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What is the difference between renovating and decorating?

Let's start with a definition of both of these terms. From here we will explain our design process and how we keep this fluid in the case that your requirements or preferences change.

Renovation definition: A property or space renovation usually refers to replacing fixed materials, for example, changing up flooring, windows, exterior and interior rendering, the movement or implementation of plumbing & electrics, replacing a kitchen, bathroom or utility/boot room. Renovation can also involve moving or altering walls, adding new structures such as stud walls, new fireplaces and extensions.

Decorating definition: A decorating project is the creation of a completely new design scheme with new paint colours, including all walls, ceilings and wood work, new furniture, decorative accessories, changes in lighting, art, soft furnishings and linens. This type of project is best suited for a space that you, the client are happy with in terms of floor plan or have recently spent time renovating in preparation for decoration.

When clients come to us with their projects the difference between renovating and decorating is something that as a collective, we establish early on. Sometimes it's clear from the outset, however sometimes a project evolves and requirements change, resulting in a jump from decoration to renovation or vice versa.Our design process involves you from the very beginning and keeps you involved throughout. We invite you into the studio to meet not just the full team but to see the selected textures, colours, materials and finishes that will be used in your project. This gives you a chance to feel the products that will make up your new space and switch up anything you are not sure of.

Another purpose of this meeting is to distinguish any big requirement changes that may have happened in the time

between the first point of contact you had with us and the site visit we attended to assess the property or space in person. For example, your project may have originally been the full painting and decoration of a property. However, the project may have now transitioned into a renovation, with you deciding to add an extension to the property to increase space and future property value.

These changes can of course be for a number of reasons, for example a growing family or an expanding office team, or simply just because you want to. The reason doesn't matter, what matters is that we are here to guide you through the process and insure a properly informed design is created, with the best professionals instructed to get the works done right.

If at this stage a project has transitioned from a decoration to a renovation, we reassess the scope of works and begin factoring in the necessary professionals to start the first, initial stages of construction. This is an exciting time and begins the journey of uncovering your property/spaces full potential.

Perhaps at the initial point of contact a project was planned in for a large scale renovation, but over time varying circumstances have changed resulting in the project being slightly pared back with large scale works like altering walls and changing windows coming out of the equation.

Again, as a collective we assess the scope of works and look into which elements the client would now like to implement. We also look at the option of splitting the project into phases, as sometimes clients still want to complete the renovation works, just not at the present moment. If this is the case we can then come up with a schedule of works, spanning serval months/ years.

As a studio we feel touch point meetings, such as coming into our studio to see your project coming to life are so important. Allowing time between each meeting sees life changes take place, which in turn can alter requirements. Knowing what you really want from your space is the most important part, and we as a design studio are here for all of the potential twists and turns a project can take.

NSD Studio can provide guidance to help you make the right choices. The process is simple, send us an email at and one of the team will be in touch and can arrange a zoom call with Nick and the team.

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