Getting Down to Business with HollandGreen

In the second article in our series about the journey of an interior design project, HollandGreen’s senior interior designer, Tori Young talks to Fabric about what’s involved in the design stages once the initial brief is agreed with the client.

In the first article, Christopher spoke to us about HollandGreen’s approach to beginning a commission and getting to know your clients. Once the design brief is agreed, what’s the next stage you move on to?

We move from the early Design Concept stage – which is very loose and where we build up mood boards, sketches and precedent images – into the Design Development stage. Here we work on firming up the house or room layouts and draw together more detail on the design style concepts. We combine these into a package of information ready to begin to build a budget for the client. Determining the costs and confirming the budget at this early stage is critical to avoid any disappointments later as to what is wanted and what is feasible.

What sort of visualisations are you showing your clients during this stage of the project – is it sketches or do you move onto floor plans and digital models?

We like to begin to rationalise the sketches from the first stages and start to develop the 3D model and floor plans. Everything we do from this stage onwards is developed in CAD (computer aided design) and in 3D. This allows us to capture every detail for a contractor, artisan and decorator to understand further down the line.

Are you starting to discuss furniture and fittings now, and meeting suppliers or visiting showrooms?

Yes, furniture, fabrics, decorative accessories, lighting and art all are part of the canvas we are making. If our landscape department are also involved, we begin working alongside them to understand the garden and outdoor space design vision and colour palettes for the exterior, which inform our interiors and vice versa. It’s important for us to be aware of all visual elements of a project so the interiors we design work seamlessly and everything is considered holistically.

How do you ask and encourage your clients to interact with you and give you their ideas and feedback during this stage?

We’re still using Pinterest and now we are having more regular meetings with our clients to present our ideas, together with brainstorming sessions to resolve details and gain sign off on elements as they are developed.  It’s an exciting time as rooms start coming together and the project becomes more real for our clients.

How do you present designs to your clients if they are not in the country and can’t visit their property?

As a Practice we’ve invested in the latest interactive, 3D and VR immersive design technology, which is key to how we share ideas and designs with our clients who are abroad – many of whom are, from all corners of the globe. What we call our virtual collaboration platform means we can brainstorm and sketch, edit the screen, move around images, annotate drawings and add ‘notes’ whilst the meeting takes place online, so our clients feel they are side-by-side with us in the Studio.

At the end of this stage, how far through the overall project are you and how much will you and your client know about the finalised design?

We want to be in the position where the client is happy to give us their sign off on the design and budget, and then we’ll be ready to move into the Detailed Design stages.  This is when our team of interior architects begin to produce all the technical information to build the project, and our FF&E team (fixtures, fittings and equipment) also move into action. From this point the project will evolve into a package of detailed design plans. This is generally a longer stage in the overall design journey, and it’s where our clients are the most engaged and busy with us.  This stage too is very exciting and rewarding for our clients as it’s then we plan shopping trips!

About HollandGreen Architecture, Interiors & Landscapes

HollandGreen is an award-winning, multidisciplinary studio of architects, interior designers and landscape designers. Their breadth of design expertise – from super-prime houses and apartment to elegant country homes – makes them unique as a practice and their holistic approach to home design, renovations and new builds.

(, 020 7770 9977)


In our upcoming third interview in this series, Christopher will share his Studio’s approach to the final stages of an interior design project covering Detailed Design, FF&E Procurement and the Installation.