The Best Kept Secrets About Surgery Interior Design

Dental Article Cover PageIt’s a very cool feeling to have your expertise acknowledged.

Seeing our writing published in the latest UK issue of The Journal of Private Dentistry is such an experience for us.

Since we launched this website in 2007 we’ve tried to coach you, our potential clients, on the industry secrets you should know about.

You’re going to invest significantly in surgery interior design and how well it all works is going to have a impact on quality of work flow, client perception, staff efficiency and team moral.

These projects can be complex and we’re aware that sometimes you don’t have the information you need.

While some industry operators might not deliberately set out mislead, their ways of working can mean that medical professionals like you are not working with the full set of facts.

We decided to give you the best chance of making an informed decision.  We do this by sharing our own industry experience and pointing out where things can come unstuck.

This means that our clients are better equipped ask strategic questions and quickly identify points of difference.

Dental ArticleRecently The Journal of Private Dentistry (UK) approached us for permission to republish some of our writing in their journal.

For us this was a pleasing industry acknowledgement of our experience and the usefulness of our insights.

It’s true to say that being recognised in this way has refreshed our motivation to keep publishing material that’s going to help our potential clients make informed decisions.

Here is our full article Common Mistakes in Surgery Design.

If you have questions or specific topics you think we should tackle please get in touch. We’d like to publish something useful for you.


Just Who’s On Your Side When You Want A Good Price?

If you are paying someone it’s important that they are working for you rather than forwarding the interests of third parties.

In this post I’m going to outline a couple of things worth considering when you are choosing who to engage for your surgery design.

Your quotes will fall into a few different categories.

  • Independent Designer
  • Independent Construction – Builder
  • Designer (aligned but not publicly so)
  • Design and Build Package (aligned publicly)
  • Builder (aligned but not publicly)

Try to work out which applies to each of your quotes. You can then work out whether an option is being presented because it’s a good or because there is a financial arrangement between the parties.

It’s not just a price issue.

Strategic/financial alliances between designers and builders can be ok fine if everything goes well.

The problem really only occurs when the project comes unstuck for some reason.

An independent designer can help you identify what is fair and what is not and what your options are.

A designer who is not on your side will be there to forward the interests of the suppliers instead.

Your designer/architect should be independent of everyone. They are there to advocate for you not to look after the interest of others.

A little bit of homework upfront could save you money and potentially a far bit of grief later on.

What happened to February…?

Well, my resolution to write a new blog post every month is already out the window….I completely missed February…!

Ah, well back on track now…the studio is bustling!

We’ve got some new products from one of our flooring suppliers which will be going into our latest project (shhh it’s still a secret!) and it’s going to look amazing! This one should be out to pricing in the next few weeks.

Glo Dental has been open for 6 weeks and Dr Rhea Nihalani has had a great start to her new business. I’m working with Fleur from Interactive Arts to put the final touch on the practice – a lovely piece of art from a local artist.  Once this is in, our photographer will be in and we’ll get the virtual tour on the website – it’s looking and working great!

The extension to Morley Dental is well under way. I was out there last week and the partitions are nearly up! We’re looking at an early May opening and are just finalising artwork and waiting chairs.

We are also pleased that a number of our clients are looking at fitting out ‘future’ rooms – this tells us that business is going well – we love hearing our clients are busy!

I attended my first ADIA breakfast in February. It was great meeting up with clients and other industry associates as well as hear Ray Khouri of Dental Corp talk about how his business has grown and where it is headed now that its been (indirectly) bought out by BUPA.

We have another project in council for Change of Use – we’re looking forward to getting started on that one!

We have been getting some feedback from clients and potential clients that they are concerned that we are not architects. We are quite proud to say that we aren’t and that we can focus all our efforts into making the space function and look the best it possibly can. We love specialising in interior fitouts and our qualifications and experience allow us to create all the architectural drawings we need for council and building owner approvals, pricing and construction.

However, we have had some inquiries from clients (especially in the Eastern States) who would like to build purpose-built practices. We are currently in discussions with an architect who we can collaborate with to create these practices. Very exciting times!

Phew, so a March update completed! Let’s see if I can get myself organised to do April!


Happy New Year…!

Happy New YearSo, we are half way through January already…!

2012 was a great year for us both personally and professionally. This time last year, Anthony and I had just welcomed our newest team member, Sukey Georgette (born 13 January 2012) and now we have a 12 month old (literally) running around the place.

I have obviously been kept busy with Sukey and big sister, Imari as well as looking after the admin side of Ego Squared. We had our first full year of articles in the Australasian Dental Practice magazine as well as keeping our websites and Facebook pages up to date. We have also been featured on some amazing design blogs (both Australian and International) which we are extremely excited about.

Anthony has designed some beautiful projects in the last year (check out our gallery) and we look forward to showing you more that were designed last year and are in various stages of council or pricing or construction. He is continuing with updating of our systems and streamlining our processes as well as the constant search for the perfect touches to personalise your practice.

2012 brought some major changes to the council approvals process here in WA which has made planning and building approvals (especially for healthcare) more challenging. We are finding ourselves getting further into the entire process of our projects from searching for properties for clients all the way through to submissions to private certifiers which is fantastic.

We are also relishing getting more into decorating – this is the last 10% of the project. After finalising all the architectural work and getting approvals and pricing and construction completed adding in those decorative pieces (rugs, waiting chairs, feature lighting, artwork, vases etc) at the end is the icing on the cake!

We love being able to offer our clients more!

So here’s to an amazing 2013!


The Dental Quarters grand opening…!


Friday night saw the opening of Dr Stephen Chan’s new practice, The Dental Quarters. The name is so appropriate – not only referencing the four quarters of a tooth, but also that the practice is locate so close to The Claremont Quarter shopping precinct.


The tenancy is part of Old Theatre Lane’s The Princess Theatre over looking Bay View Terrace. It is the part of the theatre that house the projection room and where people gathered for drinks before and after the show.

This history gave us the inspiration for the look of the space – Hollywood Glamour. As you can see from the photo, we incorporated a gorgeous French antique lounge suite, textured metallic wallpaper and a feature wall of black and white head shots and movie posters.

But back to the opening!
Dr Chan’s wife, Lydia laid on an amazing spread of food and the Moet flowed. The festivities culminated in a lovely speech from Stephen, followed by the Mayor of Claremont cutting the ribbon and officially opening the new practice.

It was lovely to finally meeting Bronwyn, the graphic designer who took a concept to an amazing level as well as some of Stephen’s family, who have been instrumental in the whole process.

All in all a wonderful time was had by all and we wish Dr Chan every success in his new practice…!

PS We should have the virtual tour up soon!


Happy Birthday, Medifit…!

Our ad in ADP (Jul/Aug 12)We received our copy of the ADP magazine today and of course we flipped straight to the back to the Surgery Design section.

The usual suspects are there (including us – check out our article on Perth Prosthodontics) and we saw Medifit had written a synopsis of the last 10 years since they started.

Wow, where has the time gone…?

And Anthony and I were there at the beginning – now, I know this is a little unconventional…but, hey, it’s our history and something to be proud of.

Shall I tell you the story of how it all began…?

In 2002, I had been working for Geoff Raphael (Medifit’s design director) for 5 years and Anthony 2 years – we worked on all sorts of commercial interiors: pharmacies, restaraunts, shops, offices, you name it. As with most design companies, we were independant of any fitout or building company.

Then one day in 2002, we started working on a dental surgery and it was to be designed under the newly formed Medifit banner and constructed by one of the shopfitters who had been building our projects for a number of years. The design/construct combination had just started to become popular. I’m sure setting up of the company between the three directors took some doing, but it just seemed as though another project was coming through and that was what was important to us designers.

And then the projects kept coming and we developed systems and trained new staff and worked closely with the shopfitter and trades to write a standard specification and we starting working on projects Australia wide. It was all very exciting!

Another two exciting things happened that year – Anthony and I were married, then we bought a new (actually, really old!) house.  Looking back I guess that was the catalyst. We starting thinking about our future and how we wanted both our personal and working lives to be.

So, merely two years later at the end of 2004 we started Ego Squared Design Consultants. Two years after that we became Ego Squared Design Consultants Pty Ltd.

Coming up to eight years later, three offices, two children, two dogs and a (hopefully nearly finished) renovation we would like to wish the Medifit team a happy 10th birthday! We thank you for letting us cut our teeth with you (no pun intended).

Selecting the right people to work on your project…

I’ve just written a new blog post on our Ego Squared website and it is really relevant to starting new practices… check it out here

Inspiration is everywhere…!


We are often asked how we come up with new ideas and looks for our projects. The answer is quite obsure and hard to define. I’ve said it before:

Inspiration is everywhere…!

Wherever we go we are looking at form, colours, textures…even going out to dinner* is a source of inspiration. We look at magazines, design and architecture blogs, online images, out and about, on TV – every part of our day. You never know where or when it will hit!

I find that in a normal, everyday conversation with a client an image of the ‘look’ or a ‘feel’ they are after will form. We then explore that idea and create something tangible – it’s amazing how it all comes together.

Now you may have noticed the pic of the amazing pair of shoes on your left  (how could you miss them really…!). Believe it or not, these shoes are the inspiration for our latest project (I will note that  I did not show this image to our clients – I don’t want to freak them out entirely…:)!).


We are so pleased that they are enthusiastic about the direction we are going and can’t wait to show you how we incorporate these amazing neon colours (carefully, subtly) into a fresh, fun and exciting new dental surgery…!  

 *BTW, I would not recommend going to dinner with interior designers – we spend at least half an hour discussing the restaraunt’s features, from the layout, the materials used all the way through to the lighting and the design of the loos…!

And we have been doing…what exactly…?

 Things are pretty busy in the Ego Squared studio at the moment…!

We were delighted to host the opening party for Dr Adrian Sue’s new practice, Perth Central Dental (check out the virtual tour here). This was an amazing/challenging/lengthy/exciting project that everyone involved was pleased to see open and trading. From now on it will be known as the ‘5-chairs-in-128sqm’ practice – phew!  A space planning miracle as not only did everything fit, but the space is 100% accessible AND fabulous! Keep an eye out for the article in an up and coming ADP.


More recently we could be seen at Design + Decoration at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. This trade fair had everything you could think of when it comes to the latest in the fashion of interiors. I really enjoyed the seminar I attended showcasing the fabulous work of Thomas Hamel (see, I’m still embracing my inner decorator…). He put into words the latest fashion in high end decorating – global cross pollination: the ability to combine things that you love from all over the world, all cultures, time periods, styles into one cohesive, warm comfortable space. Fabulous ecletic styling…;)

I would have loved to have seen the discussion by Interiors Addict about social media for designers, but alas, we flew out to Tasmania for a lovely winter break in Hobart. It’s so lovely to remove yourself from your surroundings and discover new spaces. The places we enjoyed the most included food and/or coffee…!

So, back to reality….:)

We currently have a lovely practice in construction which I can’t wait to reveal…(hopefully in a few weeks…!) and another in design which will be up and running later in the year.

The latest ADP (May/June) edition showcases our project for Dr Peter Tien and Dr Christine Yu at Cockburn Orthodontics l Endodontics which coincides with their first year anniversary. Love that they are having another party!

And we are meeting with clients from years ago for minor updates, more recent clients who are wanting to fitout their ‘future planned’ surgeries and new client’s looking at expanding or starting new practices….busy, busy…:)



Australasian Dental Practice Magazine

Ego Squared ad

Have you seen the lastest Dental Practice magazine (March/April)…?

Check out our article in the Surgery Design section on our project for Dr Patrick O’Rourke – his practice in Noosa, Riverside Dental article.

We are a little excited too – adjacent is our new ad!

We wanted it to show our creative and artistic side and love the end result. Thanks to our fabulous graphic designer, Nicol!

Did you know that Anthony is not only a qualified interior designer, but is also a sculptor, jeweller and owned an antique shop…! Yep, he’s definitely one of those elusive, creative types…:)