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  • Writer's pictureThoughts from the studio.

The Construction Phase of your project is an expensive time for trail and error!

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

How can you avoid this common and costly problem?

When I first worked with contractors and tradespeople on a construction project; i was quite intimidated and felt that this would be the hardest part of the job. However, it became apparent that everyone wants an Interior Designer on the project.

An Interior designer makes everyone's life easier because you are the one with a detailed, specified vision of how every single thing needs to look and without you there- things can turn into complete chaos when everyone is lacking a unified vision, direction and end goal. Money is wasted when constructed elements need to be altered and changed due to lack of planning and design intention.

You can talk about what you want all day but when you take out a detailed 3D image of what the space will look like, everyone is speaking the same language all of a sudden everyone can relate to the image in a way that language can’t achieve. That is why 3D imaging and detailed technical interior drawings of your space are really important to have before construction begins.

Here you can see a before photo of my latest SPA renovation project.

The Ice House Hotel Spa Design

This is a 3D Render I created to show what the new SPA would look like many months before construction. This helps everyone understand the design intention and direction in a very physical way that Architectural Plans can't achieve.

3D Render Design Exterior

This is an image showing the new SPA deck of ChillSPA at the Ice House Hotel. Note how similar it is to the render above.

Heated Loungers AND Solid Surface Baths

When working on the renovation of ChillSPA at the Ice House Hotel in Co. Mayo- there were periods where i was on site all day long every day because there were so many tradesmen and builders there all at the one time - all needing things marked out / positions confirmed / to discuss the work that was to be done that day.

My experience is that you can't really have meetings about what needs to be done in two weeks time- everything on site is about what is happening that day. So its imperative to be available and present on such an intensive project with so many tradespeople working alongside one another.

In construction things can change from the plans due to unforeseen circumstances; and you need to be able to remediate that change on the spot and plan for what that change means to all the prescribed fittings and specified finishes.

One thing i have noticed happening in construction when people don't hire a design professional- they try and solve problems on site by having builders constantly change and redo things as they go; as there is no clear plan or design and its a trial and error situation; which is wasteful, time consuming and expensive. This will cost you a hell of a lot more in the end as your builder will be charging for all these changes that he has had to build before you can notice its not right for the space.

When it came to installing the lighting and achieving the lighting design it was crucial i was there physically to talk through what every piece of equipment was and where it was going with the electricians.

Willie Duggan specified lighting that can be controlled remotely and the technology to do this is quite new in ireland. It can all be controlled on an ipad or phone from a remote location- which is great for Hotel staff when the SPA is all locked at night and for a variety of other reasons; its useful technology to incorporate into a lighting design scheme.

To sum up, there are less mistakes if not zero mistakes when someone is employed to design a space and supervise the implementation of that design. Everyone on site is happier to have their questions answered instantly and the end result is never going to be disappointing.

Another view over the River Moy Estuary from ChillSPA at the Ice House Hotel


Out door Shower Area at ChillSPA Mayo

ChillSPA Mayo


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