The Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 2

The Rating Rules

A rigorous and foolproof selection methodology must be defined and adopted as the first step in the process of identifying the best Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

Comparing or rating the creative efforts of Interior Designers and Decorators based on subjective perspectives, arbitrary factors and emotional views is an exercise in futility because the results will be spurious.

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A methodical approach guarantees a credible result, which trumps the lack authenticity and legitimacy of a willy-nilly approach. Our selection methodology was based on the essential steps listed below. These steps helped us to cut to the chase and avoid the clutter, thereby expediting and facilitating the process of compiling the list of the “Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town” in an accurate, effective and comprehensive manner.

The Essential Steps:

  1. Define the qualification criteria;
  2. Define the measures and standards;
  3. Quantify the rate or ratio of successes and failures;
  4. Specify a “negative feedback” threshold;
  5. Define clear rules for disqualification and exclusion.

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It was imperative, and also paramount to our success that our project applied and implemented only proven principles, best practices and rational reasoning to ensure that our primary deliverable – the exclusive list of Cape Town’s Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators – could stand up to scrutiny at any level – based on the rules and processes articulated below:

1. Qualification criteria

1.1. Career Experience

Initially, 10 years seemed fair as a “Career Experience” qualification requirement. Unfortunately it resulted in too many new but outstanding Interior Designers and Decorators missing the cut. Five years was a better choice, as it was more inclusive, but implicitly ruled out beginner’s luck, and “new-kid-on-the-block” syndrome. Five years effectively ensured that qualifiers had weathered the initial two-year start-up storm and demonstrated resilience.

1.2. Design Disciplines

We considered selecting only Residential Interior Designers and Decorators, in order to limit the number of qualifiers. The down-side of this choice was that we excluded too many top-notch Multi-disciplinary and Commercial Interior Designers and Decorators. This seemed both unfair and illogical.

2. Measures and standards

A reasonable threshold for the number of completed projects was required, in order to adequately assess the feedback and reviews from customers. We chose a minimum of thirteen – a baker’s dozen. An unlucky number for some, but an insignificant number to us because luck and superstition were not factors in our equations. A project threshold of 13 precluded the possibility of a 50/50 split, in the event of a mixed bag of project deliveries – six good and half a dozen rotten.

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3. Successes and Failures

This step often left us flummoxed, bewildered and perplexed. We found the two questions listed below recurring and particularly exasperating:

a. How do we measure success without well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs)?
b. How do we measure failure if we choose to judge results on a personal and subjective basis?

3.1. Degrees of failure

  • Does overspending qualify as a complete failure?
  • Does late delivery qualify as a not-so-bad failure?
  • Does poor quality workmanship qualify as a very bad failure?
  • Does under-delivery and overspending combined constitute total failure?
  • Does a certain number of snags or mistakes indicate partial failure?
  • Can we classify mistakes as either big or small – conceptually or numerically?

4. Negative feedback

Is it possible to define or measure failure in an artistic, yet scientific domain?

A popular saying goes as follows:

Only doctors can get away with their mistakes, because they get buried.

What about Interior Designers and Decorators? Can they bury or hide their mistakes?

Can they bury a house, a building, an office or a room, if bulldozing it is not an option?

Let’s consider the following situation:

A couple had their home remodeled. The husband was ecstatic with the results because his dream was eventually realized: The perfect entertainment area – a bar and BBQ replete with accessories and gadgets and above all, his easy chair. He was absolutely in “party heaven”.

His wife however, felt very differently and she expressed her disappointment with all the “snags and mistakes” in the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Despite his wife’s negative feedback, the husband insisted that the project was perfect – a resounding success and money well spent. He ignored his wife’s contention that they had wasted far too much money on a bad job.

Well… You be the judge: Success or failure? Degrees of success? Degrees of failure?

Understanding failure

The failure of a project may be due to one single issue or a combination of various complex issues.

In many cases, it is personality clashes, communication lapses, poor planning, financial constraints or excesses, a lack of preparation, or disagreements on fundamental issues that lead to failure.

In many cases, failures are often judged emotionally and therefore very harshly. The financial impact of a failure often determines the intensity of the emotional reaction it triggers.

The above perspectives serve to illustrate the pitfalls and complexities associated with judging or rating the performance of an Interior Designer or Decorator objectively, and interpreting customer feedback correctly.

These complex elements must however be approached rationally and given the appropriate weight, before any reasonable conclusions can be drawn.

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5. Rules for Disqualification and Exclusion

Interior Designers and Decorators whose portfolios contained no successful projects, or those who recorded more failures than successes were automatically excluded. A history of unethical practices or a record of dishonest dealings also warranted immediate disqualification.

The following questions added much color and excitement to deliberations:

Are fractured or irreparably damaged customer relationships grounds for disqualification?

Should multiple catastrophic failures be grounds for automatic exclusion?

To ensure fairness, an acceptable failure threshold was determined, against which the nature, the cause and the quantifiable impact of each failure was measured – in terms of cost and inconvenience.

Not all project failures can be attributed solely to an Interior Designer or Decorator.

A case in point was damage caused to a customer’s bedroom during a remodeling project. A prolonged storm and heavy rain resulted in leakages and flooding – despite the precautionary, but temporary water-proofing measures implemented by the builder. The storm outlasted the protective measures, resulting in significant water damage.

This situation, together with the preceding issues, elucidates the futility of applying arbitrary criteria to rate, compare or define the Top Interior Designers and Decorators.

Nonetheless, our project successfully surmounted these challenges and forged ahead in the quest to find the Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

Related articles in the series Cape Town’s Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators include…

Part 1: Making the cut as a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator
Part 2: The Rating Rules for discovering the best Interior Designers and Decorators
Part 3: The Anatomy of a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator

The Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 2

The Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 1

Making the cut

Today I am feeling brave. Very brave.

Why?

Today marks the publication of the results of our project: Finding the Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town. This project was launched exclusively to deliver the definitive list of Cape Town’s best Interior Designers and Decorators. The A-list!

Artistic expression – by its very nature – is an emotionally charged domain, and having to pronounce judgment on artistic endeavor, is akin to disturbing a hornet’s nest. It must be approached cautiously and sensitively.

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Negative feedback can easily be the fuse that ignites a swarm of powerful emotions, while unfavorable ratings may result in a sting of lingering resentment.

Nonetheless, this “Top 10” list will be published without fear or favor, because these results flow from a rigorous process-driven project, focused only on one primary objective: Discovering the best of the best in Cape Town – by Design.

There was no easy solution, no shortcut and no quick formula to rate or compare the huge talent, creativity and innovative potential of Cape Town’s top Interior Designers and Decorators, but this project has left no stone unturned in its quest to discover Cape Town’s very best Interior Designers and Decorators.

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Premised on fairness and objectivity, this project used an innovative approach and a future-proof methodology to support its revolutionary “rating” philosophy. A new approach was an essential component of our aim to set the results of this project apart from, and way ahead of other similar projects. No other projects provide the level of fairness or accuracy required for rating, promoting and advertising the top Interior Design companies or the best Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

This project therefore started with a clean slate, choosing transparent, honest and uniform feedback over assumptions, opinions and self-promoting propaganda. This was the only way to ensuring its independence, credibility, authority and acceptability, while mitigating challenges to its legitimacy.

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The results of this project are delivered as is – without embellishment and ornamentation. There is also no artistic or poetic license to mask deficiencies with superficial decoration. There in no room for consternation as the results of this project emanate from frank feedback and open consultation.

The ultimate list of Cape Town’s Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators was compiled within the framework of important considerations, such as the ground-rules, qualification criteria and other pertinent factors. Together, these elements guided the selection process to finally illuminate Cape Town’s creme de la creme – the masters of the Interior Design and Decorating game.

This esteemed group of top Interior Designers and Decorators are the flag-bearers for the Interior Design industry in Cape Town. It is however important to note the following:

  • Not all of these top Designers and Decorators are associated with famous Interior Design and Decorating firms;
  • Not all of these top Designers and Decorators own popular Interior Design and Decorating businesses, and
  • Not all of these top Designers and Decorators have had their portfolios featured in glossy magazines.

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Yet, all these Interior Designers and Decorators are at the pinnacle of their profession. They fully deserve all the plaudits and accolades because…

  • Their designs are striking; they captivate our eyes – alluring masterpieces of scale and size;
  • Their decorations exceed our vision and desire – with one magical touch, they enthrall and inspire;
  • Their natural affinity for colors and textures can never be taught in courses and lectures;
  • Their innate flair for geometry and symmetry, can only be labeled “Interior Design wizardry”;
  • Their work is breathtaking, it makes us excited, while their artistic twists leave us delighted;
  • Their designs surpass average anonymity and they challenge our views and ideas of normality.

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These are the qualities displayed by Cape Town’s Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators. They are superstars – a cut above the rest.

We applaud and salute them – they are Cape Town’s very best!

Related articles in the series Cape Town’s Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators include…

Part 1: Making the cut as a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator
Part 2: The Rating Rules for discovering the best Interior Designers and Decorators
Part 3: The Anatomy of a Top 10 Interior Designer and Decorator

The Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 1

Gardner Interior Concepts | Commercial | Residential | Interior Designers

“We straddle the intersection of living spaces and society and we design to enhance life. Our solutions are inspiring, creative and innovative – transforming the way we live today.” ~ Gardner Interior Concepts.

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Gardner Interior Concepts (Cape Town) – Interior Design Project Updates

Each and every aspect of our projects including scope, space planning, design aesthetics and above all, budgeting, are carefully monitored and meticulously managed, to ensure excellent results, all the way from start to finish.

Gardner Interior Concepts Latest Projects (click to view project)

What our satisfied customers say…

Dear Patrick … Just want to say a few words of appreciation for
the wonderful work you have done for me …. The bedside tables look so
“chic ” … The handles which Rowellyn attached today look so good . thanks again
Kind regards .
Frank

Good day

Subject: Solid construction (Edited for relevance…)

My name is Derek and we moved into our house in 2001.

This is just a note to praise you on building solid kitchen units. When we moved into the house I could not afford a new kitchen so just re-arranged the units to suit our needs. The units still have some of your ‘Gardner Brothers’ stickers on it for a customer ‘Miller’. These unit must have been installed prior to 1996.

This year in June 2016, with a new kitchen design, I used the same units which is still solid. I only had to cut off the bottom and fit legs.

Once again thank you for building solid kitchen units.

Regards

Derek

Hi Patrick,

I missed the actual installation but it looks fantastic – in fact, it looks like it has been missing all these years and is now “complete”. So many thanks for the great job to you and your staff.

Kind regards,
Kathryn

Hi Patrick,

Your guys did a great job, I’m happy with my installation. Thanks. See photos.

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Regards,
Michiel.

Patrick,

The gentlemen you have working for you are some of the best that have worked for us. You should be proud of the team you have. Thanks once again.

Best Regards,
Wayne.
PS / We will pass along the good work completed by your company every chance we get.

Make the right choice. Contact Gardner Interior Concepts for your next project. Join our family and let’s create a masterpiece, together.

Gardner Interior Concepts | Commercial | Residential | Interior Designers

Cape Town Interior Designers | Giving Life to Space

Interior Design – for Flight or Delight

Have you ever walked into a room (not the dentist’s) for the first time and immediately felt unsettled and uncomfortable? Instinctively you retreat, with an intuitive sense that something isn’t right.

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This experience cannot compare to the pleasure of walking into a room for the first time and immediately feeling calm and relaxed. Such a room seemingly welcomes and embraces you, making you feel good.

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The Power of Interior Design

These contrasting reactions are not conscious choices or premeditated physiological responses. We experience these responses on an emotional level – instantaneously and silently, but powerfully.

When a room or space impacts us positively we feel relaxed and comfortable. A negative impact, on the other hand, may trigger a “flight” response which we cannot suppress. We may eventually be overwhelmed by this response and beat a hasty and hopefully graceful retreat.

Visual information can act as a cue to stimulate powerful emotional responses and evoke feelings which ultimately form our experience of a place or space.

Design for Fright

The room is perfectly designed: Grey, cold and sterile. The emptiness punctuated only by the central focal point comprised of a bare metal table and matching chair, ominously perched in the glare of a bright white light.

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This unmistakable image depicts the typical interrogation room featured in movies. A space designed to unsettle, unnerve and evoke mortal fear. The design of this room is aimed exclusively at uncovering the truth. And so it does, by creating a cold and fearsome environment for the unfortunate occupant of the chair.

Design for Transformation

Yet, this very same room can be transformed almost instantly – from hostility to tranquility. It can become a warm and peaceful sanctuary for quiet contemplation, by design. This can be achieved quickly and easily by changing the color and the lighting, adding some tasteful furnishings, introducing some inspiring decor and perhaps adding a few topical books.

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We get Out what we Design In

Buildings, homes, rooms and spaces are all merely containers or shells, even if they are designed to have their own unique personality. As a shell or container, a space is therefore ultimately defined by its contents. The type of objects and the placement of these objects give definition to a space.

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By extension, the design of the container, together with the nature and placement of its contents, determine the character, personality and mood of that space. And ultimately all these elements add to the impact which that space has on those who use it.

The Art and Science of Interior Design

This is essentially the art and science of Interior Design:

The practical provision of functionality, using technical design expressed with artistic talent and flair, within the framework of science, to cause ripples in our continuum of space-time.

To simplify: Interior Design is all about creating beautiful, usable and functional spaces, to enhance our lives and trigger our emotions with striking visual richness.

Really? Yes indeed! I think so…

Inspired design is awe-inspiring. It has an ethereal energy. Transparent at its best, it causes time to stand still as it teleports or catapults us into a time warp, to a different time and place. Our travel will invariably be interrupted and our return to the present may leave us both shaken and stirred.

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Great design is the ultimate marriage of art and science, and touches spirit in a special way – infinitely. It is timeless. It has no boundaries. This is where nature shows us the way.
Design Alive
At night the starry heavens greet us with a magical, majestic dark tapestry with highlights of stars and lights. Inspiring. Enchanting. Magnetic. It has a profound effect on our senses – it touches the soul.

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The oceans have an equally profound effect on us, as does so many other wonders of our natural world. An effect that is best described with silence.

Our universe – the Master Designer and undoubtedly the greatest designer known to man – uses the canvas of nature to showcase the most glorious and breathtaking designs. Through nature, we are surrounded by the perfect union of art and science every day. It is everywhere and it is alive! The earth. The heavens. The oceans.

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Choose the right Designer

Interior designers display their professional mastery using the space as their canvas and creating a masterpiece within the framework of a project. With their skill and expertise a space becomes more and more alive with every addition of a carefully selected object or decoration.

At Gardner Interior (Concepts Cape Town) it is our passion and our mission to give life to space with inspired Interior Design. With us, your project is not just another project. We provide a service to enhance your life.

Contact us today for a superior customer experience and live the difference…

Cape Town Interior Designers | Giving Life to Space

Green Interior Design | Our Green Facebook Project

We dubbed this exciting project Our Green Facebook Project

While searching the internet for Interior Designers in Cape Town, Robert found Gardner Interior Concepts on Facebook.

After contacting our friendly design team, he awarded us the contract to complete the renovations to his new state of the art “Fit 15” EMS Training Center.

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Robert – being conscious of the environment – specifically wanted to use reclaimed timber as wall cladding. We managed to find Joseph on Facebook to do this, and he did a fantastic job for us.

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Everyone involved with this project was literally sourced from Facebook, and look at the amazing outcome!

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This was indeed a really inspiring project to be a part of with such unique design ideas.

Sustainability starts with you and me, so it’s up to us to adopt an active approach to conserving our environment. At Gardner Interior Concepts (Cape Town), we have integrated ‘sustainability thinking’ into our Interior Design philosophy.

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We fully embrace the slogan: “Re-use. Restore. Recycle. Revive.” We must conserve our resources in order for our planet to survive.

Green Interior Design | Our Green Facebook Project

The Gardner Interior Concepts Team | A Family by Design

The greatest feeling in the world is knowing that someone has your back. In a high-pressure, deadline-driven workplace, such as the Gardner Interior Concepts‘ manufacturing workshop – which delivers all their custom built components – success if the result of team spirit and camaraderie.

Besides having a significantly positive effect on office morale, the team spirit at Gardner Interior Concepts creates a vibrant and energetic organization.

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There is no manager who is able to lead an organization, micro-manage individuals and steer the ship simultaneously. And no human being can be in two places at the same time. Having staff who are trustworthy, dependable, reliable and instinctively do the right thing, is priceless!

The Gardner Interior Concepts team embodies the phrase “Happy staff equals productive staff”. Each team member views Service Excellence as the portal to customer satisfaction. Delivering great service also enhances the reputation and credibility of an organization. At Gardner Interior Concepts, high standards are normal and excellent service is real.

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Says Patrick Gardner: “All I can say is… I am loving the spirit at Gardner Interior Concepts at the moment. I thought I had no energy to see me through to the end of the year, after signing numerous contracts which has just turned a great year into an exceptional year.” Patrick continues, “I’m tired and stressed, but when I look around, my staff are on such a buzz… And doing things without me even asking…What an inspiration! LOVE YOU GUYS!!!”

A dream team indeed. Priceless!

The Gardner Interior Concepts Team | A Family by Design