Intern Insights

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in blog, news | No Comments

Concept board for client

Interning can get a pretty bad wrap at times and, sure, there are proven examples of interns being treated like a glorified unpaid assistant, getting coffees and running mind-numbing errands for power tripping managers.

I want to go on record to say that this is not always the case. Proven to me by my experiences at The Design Hunter.

I dare you to name a better opportunity to get hands on experience and on the job training (or learning from scratch, in my case) about the industry that you see your future self in.

I liken it to dipping your toe in the interior design pool, before delving head first in to its depths – Oops, I was told to avoid metaphors.

I may consider myself lucky to have nabbed a coveted internship role at this company, but it is not with out hard work and problem-solving challenges on a day-to-day basis.

For example, recently, I had to source a ’93B Clipsal’ for a client. For those not in the know it is an extra large ceiling rose. This coming from a girl who thought they were called a ceiling row when I begun this internship.

I have also been working closely with the designers to understand the process they go through for each client. I have begun this journey with the art of creating concept boards, which, in essence, it is a visual conceptualisation of the client’s brief.

I spent my afternoon rifling through home wares and furniture images on beautiful blogs, which is a massive job perk.  On the other hand, teaching myself InDesign…challenging. But that is the beauty of interning, there is always someone to help and support me with my learning process – perfect segue for a shout out to graphic wiz Jess for answering all my InDesign questions.

Ceiling Rose… not row


De-mystifying the Design Process – Survey, Site Measure Up & Site Review 

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in blog, news | No Comments

This is where the real work starts!!

If the project involves any renovation work to the exterior of the house or needs to be lodged as a Compliant Development Certificate (CDC) or Development Application (DA) it will require a detailed site survey.

This is where all of the specifics of the site are taken – actual ground levels, the footprint of the building on the land, height of the building and any fences etc.  This document will be included in the final package given to the approving body but, more importantly, the information is uploaded into drafting software package and forms the basis of the initial drafting work.

Next is the actual site measure – measurements for the entire internal space are taken in detail – rooms sizes, locations of doors, windows and fireplaces etc.

It’s important for this information to be extremely accurate so measurements will be recorded in millimetres and most professionals will use a laser measure.  The site measure will be undertaken for most projects, although may not be applicable for some decorating jobs where the decorator will just check measure the relevant spaces.

On a renovation project, while everything is being accurately measured and recorded inside and out, a site review will be undertaken.  The first step is always to review the “149 Planning Certificate” which is available from your local council for a small fee.  It relates specifically to your property and the site itself, as well, as the surrounding area and land.

It advises clearly what type of development is applicable to your land and what constraints or issues may need to be taken in to consideration for example acid sulphate soil, coastal protection area, and heritage zones.  The document will be included in your original purchase contracts, but if you’ve owned the house for more than a year you will need to get an up-to-date copy to be confident it contains the most accurate information.  This information will assist your designer with determining the most appropriate approvals process and what planning laws are applicable.

Next week we’ll review the fun part – Concept development!

Pampa has soul

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in blog, design, news, products, store | No Comments

Businesses and brands with soul are always so lovely to encounter. At The Design Hunter we aim to support brands that have that special connection with their product. Pampa is one of those brands –  a home grown business based in the Byron Bay hinterland. Established by two photographers – one from Argentina, the other from Australia – who share two worlds, two visions and two cultures. Together they “trace a map between Australia and Argentina, covering the miles and bridging the distance between two countries that are more alike than different.”

Every year the duo “explore some of Argentina’s most remote indigenous communities, always with a camera in hand to document the journey. During these travels they seek-out the finest rugs and cushions that have been handwoven using traditional materials, designs and techniques by some of Argentina’s most talented artisans, bringing them back across the world from their homes to yours.”

Each rug is a one off piece and completely unique.  According to their website Pampa believes in a world of ethically made and fairly traded products, which is why they deal directly with the artisans. The profits the weavers earn from every rug are used by them and their families to cover day-to-day living costs such as buying food and clothing, paying school expenses, accessing medical care, and sourcing new tools and materials for weaving.

The Design Hunter is proud to stock Pampa, but due to the nature of the product you will have to be quick to snap one up.

De-mystifying the Design Process – THE BRIEF

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in blog, Design Services, news | No Comments

The first step for any design project, regardless of whether it’s a styling project or a full scale design and build, is to meet with the client onsite and take the brief. This might include:

  • A tour of the house or space to familiarise the designer with the layout, as well as, give the designer an insight in to their clients personality, likes, dislikes and way of life.
  • Discuss the clients ideas, needs and wants – this is where a scrapbook of ideas or a Pinterest page is really useful to show the Designer.
  • Discuss budget – clear communication of budget is extremely important so that the designer can work accordingly.
  • Discuss timelines and any deadlines the client may have.
  • Take any measurements of rooms or spaces if it’s a smaller project.

For design and build projects here, at The Design Hunter, we often take a representative from our affiliated building partner, B2 Construction Pty Ltd with us to the briefing meeting.   Where possible we always aim to work closely with them during the design phase to ensure that the final designs are produced in a way that can be built practically and within the budget allocated.    It also allows us to speed up the design process internally and ensure that the end product for the client is build-able, on time and on budget.

The aim of this initial briefing session is to gather as much information as possible about the project, the client and their lifestyle so that the next step of Concept Development runs smoothly!

But that’s for next week – Stay tuned!

LISA MADIGAN for The Design Hunter

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in blog, news | No Comments

An hour with Lisa Madigan

Artist LISA MADIGAN spent an hour in store on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, speaking to a crowd about her art practice and inspiration for her latest series, Light. This is a sound bite of Lisa’s talk. 

Studio insights

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in blog | No Comments

Lauren, our intern, continues her journey with The Design Hunter. Read her musings from week two.

The Design Hunter team peaking at beautiful Pampa rugs – all in a day’s work.

This week I darted across Sydney to meet suppliers and in the process I grasped the enormity of the designer’s role.

While collecting fabric samples from Bemboka, paint swatches from Porters Paint, dropping off artwork for framing, then dropping by the Jardan showroom (SWOON), it became obvious that a designer’s role is completely inclusive. The Design Hunter team is involved in each project from concept to completion and the scope within these projects are big.

I am also wrapping my head around the huge supplier library filled with tactile samples – from tiles, paint swatches, fabrics and floor boards. I am a kid in a candy store, and my mission is to familiarise myself with all the suppliers before my 12 weeks is up.

Besides the usual challenges of the role, I also contended with the ‘storm of the century’, which introduced my ‘drowned rat’ look to the world.  During the wild week, a client’s house was damaged, photo shoots postponed, and emergency handymen, painters, and electricians called.

But The Design Hunter team handled the chaos with aplomb. I am starting to wonder if anything phases them…sneaking suspicion that nothing overwhelms them, which is why clients love them (and I am loving working here…naw)

De-mystifying the Design Process

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in blog, design | No Comments

We are finding more and more that we have savvy clients who have a passion for all things design- they watch the TV shows, read interiors magazines, and trawl social media.

But what does working with a designer really mean and why is there value in it? And how do you know who you need to work with? And what does the design process actually entail? So many questions…

Over the next ten weeks we will take you step-by-step through the design and building world and hopefully answer some of your questions along the way!

First up, let’s clarify the actual word itself – Design, it’s a word that is touted about in many different contexts. At The Design Hunter, we like to break it down in to the following areas:

  1. Styling – This is the artful arrangement of objects. It’s the way that a space is brought together to achieve a cohesive and finished look. It’s used extensively in magazines, photography and events as well as to apply the final touches to the home.
  2. Property Styling or Home Staging – This is where styling and the placement of furniture and décor is used to present a house for sale with the intention of improving the overall saleability of the home.
  3. Decorating – A decorating project will involve working with cosmetic finishes, furniture and soft furnishing to bring together a cohesive concept in a particular style or look.
  4. Interior Design – This area of design focuses on space planning and layout, specific detailing and documenting of finishes and interior elements such as joinery, kitchens and bathrooms, as well as, the decorating within those spaces.
  5. Building Design & Drafting – A designer, building designer or draftsman is able to draft, detail and document a building project from a small reconfiguration or refurbishment right through to a major extension or renovation. They will also be able to complete and manage the approvals process and take the project right through to the hand over to the builder.

Stay tuned as next week we will review the first step in any project big or small in any of the areas we mentioned above – the design brief!

Studio insights

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in blog, design, news | No Comments

Lauren Munting recently joined The Design Hunter on a 12 week intern program. Lauren has a strong background in marketing and fashion buying, but found herself drawn to interiors…These are her musings after her first week.

Bondi property recently renovated, styled and photographed by The Design Hunter team.

It all began when I noticed that I had swapped out Vogue for Vogue living, I was no longer dreaming of Kenzo, but kitchen fit outs – and my collection of pillows far outweighed my purses.

It was a defining moment, a moment where I realised I needed a change.

So after almost a decade, I gave fashion the flick. I went back to the beginning, back to school and back to interning.
I was fortunate enough that the rockstars at The Design Hunter liked me enough to allow me to follow them around for the next three months and ask all sorts of annoying interesting questions. Soaking up their collective knowledge and experience – a once in a lifetime opportunity for a new recruit to the industry.

On day one I was thrown straight in the deep end of the interior design pool, it was time to learn to sink or swim. Fast.

A recently renovated Bondi property. A styling job. And a photo shoot.

Being on site to watch the design guru’s pull together their final vision and transform the site was inspiring.

I am learning from the ground up, the importance of function in great design and layout of a property.

And for the next 12 weeks, I will be acting as an enthusiastic student again learning all I can.

I can’t wait!

We want to give you something nice

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in blog, news | No Comments

Cables Place Sneak Peak Before | After

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in blog, design, news | No Comments

Cables Place is a home that has undergone a complete renovation over the last few years, and with the aid of The Design Hunter team, has gone from beige to beautiful!  The current owners wanted a home that better reflected their eclectic personalities and young family.  Armed with an open mind, loads of ideas of their own and a healthy dash of bravery and trust in some “big” ideas, the family embarked on a few key changes which has created the most striking spaces.  Every room has at least one main hero but is closely accompanied by a bevy of other details which lift the space to the luxe retreat that has evolved. And if you love what you see, then it could be yours as the home went on the market this week.

THE LOUNGE started with the whole space being painted in Porters Van Helsing – a gorgeous sludgy black that we loved so much you may remember we used it in the old store space at 267 Bronte Rd.  The layers of texture were the next step – a Beni Ourain vintage rug over a Armadillo & Co hemp rug, all topped with a vintage velvet couch in an almost palatable Chartreuse (a bargain cleverly hunted down by it’s fabulous owner), silk cushions and sheepskins.

THE KITCHEN was an exciting space to work on.  It was originally a small space with no connection to the outdoors.  With a focus on using every available space, the space was opened up with some clever architectural plans and we were able to bring the space to life with the most stunning wall mural from Emily Ziz.  Paired with Kartell “Fly” lights, handmade fish scale tiles in shades of Olive, timber veneer cabinetry and a custom made Corian table in Glacier White make this Kitchen the perfect place to entertain and relax with family and friends.

THE MASTER BEDROOM is always an important space to create somewhere “grown up” for parents to escape to no matter the size.  This room was transformed with a lick of the Van Helsing paint, some sumptuous linen, gorgeous wall lighting, and deer hide (from The Design Hunter of course).  A little DIY from the handy owners has transformed the small deck area off the master to create a relaxing space to take in the views across Queens Park.

THE OFFICE was a labour of love for the owner who runs her PR agency ( from home.  She wanted a fun space to spend her time and set about sourcing some fabulous wallpaper and vintage finds to complete the space!










Dining area


More images to come later next week.


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