This was a fabulous project for daughter of my clients. I had done work for mother and father a few years back – their 1st and old residence then their new Knysna home from foundation to turnkey.

The shocker was daughter had searched and interviewed 5 designers before driving past my offices and seeing my sign, jolting her memory and saying yikes, forgot about Debs!!! I mean really??!

She called me the following morning with an urgent request to meet. She had a deadline but after wasting so much time prior to contacting me, the pressure was on. I met on site and my heart sank. This was a real challenge! Yikes. The previous owner had done it herself.  I saw the drawings and council plans etc and the architect’s design was fab – things had been changed.

Anyway, back to my client. We had long meetings as to what she wanted and I was told her dad would be the go to person. We all met and more concepts discussed. Daughter had a vague idea of what she wanted and handed over to me to have it realised. Dad had his thoughts. He told me all his dislikes and strict budget.  I hadn’t dealt with him before on his previous projects – he had handed over the reigns to his wife and that went smoothly. Tough consultation loaded with high expectations and low costs.

I forwarded my contract, a must with large projects, and he then wrote out his own contract. I had to laugh and then tell him it doesn’t work that way. We eventually came to an agreement and concepts began. This process takes 3mnths to finalise – drawings, re drawings, quoting, spec’s and meets with client/s. We agreed on everything and builder and plumber got to work.


I PM’d the project, used my whole team and it was then go, go, go… There were, of course, extras – I have yet to work on a project where there are no extras. That is design – it always changes, it always inspires for more.

Taking daughter on a sourcing trip for kitchen and bathroom wares was her worst nightmare. She was so excited at the prospect of shopping, not realising this is not the same thing. This phase has to be done and fast as all wares have to be on site before plumber and electrician start with chasing etc.

All finishes were in place and weekly site meetings were scheduled with contractor and subbies but both daughter and dad chose not to attend. They used to come over at night with a torch and have a peek. I only got told this quite a while later into the build. It worked for them and was less stressfull



Payments were always made on time which made the build happen even smoother than smooth. The kitchen design was a long process to have accepted. We did 3d drawings to help visualise for this and 3d max for the exterior bag washing along with picture references.  It is a difficult stage to visualise.  No prob it turned out fun in the end.

Build and snags were on time, lights were switched on (I love that part!!) and keys handed over as per scheduled time. The whole neighborhood was invited by daughter to see her house. She was so proud and happy. She still continues to rave about it to this day. And dad invited his golfing mates and colleagues round to take a look. He too was proud.



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