Design Process

When it comes to creating beautiful, functional spaces, we savor both the journey and the destination.

Discover how we create a story through space, from the initial concept to the final build.

Design Process / Listening

Design Process / Giving Shape to Ideas

Design Process / Technical Documentation

Design Process / Breaking Ground

Design Process / Additional Services

Design Process / You Have Arrived

Sycamore Trees in Front of a Horse in a Horse Stable

1. Listening

Every building tells a story.

While we may bring a common philosophy to every project, we believe each is unique in its response to landscape, history, materials, and client. That is why the first step is to listen to both client and site.

Site inspection

Listening to the Client

We engage with our clients to design spaces that adapt to one's individual rhythms and nurture a sense of well-being.

We understand that the process may feel exciting to some, and perhaps daunting to others. We provide guidance along the way. Throughout our years of experience, we have helped many clients visualize the life they truly want to live and always do our best to make it a reality by designing a space that listens.

Together, in this first stage we will speak with you about your hopes, inspirations, expectations, budget, project location, and desired programmatic elements.

Landscape of mountains

Listening to the Site

Once we have an initial understanding of your goals, we will visit your site together.
We walk through the property with you, observing ground conditions and learning the location, which enables us to determine best next steps.

If you do not have an existing site, we can advise on how to find a suitable property.

Building and Site Virtual Model

Listening to Constraints

After walking through the site, it is time to learn it thoroughly by doing our own research. We study any existing surveys, research covenants and conditions that may inform the design and building process, and perform any needed studies.

This research enables us to thoroughly understand the constraints and character of your project's location and informs the design process.

Shadow from Madison Desert Club Canopy on Stairs

2. Giving Shape to Ideas

After listening to you, the site, and any existing constraints, we may begin designing in earnest. During this phase, ideas start to take shape.

We share first impressions and collaborate with you through a loose, iterative exchange. Early concept exploration benefits from heavy client involvement, which allows us to collaborate together to narrow down project direction.

Cholla cactus skeleton juxtaposed to the aluminum canopy at the Madison Desert Club project

The seed of a vision

The seed of a vision may take many forms — a drawing, an object that references a memory, or a natural material. These are brought into our conversation to further define the project's core concept.

In this instance, a site's native fauna - the Cholla Cactus - inspired the home's signature roof canopy, which visually references the plant's skeletal structure.

Sketch of Birds Eye View of Madison Desert Club

After a loose, iterative exchange of ideas, form begins sharpen into focus. We collaborate with you over plans and drawings to develop a scheme that meets your needs and respectfully responds to the site.

Physical Model of Architectural Project Being Assessed

We use tools such as physical models, which enable us to see your project in a diminutive scale, to better visualize the design together.

We may also utilize 3D renderings, animations, and even photorealistic visualizations to bring the project's original concepts closer to a built reality.

Material Samples Being Reviewed in Sunlight

Once the project's direction is more clearly defined, we present you with materials and fixtures that will articulate the textures, colors, and finer details of the design.

Employee Looking at His Current Project Happily

3. Technical Documentation

It is now time to get technical.

In this phase, we embark on the formal bidding process and potential contractors and consultants are evaluated and selected.

Employee working at Kovac Design Studio

We handle all the technical documents and the preparation required to take your project from plans on paper to built reality.

We consult with specialists including landscape architects, acoustical engineers, and interior and lighting designers if the project requires additional expertise.

Construction Site for New Architecture Project

4. Breaking Ground

As the design moves into construction, what was once a moment of inspiration becomes very real.

We visit the project site at appropriate intervals to oversee progress from the ground up and liaise between you and the general contractor using open and frequent communication.

During site visits, we keep track of items that need to be addressed during construction and provide guidance to you and the rest of the project team, ensuring everything is completed to the highest standards we are proud to uphold.

Bar Seating at Madison Desert Club

5. Additional Services

Bringing thoughtful design to every detail

Madison Desert Club Bar Seating Area

Interior Design

When clients wish us to design, specify, procure and install furniture, accessories, and art, we are happy to offer those services using the wealth of knowledge and trade connections our in-house interiors department offers.

When clients prefer to bring an outside Interior Designer to the team, we are happy to collaborate and have successfully done so with many esteemed designers from the Los Angeles area, other parts of the country, and abroad.

Slice Sink in Bathroom

Object Design

We believe in thoughtful, deliberate design at all scales. Whether a door pull, mailbox, or dining table, we bring bespoke objects from concept to creation so every detail of your space is always well considered.

You Have Arrived

We have been on quite a journey together. Congratulations on reaching this significant moment.

We hand over the project to you, and are always here to offer guidance and support as we reach the conclusion of our work together. Welcome to your new space.

Project Inquiry