Our Core Design Process


Any design we do at Gem and Clay begins with identification. When we lead clients through this phase of the process, everyone emerges with a clear vision for what should be accomplished with the final space.

STEP 1 Orientation
This is the discovery portion of the project. Our goal is to learn about you and to gather all of the details of your project so we can determine what service would be the best fit.

STEP 2 Project Opening
Once we have found a service to be a good fit, we gather any additional information we need before preparing a detailed scope of work and proposal for you. After discussing the proposal and receiving approval, we open the project and dive deeper.

STEP 3 Creative Calibration
This is the vision-forming and planning part of the process. The goal of this step is to align ourselves with your functional and aesthetic goals for the project. We will dive deep into your preferences for each space to ensure we fully understand what inspires, nurtures and serves you. We will also discuss the resources and teams that will be involved in executing the project.

Read on to learn about Phase 2…


The work we do during identification starts taking shape during development. By the end of design development, all necessary design components will be considered, created and communicated to the teams executing the work.

STEP 4 Schematic Design
During schematic design, we create the design concept (space plans & imagery to illustrate design direction & furnishings recommendations) and work with you on budget allocations to make sure our final selections, sourcing and specifications align with your priorities. We further develop our designs during this step using various tools, from creating pen sketches and acquiring samples to using image software, CAD programs, and 3D modeling & rendering tools to visualize our ideas.

STEP 5 Technical Design
It is here that our design recommendation becomes specification. We will finalize all selections, specifications and details and prepare all of the necessary documentation (renderings, plans, schedules and elevations) in order for the trades to execute this project as designed. We will finalize all sourcing of actual items for the project and prepare them for final consideration & approval.

Read on to learn about Phase 3…


STEP 6 Purchasing
During this step, we place all orders. After order placement, we will review the budget to ensure we are on track to meet your budget and discuss unforeseen factors.

STEP 7 Ongoing Inspection
Around this time, we will also schedule out all of the contractors and additional team members needed for renovation, repairs, building, etc. It is during this step that we are overseeing all construction work and receiving and inspecting items that we ordered.

STEP 8 Production
During this step, we do final furniture installations and style the whole space to put those finishing touches that make all the difference!

STEP 9 The Reveal!
This is THE day. You get to see your space as it was meant to be and it. is. awesome. But…we are also realistic, and nothing in the world is perfect on the first go-around. We will walk you through the space and anything that isn’t quite right, we will (if we haven’t already) note it, and we will deliver solutions.

STEP 10 Project Closure
Once you are fully satisfied with your newly transformed space, we present any remaining invoices, discuss any questions you have, and deliver to you an organized binder with all of the information you need to maintain your space and to live and work easily and happily within it.

"Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye" - Dorothy Parker