Ask the expert: interior designer Hayley Dryland NZ
Ask the expert: interior designer Hayley Dryland

Ask the expert: interior designer Hayley Dryland

August & Co interior designer Hayley Dryland answers all of your burning questions on how to get the most out of an interior designer.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

How does someone find a designer?

First I’d suggest having a look at a few designers’ profiles on Archipro. Find some projects that jump out at you and reach out to those designers. Or alternatively, ask if any of your friends or associates worked with one and have a good recommendation.

How does the process of engaging a designer work?

If it’s a renovation I’d meet new clients at their home, but if it’s a new build then they’d come into the office and we’d spend an hour getting to know each other. As much as the client interviews me I also take this opportunity to assess if they are the right fit. If at the end of that conversation I’m really excited and I want to work with that client, then it’s a good match if the client is equally as excited to work with me. I would then present a design proposal after meeting and getting a brief of the project.

How do you know a designer is right for you?

By the time you meet a designer, you would have done some research and seen a few recent projects of interest. Typically they would have a particular aesthetic that fits with yours.

I have quite a varied portfolio that is very specific to the individual clients and their projects, so in this case my clients are coming to me to get something they may not have considered or something a little bit out of the ordinary, whereas other designers may have more of a specific style or trend that appeals.

Interview a couple if you need to. Tell your designer that you’re considering a couple of different people and you want to discuss your project with them. You want to make sure that the designer is the right fit for you and your project. It’s always a good starting point if you have someone who you feel at ease with.

Hayley Dryland choosing fabric swatches for a client's living room project.

Once the client has decided to go with you, what’s the next step?

I would ask the client for some preliminary feedback and to collect some inspiration on an ArchiPro Design Board. I’ve got a client at the moment and what they’ve done is separate their Design Boards out into all areas of their house including the laundry, kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. I would also ask for any architect drawings to be sent through. From these I can get a look and feel for their desired aesthetic and an idea of the scale of the project. It also may give me an idea of what they want to spend so I can present the right products and materials.

At what point do you discuss fees?

 After getting a good idea of the scope of the project I would then put together a fee proposal for the client. I have a client who's doing a new build at the moment and in the proposal it outlines that they need full interior design services for the bar, the laundry, the kitchen, three bathrooms, any built-in furniture and general design consultation for the project. It then gives a fee based on the work, which he can decline or accept.

Portland Road living space interior project.

How do you work out your fees?

I work on an hourly rate and we discuss what the client needs. The proposal is based around what the scope and timeline is going to be. I have set fees to start with, with a set number of hours that I estimate the project will take, then if we go over that we have a discussion at that point. Anything to do with furnishings I charge to source for clients. I offer a trade-plus system with my suppliers, this means that the client benefits from trade discounts that I receive as an interior designer.

What is the process once they’ve engaged you?

We do all of the pre-production drawings and specification of kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces. If we’re doing curtains we would source fabrics, pick the style and rods and arrange the measure and installation. If we’re designing a kitchen, it’s the layout options for how the kitchen works best for the client, its function and finishes. The final design then gets handed over to the cabinetmaker who site-measures; we then get the client to sign off for production.

All fixtures, fittings and material specification is reviewed and documented thoroughly and each specification is signed off with the client. We give them the option of 3D drawings, too.

Do you project manage?

Yes we do, for anything to do with what we supply for the cabinetry and the furnishings. The building company tends to have a project manager because they are liable for everything. We work alongside them to confirm all of the details that we’ve specified with the tradespeople. So for example, we'd meet with the tiler to make sure the tiles are correct, or we’d meet with the electrician to make sure the light fitting is positioned in the right place.

What services does August & Co offer?

A full design turn-key solution. Everything from kitchen design, bathroom design, spatial planning and interiors —we design cabinetry, pick the colours and materials and specify furnishings. We work alongside the architects to make sure all the spaces are designed to be the way people want to live in their house. We don’t do the permitting side of things, but if we can get in very early we can tweak the spaces pre council consent.

Portland Road project bathroom renovation.
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