Bespoke home design

Sanctum's team has extensive experience designing and managing the construction of highly bespoke buildings, having created more than 85 homes in the past decade alone. As specialists in residential design, we focus on delivering innovative, contemporary solutions for family homes, holiday houses and rural estates, which engage with the landscape and provide residents with natural, year-round comfort.

Our principal designer and director, James Cooper, personally oversees all design, construction and contract documentation together with the team to ensure only the best outcomes for our clients.

Our design and construction process typically involves seven stages, throughout which our team works to keep our clients well informed and involved. Typically, our bespoke design projects commence with a thorough analysis of the local environment, which enables our designs to maximise light and warmth in winter and natural breezes and cool interior and exterior spaces in summer.

Our services may be taken up in part or in full, however, for optimum results we recommend your project be commissioned from the initial design stages through to contract administration and building handover.

Sketch design

During the sketch design phase we respond to our client's brief. We analyse the site to determine design opportunities and restrictions from both a natural and regulatory perspective. We then create a preliminary sketch plan to facilitate discussions about the building layout, area sizes and spatial functions.

Design development and 3D modelling

During the design development stage we transform the plan into a tangible three-dimensional model, resolving details and selecting specific materials to support the architectural intent. We annotate the floor plans to show specific room sizes and indicate locations for furniture and fittings. We develop elevations to explore the design intent and seek preliminary consultant advice as the design evolves.

Development applications and approvals

We fully coordinate and submit development applications, general planning and construction permits. Our network of consultants, including town planners, landscape architects and environmental specialists, ensure best-case practice for complex and sensitive sites. Our collective understanding of council applications and approvals processes ensures compliance requirements are rigorously addressed in the design and submissions.

Construction detailing

Development application drawings are developed into construction documents which feature detailed sections and details for construction, stairs, services, fixtures and fittings, and joinery - all illustrating the essence of the design. During this phase we produce technical specifications and schedules for fixtures, finishes, doors and windows to satisfy requirements for a construction certificate.

Interior design

Often we produce a detailed interior design package to convey a building's design detail and to integrate high-quality solutions into kitchens, bathrooms, built-in cabinetry and the like. We can also help select all internal colours, finishes and fixtures for a completely integrated design solution.


During the tender process, we work with the client to collate a list of preferred builders. We prepare and issue tender documents and assess costs. Once a builder has been chosen and the contract decided, we prepare a set of contract documents for sign-off by the client and the builder.

Contract administration

Contract administration improves the management and accounting of payments and the control of building quality and ensures the contract and the designs are carried out to their full intent. As contract administrators, we act impartially to facilitate successful construction processes and to resolve construction details, ensuring best-case design outcomes.

Some of our recent bespoke design commissions include award winning urban, coastal and rural homes, as well as duplexes, low-density townhomes and multi-unit dwellings. Please browse our portfolio and feel free to contact us for more information.

Sanctum Design Practice - Custom Home Design
Remodelling and Home Design
Renovation and Home Design
Renovation and Home Design
Renovation and Home Design
James Cooper in Neutral Bay, NSW, AU on Houzz