Appointing a Designer

If you’re thinking of making some changes to your property, or perhaps looking to build a brand new home, you will almost certainly need to employ the services of a Designer. They will advise you on the processes involved and prepare all of the necessary drawings and documentation on your behalf to realise your ambitions. It is important to choose a Designer that you feel comfortable with.


When initially considering who to appoint for Architectural services it is critical that this person is suitably qualified. Chartered Architects (RIBA) and Chartered Architectural Technologists (CIAT) have demonstrated to their respective professional bodies that they have the knowledge and experience required to provide architectural services to the general public.

There are some Chartered Surveyors (RICS) that also offer design facilities and are able to deliver similar levels of service. Employing a suitably qualified professional gives you the peace of mind that you will receive the required standard of service backed by a reputable professional body that has a strict code of conduct that its members’ adhere too.

Your brief

Before engaging with a professional, have you fully established your needs and taken time to consider what it is you actually want to achieve? Make a list of your requirements; include things about your existing home that do not work for you. Sourcing images of both external and internal features that you like can provide the designer with an insight into your tastes and ultimate vision.

At this point you should also consider your budget, whether you have ten thousand pounds or ten million pounds, it is important that your designer has a budget to work to, so your expectations can be met within the budget you have allocated.


Undoubtedly one of the best ways to find a designer is by word-of-mouth, ask family, friends and colleagues who have recently embarked on a similar process for recommendations. Explore the web, most designers will have a web site and many now have Facebook pages where they showcase previous projects and describe the scope of services they offer.

Once you’ve made an appointment with a designer they will usually want to meet you at the property/site to discuss your requirements, most practices will not charge a fee for this initial visit, however, it is worth double checking with them first. Also, consider all your options! Invite different designers to come and view your property and ask them their ideas and thoughts on your brief. They will also guide you through the stages involved including, the planning process, building regulations, tendering and construction works. It is important you feel inspired and that you could build a good relationship with your designer. You are making a large investment and need to work with people you can trust who will develop a solution unique to your personal needs and maximize the potential of your project.

How Much?

Fees for architectural services will vary depending on the size and complexity of the proposals, and the quality of services offered by the chosen designer. Some practices work on a fixed fee, whilst others will operate on an hourly rate, so ensure you obtain a written fee proposal, detailing what services they will be providing you with, along with a clear fee structure with any exclusions clearly stipulated.

Master Suite Upgrade

An exciting refurbishment to the master bedroom suite, adding a new bathroom and creating a balcony area. The bedroom area features polished plaster, timber cladding, bespoke joinery, and wood flooring, whilst the en-suite features moulded silestone vanity units and basins, large format tiling. intelligent lighting and blind control have been fitted throughout.

DLM Designer Dog Kennel

Our entry for the bow wow haus competition is a colaborative work between several local suppliers and professionals. The Kennel is designed to be the height of luxury for any canine, whilst acting as a stylish piece of furniture for the modern home.

The Kennel itself was fabricated in house by DLM Architects, with materials supplied by Norman Piette. The Concrete finish was applied by Mike Da Vinci, with collaboration from Beem Laser. The Upholstery was done by Mhv Upholstery, and the handle supplied by Buster + Punch. A Huge thank you to all involved!

Luxury Penthouse Concept

DLM were invited by Living Room to design a concept for one of the penthouses at the Royal Terrace development. The scheme controls views over the harbour and islands, maximising the natural light captured by the orientation. The space can be re-configured with large pivot and sliding panels, to adapt generous open plan living into a series of more intimate spaces, offering privacy when entertaining.

Minimal in styling, the apartment provides a light and flexible living space with a refined pallet of natural materials and neutral tones highly detailed within the exposed structure.

Planning Permission for Les Massies

We are very pleased to share with you that one of our residential projects has just obtained planning permission!

Les Massies Farm is a historical Guernsey farmhouse dating back to the 16th Century. It has continuously been altered and added to over the years, resulting in a legible patchwork of Guernsey’s Architectural Vernacular.

The brief was to design a contemporary extension, creating a modern living space in an otherwise very traditional home. Part of the process involved removing conservatories and additions that had been built in recent years.

When working with a building with such a rich history, it is important to take the right approach. Our response to the building was to identify the architectural value and significance present, and how best we might intervene without taking away from that. The first move was to remove the existing conservatory, and small lean-to’s that have been constructed up against the gable end of the farmhouse in recent years, in an attempt to simplify the massing present.

Our intervention then took a simple flat-roof form. The intention with the design to be understated, and to not draw attention away from the farmhouse. The extension ties through into the existing kitchen, drawing light into the older part of the house, which was previously limited by thick walls and small windows. An Oak frame forms a main design feature, helping to tie the more contemporary scheme into the farmhouse by using traditional construction methods.

The Environment department seems to agree with us on our chosen approach, and has nicely summarised the scheme with the following:

“The elements to be demolished comprise later additions to the traditional building group, and removal would not have any adverse impact on the character of the group. The proposed replacement extension follows the footprint of the existing structures but utilises a mix of traditional and modern materials to create a complementary but distinct addition to the farmhouse.”

DLM Launch and Birthday Party

In the run up to Christmas DLM Architects hosted a drinks party to celebrate their 5th birthday and the move to their newly converted warehouse studio on Pitronnerie Road. Not your run of the mill architects office, the studio showcases DLM’s creative design approach and the way they think about spaces a little differently. The large double height lobby, with overhead mezzanine, provided the perfect venue for an evening of drinks, music and conversation.
A great spread of food was provided by James Ferguson at Cooked for a mixed guest list of industry professionals and clients.

DLM would like to take the opportunity to thank all their clients, past and present, and the consultants and contractors that they work with, making the past 5 years so successful and enjoyable.

DLM Architects Gets an upgrade

After 4 years of operating out of offices not much larger than a garden shed we finally felt it was time for an upgrade! DLM Architects recently completed the construction and fit out of their own new studio within the bare shell of a warehouse at Pittronerie Road Industrial Estate

The nature of DLM Architects work demands an inspiring studio space different to the traditional office environment. Every single detail has been considered and fabricated with precision to allow each space to function as required. The robust palette of materials is honest to the industrial setting, but softened with the warmth of reclaimed timber and considered lighting.

By designing and building our own studio, we were able to really have fun with it, and test out a few of the wackier ideas that we’ve had, for example the large lighting rafts hanging just above our heads. A lot of the materials used are up-cycled, from old floorboards to repurposed retired airport lights. The office is a playground for ideas, and showcases exactly what it is we do best.

The fit-out serves as an example of the approach that DLM take towards design, showcasing a raw palette of natural and reclaimed materials. The workshop is concealed behind doors clad in old concrete shuttering boards, the stairs are lined in oak stripped during a recent demolition, and the kitchen from reclaimed bricks and locally milled timber. Lightweight rafts have been constructed to integrate flush lighting with polished plaster giving the perception of heavy concrete slabs floating above the workspaces.

The meeting room utilises the existing blockwork structure, with charred timber lining the ceiling and presentation wall. 2 fully glazed sides overlook the double height space, framed within a bespoke blackened steel frame that extends to the mezzanine handrail. The meeting table itself has been fabricated from blackened steel trestles suspending 2 slabs of locally felled oak.

The office isn’t only pretty to look at, we’ve made sure it works as hard as it can as a design tool. It features a wide range of raw materials and finishes to showcase them, etched vinyl manifestation details serve as guides for useful dimensions for regulations, construction sizes, and furniture heights.

The Apple doesn’t fall far from 50

After much speculation as to what would replace the former ‘Au Caprice’ at 50 High Street, it’s great to be able to share the news that IQ will be opening a new Apple Store on Saturday 24th September.

It has been a challenging experience to develop Apple’s design criteria whilst complying with local planning and heritage restrictions. DLM Architects specified and coordinated the works and fit out that is being completed by Ravenscroft Construction Ltd ahead of the Apple team heading over to complete the final touches. More photos to follow after the big opening.

DLM have been working on the restoration of the entire external envelope of the protected building that makes the corner of The High Street, Smith Street and Lefebvre Street, and the significant reconfiguration and upgrade of all internal spaces providing mixed use office and retail space over 5 floors. We are excited about the other potential tenants and our involvement with further fitting out of the building.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels. Design is how it works”

Steve Jobs

Safe Site Access for GSPCA

As keen dog and animal lovers in general the team at DLM were very happy to recently assist the GSPCA with the planning process to create a safer access to their site in St Andrews.

It’s always nice to receive a glowing report from a client, so we decided to share it with you:

“The GSPCA are always trying to improve the grounds at the Animal Shelter in St Andrews and we are hugely grateful to DLM Architects who have recently helped us put together an application and drawings for works to be undertaken which are very much needed.

The team at DLM Architects are fantastic and from the GSPCA we can’t speak highly enough of their professionalism and support they have given.

The plans, advice and continued support from the staff at DLM Architects is really appreciated and from all of the team and animals in our care at the GSPCA thank you for all of your wonderful help, it is really appreciated.”

– Steve Byrne, GSPCA Manager.

What Lies Beneath

Following 3.5 years of applications, appeals and variations, we have now achieved planning permission for the full scheme at ‘The Glade’, and work has begun.
It promises to demonstrate an array of new techniques and technology, experimenting with finishes and construction methods, ideas that we hope will be adopted in future projects across the island.

With over 100 truck loads of soil removed, excavation of the site is now complete, allowing the house to nest within the topography and below the surrounding tree canopy, including a large basement below.

Broken plan living, double height spaces and open roof voids mean that the common loft has become a thing of the past. We experience people struggling with useable storage in their homes, and garages, sheds and spare rooms are often sacrificed. The basement offers a flexible space that can adapt with the user to be storage, a games room, a cinema etc. We have designed the proposed structure of this basement to minimise the expense associated with building below ground, which has made it a viable addition to the project.

before and after