point is essentially a standout feature of a space – a dynamic object which makes a silent statement with emphatic impact. It captures and captivates our focus.

Designers may use paintings, sculptures, ornamentation, wall-hangings and exotic rugs to serve as focal points – by design. On the other hand, plants or trees, large bay windows with panoramic views and fireplaces form very natural focal points. A space without a focal point is like an actor without a character. Lifeless!

Great designers have the ability to turn a focal point into a delightful treasure trove for the captivated visitor or viewer and creates maximum impact. A well-constructed focal point offers more than simple eye-appeal. It also introduces the rest of the design as our focus shifts from the focal point to the rest of the space.

Rhythm

As we perceive the rest of the space, the rhythm of the design becomes clear, as with a piece of music. The progression and repetition of lines, colors and forms can be either subtle or overt and it impacts us either positively or negatively. Subtle progressions translate into a sustained rhythm, while drastic changes in lines, colors and forms cause a break or change in the continuity of the rhythm.

Cape- Town-Kitchens-Cupboards-Designers-Countertops-Islands

Great designers create a work of art in the same way that orchestra conductors create a masterpiece from various instruments. The continuity, repetitions or changes in rhythm can be either progressive or pronounced. This ultimately determines our response to, and our perception of the presentation. The effects of great music and inspired design are
however the same, in that we are deeply touched on many levels, despite their different sensual entry points. Design captivates our eyes as music captivates our ears. We immediately feel the rhythm and choose whether to run or dance.

Furniture

Our selection of furniture items must be guided by the intended usage and functional requirements of the space. Size, scale and proportion should determine the suitability of every furniture item. Maintaining a balanced “size-relationship” within a space is important for creating a harmonious atmosphere and the desired ambiance in the space.

The placement of furniture items must be planned with a well-considered approach. Ensure that each furniture item fits within the overall dimensions of the space. Measure each individual furniture item to ensure that it fits within the allocated area and sustains the visitor’s connection with the focal point of the space.

Importantly, furniture items should not impede access or obstruct the flow of movement in critical areas.

Lighting

Lighting has a significant effect on the mood and character of a space. Selected lighting according to the usage and required functionality of your space. Lighting has a profound effect on the senses and must be suitable and sufficient for the intended purpose. Adjustable lighting (dimmers) offers a wider range of uses and options.

Kitchen-Designers-and Designs-Cape-Town

Energy-efficient lighting is an important component of global energy-saving efforts and drives the shift towards sustainability. Smart choices will ensure the best of both worlds in terms of functionality and efficient energy usage. Natural lighting is fast becoming a prominent feature of all modern-day kitchen designs.

The best lighting solutions combine eye-appeal, functionality and efficiency into a striking and effective package. Install accented lighting in appropriate areas to maximize impact and effectiveness. The use of spots for the floor; motion-sensor lighting; mounted or recessed spotlights, and touch-sensor lighting enhance the ambiance and character of any space. Perfect lighting is mood food, even without music.

Conclusion

Great designers use their “trade secrets”, skill and talent to create masterpieces which are revelations. They uncover hidden gems where others only see challenges. Their delivery amounts to more than just eye-appeal. They realize your vision effectively, efficiently and beautifully by balancing your requirements with the essential design elements for an eye-catching and harmonious solution that works well for you.

Great designers create inspiring visual delights. They don’t make idle promises, or hide behind jargon or catchy soundbites. Their designs guarantee a new kitchen that will be the focal point of your home and your family. Your lighting and furniture will be functional, practical and inspiring – enhancing your space and your property. Their designs have an intrinsic rhythm, creating the right mood and ambiance to keep you dancing for a lifetime.

If you are searching for a kitchen designer who understands the principles and subtle nuances of both interior design and kitchen design, contact Gardner Interior Concepts today, and let’s create a masterpiece, together. We aim for success and nothing less…

Gardner Interior Concepts Cape Town | Kitchen Design Tips

Kitchen Design Projects – Remodeling and Renovations

Remodeling or redesigning your kitchen is quite an exciting adventure and holds the promise of an enhanced new lifestyle. If your makeover stems from a long overdue need for change, your project will be tinged with a rosy hue of optimism.

GIC-cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-bespoke-kitchen-design-2-cape-town

Kitchen makeovers born out of a need for additional space, extra functionality or a more family-oriented design, carry the weight of great expectations.

Formalize your Requirements

Kitchen renovation or remodeling projects are not overnight exercises, but take weeks or months, depending on the size and complexity of your project. A complex project may require architects, general contractors, plumbers, electricians and other professionals to assist your Kitchen Designer.

To quote a well-known truism: “To get what you want, you must know what you want.”

The best starting point for a successful Kitchen Remodeling project is getting to know your kitchen space. Begin by reviewing the way you use your kitchen and focus on how you can make it work better for you.

The important factors to note are the shape and size of your kitchen space and how this impacts on your preferences in terms of access, work-flow (zones or triangles), movement, seating and the proximity of inter-dependent items and areas. This will help you to understand your constraints and limitations.

Use the actual dimensions and measurements of walls and floor areas as a practical means of establishing the feasibility of specific ideas, wishes and plans, in order to eliminate assumptions and clarify any uncertainty. It will also prevent you from painting yourself into a corner – forever stuck on a misguided assumption. Attempting the impossible guarantees failure, before you’ve even started.

gardner-interior-concepts-kitchen-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f2

The placement and location of your preparation, storage and cooking areas should be a prime feature of your design deliberations.

Experts concur that you should contact your Kitchen Designer only once you have defined your requirements to an acceptable degree. You can reduce your options by elimination if you subject your wish-list – ideas, wants and needs – to a feasibility/do-ability test within the constraints of your remodeling space.

Make the right choices

It is possible to make the right choices if you allow your own personal style and taste to inform your kitchen design style. This will also reduce your options considerably and make things easier for both you and your Kitchen Designer.

Your desired lifestyle is the blueprint for your new kitchen and your kitchen design should reflect the way you use your kitchen on a daily basis.

How to avoid mistakes

Search results on Kitchen Design projects are dominated by glossy images of breathtaking kitchens and numerous success stories. Sadly, excellent results are not a given. Peeking behind the euphoria, under the veneer and beyond the backsplash reveals the secrets to a successful project.

Identifying and adopting the best approach to your project is an art which is founded on proven methodologies – principles, rules, techniques and practices. These methodologies insulate your project and mitigate the risks posed by internal or external factors which could derail it.

gardner-interior-concepts-kitchen-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f7

Historically, most epic failures are preceded by unbridled optimism. Realism, is tempered optimism. Realism limits the potential for pie-in-the-sky objectives and eliminates any premature visions of a fait accompli. Realism embraces rational reasoning while moderating emotional reactions – ensuring better choices, for better results.

Projects guided by smart choices conform to requirements. As a result, your new kitchen will be a feast to the eye, a joy to the family and a timeless source of sumptuous culinary delights.

Mitigating Project Failure

Why do project fails, when it all sounds so easy?

The four usual suspects top the list for project failures which result in long-lasting disappointment:

  • Unclear requirements (goals and objectives);
  • Overly-optimistic expectations and wayward assumptions;
  • Budget-overruns, and
  • Poor-quality craftsmanship.

By inference, the success of your project is directly linked to…

  • How well you translate your goals and objectives into clear requirements;
  • How realistic your expectations and assumptions are;
  • How well you set and manage your budget, and
  • The caliber of the Kitchen Designer you choose to appoint.

Failed remodeling projects have far-reaching consequences for your home and wide-ranging implications for your family.

You can improve your project’s chances for success exponentially by defining your requirements clearly; minimizing assumptions setting realistic expectations; setting a budget and sticking to it, and most importantly, appointing an accredited Kitchen Designer with a proven track record.

READ: How to select an Interior or Kitchen Designer

Irrespective of your motivations for remodeling your kitchen, your results should reflect your requirements accurately and deliver functionality which expresses your style and taste beautifully.

gardner-interior-concepts-kitchen-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f6

The Evolution of the Kitchen

Modern-day kitchens have evolved into the operations center of the home – a critical component of day to day living.

New York-based interior designer, Andrew Suvalsky, says “The kitchen is truly the focus of the home today. A great kitchen design will give essential clues to how the rest of the home can and should develop.”, while Hannah Lord of Heid Interior Design senses that, “Kitchens are going back to the future with ‘workhouse island counters’ as the central feature. The island counter is where you can cook, chop, store and socialise.”

The design of your kitchen can instantaneously create a feeling or setting which you enjoy, such as a farmhouse, a cottage or a coastal getaway. Tables, cabinets, cupboards, finishes, furniture, colors, textures, decor and accessories are integral parts of the desired moood, character and ambiance of your kitchen.

The “Island Kitchen” design is growing in popularity due to flexible layout options and space-saving. An island creates a naturally central, multi-purpose hub for preparing, cooking, eating, socializing and entertaining.

The Triangle revisited

The latest kitchen designs are characterized by variations on the traditional “triangle”, focusing strongly on optimized work-flow, access, space usage and storage.

Traditional “store-prep-cook” triangles have been replaced by more expansive and practical “zones” which are allocated and defined according to their usage.

Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc. decribes the evolution of the kitchen: “We have gone from the traditional kitchen, where one person prepared meals to a multi-purpose room and a multiple-cook room, and this evolution has changed us from looking at one work triangle to multiple triangles, or ‘zones’. With that in mind, we have to increase clearances and look at adding comfortable spaces in the kitchen.”

gardner-interior-concepts-kitchen-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f1

A Multi-purpose family room

Breaking with convention, many modern kitchens have “developed” an office and homework capability to complement the traditional kitchen activities such as cooking, eating, socializing and entertaining.

We see countertops doubling as desks for laptops and other devices, as well as paperwork. The kitchen has also lately become the de facto park-and-recharge hub for most of the family’s electronic gadgets.

Common Kitchen Design Styles

Modern kitchens bring the sophistication of technology to the heart of your home. The convenience of push-button automation provides most of the required functionality. High-tech materials up the ante for a look and feel that is cool, sleek and sexy. Space-tech appliances – recessed, hidden, retractable – together with handle-less cabinetry and shiny surfaces – keep up the awesomeness and eliminate clutter. Tasteful exotic wood and glass finishes add the finishing touches to hi-tech luxury.

Traditional and Classic designs offer unique characteristics for your kitchen, despite styles becoming slightly more fluid and sharing elements – while retaining their fundamental characteristics. Transitional kitchen designs straddle more than one style across various elements.

READ: Kitchen Design Styles and Trends

The Contemporary kitchen features well-considered mixing and matching of elements from across the spectrum and provides open spaces, seating and top-drawer cooking appliances. The additional kitchen space enables guests to interact with the chef/host(ess). This design changes traditional cooking from “social cooking” to “cooking socially”.

The Contemporary kitchen provides an inclusive social and entertainment hotspot: Guests can socialize with their hosts – enjoying an interactive cooking experience while sharing the natural kitchen heat and social buzz. Not much wrong with work and play!

Farmhouse, Rustic and Country kitchen designs feature natural – slightly rough-hewn and imperfect – furnishings and finishes to complement their inherent warm, cozy and inviting feeling. Coastal kitchen designs create an informal and relaxed setting, with imaginative, vacation-inspired furniture, decor and finishes.

cape-town-interior-designers-residential-project-contractors-2

POINTS TO PONDER BEFORE DIGGING IN

Kitchen Designers offer excellent advice for you best options, but if you prefer your own counsel, you should be aware of the implications of your choices.

Your Kitchen Design Style will ultimately inform your choices but the key considerations listed below will affect your final results negatively if you ignore or overlook them.

Placement

When optimizing work-flow, your placement of the preparation area, landing area and also the storage areas for food (cold, chilled, ambient), kitchen utensils, appliances and accessories must be considered carefully. The location of your sink area, cupboards, pantry, large appliances and transient workspaces can often dictate the layout of your new kitchen.

Transient workspaces include chopping, unpacking and multi-use holding areas for cleaned, rinsed or ready-to-be-used items.

Wiring and Plumbing

Pay special attention to the location of the power-points, electrical wiring and plumbing for all your appliances and note potential changes to these locations. Keep sustainability in mind and consider energy-saving options.

Lighting

Kitchen lighting is all about brightening up your kitchen tastefully, effectively and economically. New lighting trends offer exquisite lighting solutions which add a beautiful touch to your kitchen.

Clarify your lighting requirements and your color preferences for creating the mood and personality you desire for your kitchen.

Highlight the areas that needing more light as a guide the placement and style of your lighting and fittings. Keep sustainability in mind and consider renewables, energy-saving options and also explore the use of natural light.

GIC-cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-bespoke-kitchen-design-3-cape-town

Cabinetry, Cupboards and Furniture

Your preferred cabinetry, built-in cupboards and furniture should suit the style of the kitchen design you have selected.

The size of your space will determine what type of seating can be used and whether a dining table is an option.

Choose the type, style, color, usage and placement of your cabinetry, including your choice of doors and handles.

Also decide on whether you wish to allocate and demarcate different zones in your kitchen with furniture, if you have an “open-plan” design.

Countertops

Your countertops play a huge role in defining the character and tone of your kitchen and should top your decision list.

Your countertops form the face of the kitchen and have a significant impact on the balance – blend or contrast – of your overall color-scheme.

Flooring and Tiling

Your choice of flooring and tiling completes the character and style of your new kitchen. Both the “flooring” and “tiling” market offer innovative and low-maintenance materials and colors for flooring and tiling.

You could opt for a design which is distinctive or one which complements the existing flooring and tiling around your home.

Finishing touches

The quality and suitability of your decor, colors, paint, fabrics and textures play a significant role in completing your project. These elements should stay in focus, even if only at a high level. This allow you to drill down into the detail and finalize your requirements at the appropriate time.

GIC-cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-bespoke-kitchen-design-4-cape-town

PLANNING YOUR KITCHEN DESIGN PROJECT

Common misconceptions such as “haste equals speed” and “the details are not important” spell disaster and one or the other party will have egg on their face.

Wayward assumptions turn dreams into nightmares. Wake-up calls come far too late, leaving the dreamer to enjoy a generous helping of humble-pie – served up cold – in an undercooked new kitchen.

For a project to take the cake with timeous delivery and excellent, results it must follow one simple recipe: Meticulous planning. In the Kitchen Design space, the proverbial devil is indeed in the detail. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Spectacularly!

Meticulous planning requires sound judgment, rigorous requirement management; stringent adherence to time-frames; deft sidestepping of distractions, focused fiscal discipline and tireless due diligence. These ingredients blended together, form the recipe for a masterpiece.

GIC-cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-bespoke-kitchen-design-1-cape-town

CONCLUSION

Your chances for a successful Kitchen Remodeling project are improved considerably when you have clear requirements; a realistic approach; a well-managed budget, and a qualified Kitchen Designer.

If your objective is to create an efficient and well-organized “cooking space”, you have to focus on
functionality, work-flow and accessibility – within the constraints of your available space.

If your requirement is a warm, multi-use family space with a social cooking hub, focus on zones and placement.

In order of priority: Style and taste have pride of place, but placement ultimately wins the race.

Good placement sets everyday items within reach, enabling you to find exactly what you need when you need it, quickly and easily. It facilitates effective organization.

Accessibility, efficiency, organization, flow and functionality are all rooted in practicality.

The hallmark of a successful kitchen remodeling project is a bouquet of functionality, delightfully wrapped in efficiency and practicality.

A kitchen with optimal flow and placement is too intuitive to confuse, and an absolute joy to use!

Click here to contact Gardner Interior Concepts right away and get your dream project started today.

Cape Town Kitchen Design Project | Decorex 2017

Decorex Cape Town 2017 – co-sponsored by Plascon and Caesarstone – was an exhilarating experience, abuzz with energy, vibrant color and inspiring interpretations of the Decorex 2017 theme: ‘Make your space your living dream’.

Cape Town’s top designers, decorators and lifestyle experts wowed visitors with their amazing skill, talent and creativity.

GIC-Interior-Designers-Decorex-Cape-Town-Kitchen-Design-Decorex-Banner

Sian Cullingworth, the Portfolio Director for Design, Lifestyle and Retail Exhibitions, described this inspiring event as follows:

“There is something incredibly energising about being in one venue with so many talented South Africans showcasing their product and abilities. At the heart of it, Decorex is about bringing these industry players and the public, all of whom are passionate about décor and design, onto a level platform. Using this, they are given the opportunity to engage in a meaningful way about their role and desires in this inspired arena. I really believe this was achieved at Decorex Cape Town and am just so excited to discover what depths of creativity emerge from the show.”

Gardner Interior Concepts - Cape Town Kitchen Designers

Decorex Cape Town 2017 Kitchen Design Project – Gardner Interior Concepts Kitchen Design

This year’s Kitchen Design Project featured an exhibit by Gardner Interior Concepts – one of Cape Town’s premier Kitchen Designers.

The brief for the 2017 Kitchen Design Project – as defined by Franke SA – was simple (no pun): ‘Simplicity in Design’.

The Kitchen Design exhibitors used products supplied by Franke SA and were assessed on how well they incorporated the signature style in terms of design, materials and color usage.

GIC-Interior-Designers-Decorex-Cape-Town-Kitchen-Design-Exhibition-Model-Kitchen-1

Clinton Soutter of Franke explained: “We were looking for someone who designs smart, finding solutions to optimize space and storage while using colors and materials that go simply and harmoniously together.”

READ: Gardner Interior Concepts – Cape Town Kitchen Designs, Styles, Trends

GIC-Interior-Designers-Decorex-Cape-Town-Kitchen-Design-Counter-Shelves-Taps-Kitchen-Sink-4

Gardner Interior Concepts was commended on a superb design, featuring smart optimization with simplistic design elements.

GIC-Interior-Designers-Decorex-Cape-Town-Kitchen-Design-Wine-Rack-Storage-3

Use KSA-registered Suppliers for your Kitchen Design Project

In order to achieve the best Kitchen Design results, customers should opt for the services of KSA-registered designers, installers and suppliers. Kitchen Designers who are registered with the Kitchen Specialists Association (KSA) guarantee high quality products and superior workmanship.

READ: Gardner Interior Concepts Cape Town – Custom Kitchen Design

If you are designing a new kitchen or remodeling your kitchen space, come to Gardner Interior Concepts (Cape Town) for a practical, functional and inspiring solution. We will bring your vision to life with a kitchen that matches your lifestyle, delights your family and enhances your home.

GIC-Interior-Designers-Decorex-Cape-Town-Kitchen-Design-KSA-Registered-Member-Associates-6

Gardner Interior Concepts is registered with KSA. Our proud reputation for high end kitchen design solutions, high quality finishes, excellent service and non-stop support spans over 45 years.

Our Project Management services ensure that all your requirements are met – within budget and on time. This is our guarantee to you!

Make the smart choice today. Contact Gardner Interior Concepts and live the difference!

Gardner Interior Concepts and Decorex Cape Town 2017

Decorex Cape Town 2017

“Make Your Space Your Living Dream”, is the exciting theme for Decorex 2017, when South Africa’s premier décor, design and lifestyle exhibition comes to Cape Town.

GIC-interior-designers-shopfitters-custom-built-furniture-kitchens-bathrooms-bedrooms-cupboards-contractors-decorex-cape-town-2017-1

Decorex Cape Town is a multi award winning exhibition, with the inclusion of the popular Craft Collective pavilion and 100% Design curated installation, as well as everything from fine home finishes to beautiful décor accessories, bathrooms, outdoor living, kitchens and home appliances all under one roof.

Gardner Interior Concepts, one of Cape Town’s premier Interior Design firms, will again feature as a Kitchen exhibitor at this year’s expo. Visit our exhibition stall to view our interpretation of this year’s exciting theme.

The essence of the Decorex 2017 theme: Every one of us should create a space of sanctuary which allows us to disconnect from the constant noise of the modern, tech-driven world.

Home-makers, interior designers, architects and full-time shoppers searching for the latest trends, products, information and tips in furnishings, fabrics, kitchen and bathroom accessories, DIY, and other related items, will surely find whatever they need at Decorex 2017.

Cape Town – the Design Capital of South Africa – will be treated to an exciting and inspiring line-up, featuring interactive demos, designer pop up restaurants and bars, curated feature installations and a crowd favorite, the Plascon Colour Forecast.

GIC-interior-designers-shopfitters-custom-built-furniture-kitchens-bathrooms-bedrooms-cupboards-contractors-decorex-cape-town-2017-5

The attractions of over 200 exhibitors, will be complemented by a series of talks and demos on Decor and DIY; an artisanal Craft-and-Create Market and vendors selling various handmade products. Live music will keep visitors entertained to create a festive atmosphere.

If you are looking for inspiration ideas and decor to make your home your sanctuary, look no further… Come and meet our dynamic team at the expo. Gardner Interior Concepts looks forward to welcoming you and meeting you there.

Our countdown has begun… Visit our site regularly as we unveil our inspired kitchen design for the exhibition.

Diarise the date: 27 April 2017 – 30 April 2017

Note the time: Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm

Memorise the location:

Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), 1 Lower Long Street CBD, Cape Town

To learn more, contact Thebe Reed Exhibitions (Pty)

Tel: 011 549 8300
Email: Decorex Info
Website: Thebe Reed Exhibitions (Pty)

What does it cost?

R95 (adults)
R85 (trade/industry personnel)
R75 (pensioners and students)
R20 (children under 12)

Click here right now to book your ticket through Computicket. Join the excitement at Decorex Cape Town 2017. See you there!

The Gardner Interior Concepts team

Cape Town | Interior Designers | Ideas | Interior Design Trends

Listen to your Home

Is your home speaking to you?

Are you listening?

What is your home saying to you?

The design of your home should speak to who you are, and have a positive effect on your body, mind and soul. Your home is your castle, your sanctuary and your place of refuge. It’s where you live, relax, socialize, rest and heal.

GIC-Interior-Design-Commercial-Business-Office-Shop-Fitting-Cape-Town-Modern-A01

The design of your home includes the structure, interior, exterior and the decorations. The colors and textures you choose are also important. Aesthetics, accessories, art, personal style and taste add to the overall effect that your home has on your well-being.

GIC-Interior-Design-Commercial-Business-Office-Shop-Fitting-Cape-Town-Modern-A02

There is empirical evidence to prove that our environment has a profound effect on our emotions – our moods, perceptions and state of mind. The psychological triggers emanating from our environment may manifest physiologically, if the effects are overwhelming or continuous.

GIC-cape-town-interior-designers-custom-built-bespoke-kitchen-design-3-cape-town

We’ve all heard people say: “Something about that house is not right…”, or “Something about that house unsettles me…” or worse still, “That house makes me feel ill…”

Nobody relishes the thought of having their home described in such unflattering terms. So, what should you do about what your home is saying to you and to others?

GIC-Interior-Design-Company-Custom-Built-Bespoke-Interiors-Home-Office-Commercial-Shopfitters-Cape-Town-450A

Has any of the following thoughts popped into your mind repeatedly at any time?

  • “I need to fix these cupboards…”
  • “I must change the color of the kitchen…”
  • “There’s not enough light in this room…”
  • “It’s time for a remodel…”
  • “This room needs a makeover…”
  • “There’s not enough space for everything…”
GIC-Custom-Built-Bedrooms-Cupboards-Walk-In-Dressing-Rooms-Closets-Designs-Cape-Town-104B
GIC-Custom-Built-Bedrooms-Cupboards-Walk-In-Dressing-Rooms-Closets-Designs-Cape-Town-104A
GIC-Custom-Built-Bedrooms-Cupboards-Walk-In-Dressing-Rooms-Closets-Designs-Cape-Town-102B
GIC-Custom-Built-Bedrooms-Cupboards-Walk-In-Dressing-Rooms-Closets-Designs-Cape-Town-102A

These thoughts are your internal responses to the messages emanating from your home. It may be time to look a bit deeper and ask yourself the following questions…

  • Am I proud of my home?
  • Is my home still my fortress?
  • Does coming home make me feel good?
  • Does my home inspire, revitalize, rejuvenate and energize me?
  • Am I comfortable and at peace in my home?
  • What options do I have to improve my home?

GIC-ft-custom-built-kitchen-design-cape-town-7-Interior

The answers to these questions may be self-evident, if you find that…

  • You cannot organize or manage your shelving, storage and packing space;
  • You are spending less time in your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom;
  • Your decorations, cabinets or cupboards suddenly start to irk you;
  • The color, layout or style of one or other room suddenly irritates you;
  • You feel that your study or bar or is no longer practical or functional;
  • You lose the desire to cook or prepare meals in your kitchen;
  • A room suddenly feels too small, too dark or uninspiring;

And, last but not least, you may start to feel that your once beautiful home is now making you feel anxious, frustrated or ill at ease.

GIC-Custom-Built-Interior-Bars-Braais-Fireplaces-Design-Cape-Town-A

This is how your home can speak to you, and if you listen carefully, you will know exactly what to do.

Make the right choice and contact Cape Town’s premier Interior Designers, Gardner Interior Concepts today. We design for life.

GIC-Custom-Built-Shopfitters-Interiors-Joiners-Carpenters-Cabinet-Makers-Design-Services-Cape-Town-2A
GIC-Custom-Built-Shopfitters-Interiors-Joiners-Carpenters-Cabinet-Makers-Design-Services-Cape-Town-2B
GIC-Custom-Built-Shopfitters-Interiors-Joiners-Carpenters-Cabinet-Makers-Design-Services-Cape-Town-1A

We offer ideas, advice, plans and professional support to ensure that you have a functional, practical, timeless, but above all, a flawless interior design solution.

We are passionate about helping you live a better life – in the comfort of your home. Our interior designers will help you breathe new life into your home and into your life.

Our custom interior design solutions for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, cabinets, cupboards, studies, bars and entertainment areas are inspiring, aesthetically-pleasing, functional, practical and unique – guided by your personal taste and style.

GIC-Custom-Built-Bathrooms-Vanities-Design-Cape-Town-3B
GIC-Custom-Built-Bathrooms-Vanities-Design-Cape-Town-1A
GIC-Custom-Built-Bathrooms-Vanities-Design-Cape-Town-3A

Gardner Interior Concepts – Cape Town’s Premier Interior Designers

Interior Designers, Decorators and Shopfitters for all your Interior Design requirements

Visit our Portfolio and Project pages and see what we can do for you.

Let Gardner Interior Concepts turn your kitchen into the heart of your home; transform your bedroom into a magical dream-space and convert your bathroom into your personal rejuvenation place.

As for your entertainment area… Let’s turn it into a happy space – a relaxing getaway from the rat race…

Contact Gardner Interior Concepts today and let’s create some magic together.

The Ten Best Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 3

The Anatomy of a top Interior Interior Designer and Decorator

It is often said that successful people have the building blocks of success in their DNA…
Is this really true?

We are also told that artistic talent either runs in our veins or not…
Can we simply accept this assertion?

A commonly held belief is that creative insight and vision cannot be learned or taught…
Is this an absolute fact?

gardner-interior-concepts-commercial-custom-cabinets-units-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f14

When asking customers about their Interior Designers and Decorators, they are unanimous that the above attributes are at the heart of the magic that the Top Interior Designers and Decorators regularly deliver. They guarantee success, artistic mastery and high-impact creativity.

In addition to their obvious creative talents and artistic flair, the Top Interior Designers and Decorators offer a comprehensive range of professional services supported by high quality products – underpinned by excellent “customer-centric” service.

A hallmark of their service is their ability to build strong relationships with their customers based on sound communication skills, effective planning and efficient operating methods. Their engaging approach – inclusive and collaborative – enables them to get their customers and other role-players on board quickly, while deftly guiding them towards the desired outcomes.

gardner-interior-concepts-bedroom-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f9

The Top Interior Designers and Decorators understand and appreciate the value of effective communication. They create synergy among all the stakeholders to facilitate efficient management of their projects to achieve their scope, time and budget targets. They furthermore display a transparent approach to requirements, costs and results. These skills enable them to weave the often disparate elements of a project together – seamlessly.

An important trait of a Top Interior Designer and Decorator is the ability to integrate the complex components of a project effortlessly, without drowning their customers in useless jargon. They know how to shield their customers from unnecessary stresses by providing advice and recommending innovative solutions – proactively.

The Top Interior Designers and Decorators have a special Project Management style which ensures that every task is approached in the best way possible; uses the best methods, and is delivered on time – within scope and budget – while adhering to their quality guidelines.

Due to their meticulous approach, fastidiousness and attention to detail, we find that the best Interior Designers and Decorators…

  • Have an effective and informative communication style;
  • Have the ability to stay focused despite all the noise;
  • Are trustworthy, make ethical decisions and keep their word;
  • Create achievable plans, with realistic timelines and budgets;
  • Consistently align activities with project timelines;
  • Understand the vision and mitigate inherent challenges;
  • Bring their established business networks to the project;
  • Apply smart techniques to simplify complex issues;

gardner-interior-concepts-bathroom-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f10

The list of goodness embodied by the best Interior Designers and Decorators continues…

  • They stay on top of developments and pick up the slack in other areas;
  • They facilitate and drive the interaction among all the role-players;
  • They ensure that every role-player is engaged, focused and aligned;
  • They keep a keen eye on quotes, costs, orders and invoicing;
  • They identify opportunities to save time and reduce costs;
  • They keep abreast of best practice – trends, styles and methods;
  • They have a detailed knowledge of design constraints and solutions;
  • They provide sound advice for accessories – colors, textures, art;
  • They are dynamic and motivated – the heart and soul of the project.

Together, all these important elements improve the project’s chances for success. When a top Interior Designer and Decorator manage a project, their abilities, skills and knowledge enable customers to…

  • Understand the transition from the conceptual to physical;
  • Buy into their advice and accept their recommendations;
  • Have full confidence in their ability to realize their vision;
  • Sleep soundly and peacefully at night…

All of the above together, define the Anatomy of a Top Interior Designer and Decorator.

If you are wondering whether it’s possible to find an Interior Designer and Decorator with all these attributes, wonder no more, because they do indeed exist. And no… They do not walk on water!

Contact Gardner Interior Concepts (Cape Town) today for inspired Interior Design solutions and live the difference.

Part 1: Making the cut as a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator
Part 2: The Rating Rules for discovering the best Interior Designers and Decorators
Part 3: The Anatomy of a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator

The Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 2

The Rating Rules

A rigorous and foolproof selection methodology must be defined and adopted as the first step in the process of identifying the best Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

Comparing or rating the creative efforts of Interior Designers and Decorators based on subjective perspectives, arbitrary factors and emotional views is an exercise in futility because the results will be spurious.

gardner-interior-concepts-kitchen-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f6

A methodical approach guarantees a credible result, which trumps the lack authenticity and legitimacy of a willy-nilly approach. Our selection methodology was based on the essential steps listed below. These steps helped us to cut to the chase and avoid the clutter, thereby expediting and facilitating the process of compiling the list of the “Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town” in an accurate, effective and comprehensive manner.

The Essential Steps:

  1. Define the qualification criteria;
  2. Define the measures and standards;
  3. Quantify the rate or ratio of successes and failures;
  4. Specify a “negative feedback” threshold;
  5. Define clear rules for disqualification and exclusion.

gardner-interior-concepts-entertainment-areas-bbq-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f8

It was imperative, and also paramount to our success that our project applied and implemented only proven principles, best practices and rational reasoning to ensure that our primary deliverable – the exclusive list of Cape Town’s Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators – could stand up to scrutiny at any level – based on the rules and processes articulated below:

1. Qualification criteria

1.1. Career Experience

Initially, 10 years seemed fair as a “Career Experience” qualification requirement. Unfortunately it resulted in too many new but outstanding Interior Designers and Decorators missing the cut. Five years was a better choice, as it was more inclusive, but implicitly ruled out beginner’s luck, and “new-kid-on-the-block” syndrome. Five years effectively ensured that qualifiers had weathered the initial two-year start-up storm and demonstrated resilience.

1.2. Design Disciplines

We considered selecting only Residential Interior Designers and Decorators, in order to limit the number of qualifiers. The down-side of this choice was that we excluded too many top-notch Multi-disciplinary and Commercial Interior Designers and Decorators. This seemed both unfair and illogical.

2. Measures and standards

A reasonable threshold for the number of completed projects was required, in order to adequately assess the feedback and reviews from customers. We chose a minimum of thirteen – a baker’s dozen. An unlucky number for some, but an insignificant number to us because luck and superstition were not factors in our equations. A project threshold of 13 precluded the possibility of a 50/50 split, in the event of a mixed bag of project deliveries – six good and half a dozen rotten.

gardner-interior-concepts-kitchen-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f7

3. Successes and Failures

This step often left us flummoxed, bewildered and perplexed. We found the two questions listed below recurring and particularly exasperating:

a. How do we measure success without well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs)?
b. How do we measure failure if we choose to judge results on a personal and subjective basis?

3.1. Degrees of failure

  • Does overspending qualify as a complete failure?
  • Does late delivery qualify as a not-so-bad failure?
  • Does poor quality workmanship qualify as a very bad failure?
  • Does under-delivery and overspending combined constitute total failure?
  • Does a certain number of snags or mistakes indicate partial failure?
  • Can we classify mistakes as either big or small – conceptually or numerically?

4. Negative feedback

Is it possible to define or measure failure in an artistic, yet scientific domain?

A popular saying goes as follows:

Only doctors can get away with their mistakes, because they get buried.

What about Interior Designers and Decorators? Can they bury or hide their mistakes?

Can they bury a house, a building, an office or a room, if bulldozing it is not an option?

Let’s consider the following situation:

A couple had their home remodeled. The husband was ecstatic with the results because his dream was eventually realized: The perfect entertainment area – a bar and BBQ replete with accessories and gadgets and above all, his easy chair. He was absolutely in “party heaven”.

His wife however, felt very differently and she expressed her disappointment with all the “snags and mistakes” in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Despite his wife’s negative feedback, the husband insisted that the project was perfect – a resounding success and money well spent. He ignored his wife’s contention that they had wasted far too much money on a bad job.

Well… You be the judge: Success or failure? Degrees of success? Degrees of failure?

Understanding failure

The failure of a project may be due to one single issue or a combination of various complex issues.

In many cases, it is personality clashes, communication lapses, poor planning, financial constraints or excesses, a lack of preparation, or disagreements on fundamental issues that lead to failure.

In many cases, failures are often judged emotionally and therefore very harshly. The financial impact of a failure often determines the intensity of the emotional reaction it triggers.

The above perspectives serve to illustrate the pitfalls and complexities associated with judging or rating the performance of an Interior Designer or Decorator objectively, and interpreting customer feedback correctly.

These complex elements must however be approached rationally and given the appropriate weight, before any reasonable conclusions can be drawn.

gardner-interior-concepts-furniture-designs-styles-trends-cape-town-f12

5. Rules for Disqualification and Exclusion

Interior Designers and Decorators whose portfolios contained no successful projects, or those who recorded more failures than successes were automatically excluded. A history of unethical practices or a record of dishonest dealings also warranted immediate disqualification.

The following questions added much color and excitement to deliberations:

Are fractured or irreparably damaged customer relationships grounds for disqualification?

Should multiple catastrophic failures be grounds for automatic exclusion?

To ensure fairness, an acceptable failure threshold was determined, against which the nature, the cause and the quantifiable impact of each failure was measured – in terms of cost and inconvenience.

Not all project failures can be attributed solely to an Interior Designer or Decorator.

A case in point was damage caused to a customer’s bedroom during a remodeling project. A prolonged storm and heavy rain resulted in leakages and flooding – despite the precautionary, but temporary water-proofing measures implemented by the builder. The storm outlasted the protective measures, resulting in significant water damage.

This situation, together with the preceding issues, elucidates the futility of applying arbitrary criteria to rate, compare or define the Top Interior Designers and Decorators.

Nonetheless, our project successfully surmounted these challenges and forged ahead in the quest to find the Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

Related articles in the series Cape Town’s Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators include…

Part 1: Making the cut as a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator
Part 2: The Rating Rules for discovering the best Interior Designers and Decorators
Part 3: The Anatomy of a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator