Based in Port Carling, Ontario, Canada with clients primarily in Muskoka and Toronto, RB Design has grown from a small interior design firm with a brick-and-mortar store to one now taking on major renovations and a recently expanded retail location. With AutoCAD, the team can design and deliver any number of projects—whether it’s renovating kitchens and bathrooms from top to bottom, a complete remodel of a lakeside cabin, or transforming a garage into a unique living space.
Recent renovation completed by RB Design. Courtesy of RB Design.
When kicking off a new interior design or renovation project, RB Design owner Amanda McLennan will meet with clients to begin forming the designs and style they hope to achieve. From there, she brings in designers and drafters Nicole Wilson and Marina Keola Ramalho Rodrigues to discuss the layouts and begin translating everything into AutoCAD with exact measurements.
“We may do a little hand sketching at first because there is just that connection I have personally and creatively with hand to paper,” McLennan says. “AutoCAD brings the professionalism and consistency. There is far less room for error. We can have the precision required to capture the details that can't be sketched by hand.”
Once the initial design is done, the team begins sharing it with the client for feedback. “Clients can change their minds so quickly,” Rodrigues says. “When you're able to update those changes in AutoCAD right away, it makes everything easier and the company more successful.”
Bathroom in recently completed renovation. Courtesy of RB Design.
Recently, RB Design completed the complete renovation of an 1,800 square-foot lakeside cabin in Muskoka. The team transformed the space from three bedrooms to four bedrooms with an en suite bathroom. They removed wasted space from a laundry room and created an open space with the living room, dining room, and kitchen all flowing together. A new balcony delivers stunning views of the lake.
With AutoCAD, the team created custom touches throughout the design—from cabinet millwork to vanities, the pantry, and a small mudroom. To accommodate the client’s desire for additional sleeping arrangements, they designed custom bunk beds as well.
“As RB Design has grown, we could scale our use of AutoCAD right along with us. We’re now using it more for design-build and not just basic layouts with furniture plans. It’s great because AutoCAD has allowed us to grow into new, more complex projects.”
—Amanda McLennan, Owner, RB Design
Recent RB Design layout in AutoCAD. Courtesy of RB Design.
For the RB Design team, collaboration is crucial. Rodrigues is based in London, Ontario while McLennan and Wilson are at the main office in Port Carling. By working in the cloud, they can always have the most recent version of drawings and files—no matter the team member’s location.
According to Rodrigues, the ease-of-use and flexibility AutoCAD provides is key to a successful design outcome.
“You can easily create an elevation and floor plan, which is very helpful,” Rodrigues says. “We can swap out blocks quickly with our blocks library. The efficiency with AutoCAD helps us deliver more accurate projects and better communication with the clients.”
“Using the full version of AutoCAD is important in case we get drawings or blueprints from architects. We don’t have any limitations.”
—Nicole Wilson, Drafter, RB Design