Step 3 – Concept


So what’s involved at the Concept Design?

After the design brief and our initial meeting we will head back to the office and start working up the Concept design. This will normally include all or most of the following:

Proposed plan – Concept Design

The proposed plan will be the constructed from the parameters set out in the brief. If you want to build your first restaurant or shop we sometimes recommend drawing up a concept plan as part of your Concept Design. You will be able see how much space you require to make your business model a success. This can be invaluable when trying to secure a site. You will be better informed as to the type of site you need.

We like to produce at least two or three options for the plan. We will focusing on different aspects of the scheme. For instance, for a restaurant interior we might look at a design based around an open kitchen, or a bar that has a strong presence from the outside. There will also be an option that shows the maximum amount of covers you can achieve. If we are designing a shop interior we might explore circulation options. We will also look at the composition from outside and consider the positioning of feature walls etc…

Exterior Visuals

Exterior visuals are fairly quick to produce because they are generally based on an edited photograph taken from the outside. The main focus is to show how the new scheme will change the exterior. They can be useful for planning applications, and can sometimes convey just what is needed to the signage contractor.

exterior visual of a pie shop Concept Design

Interior Visuals

Interior visuals glue the rest of the elements of the design together. As an interior architect and designer they are the ultimate communicate tool for the concept design. They express the new use of the space in the most easily understandable way. We believe they are well worth the time and additional expense. If you need investment from backers, or just want to see how the finished space will look they are a great indicator.

Concept Design for a health spa pool area in Kent
Jaguar E type car showroom visual Concept Design


We will discuss sections in the next stage, but we often start producing them at this stage. Sections help explain how we will treat the walls within the restaurant or shop design, and  can develop as the design progresses. If we are not producing any visuals we might colour the sections to convey the atmosphere.

These are the elements that make up the concept design service we provide as part of our interior architecture and design service. We will normally tailor what we do to make sure that we don’t produce any unnecessary work. Once we have worked through this stage, we are ready to move onto Stage 4.

Many see the concept stage as the most creative part of the design process. However, we like to think of the technical drawing stage as equally creative, as it is where we can explore the finishes and detailing further.

Mood boards

Mood boards try to capture the atmosphere of an interior. We can convey this using photographs of similar interiors, or through images that capture the mood in other ways. This might be a photograph of something very vivid amongst some earthy surrounds. Or a formal architectural shot. It’s all about interpreting your individual needs and values.

Sample boards

These boards display examples of materials that we will use as part of the interior design fit out. We tend to use digital images of most of the finishes, and only bring physical samples of key materials. Sample boards are closely linked to mood boards as they set the atmosphere of the space. They also often have a strong relationship with the branding or elements of the building, like a brick wall or solid timber floor.