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Finished rear of family home, right on beachfront


Since 2004, Essence Design creates unique, custom designed, healthier, comfortable homes and commercial interiors.

Serving all of New Zealand

We’re based on the Kapiti Coast and routinely take on projects throughout the Wellington Region. We have clients all over New Zealand, and even Australia, seeking our specialist services

Aiming for Excellence

Essence Design is an award-winning Architectural Design studio. We are passionate and driven, but not at any cost. We will never turn down a project because it will never be an award winner. Instead we get great satisfaction of working closely with our clients, to make their dreams a reality.

The Team

Robyn De La Haye

Robyn De La Haye

Licensed Architectural Designer

Robyn specialises in Alterations, Additions, new houses and commercial interiors. Robyn loves breathing life into old buildings, has real passion for creating a mix of traditional and contemporary designs.

As a result of completing a four year, full time Bachelor of Design degree, Robyn often finds creative ways to redesign a Commercial Building or Family home’s interior layout to minimise costly extensions. Working with a clients brief, she often comes up with concepts and ideas, never thought of.

Passion for architecture

Robyn listens to her clients and creates well thought through spaces, designed for modern living. Flexibility is big part of Robyns design methods and thinking laterally. Not just for today, for the future evolving family or resaleability of the home.

With a love of creating flexible spaces and minimising hallways, Robyn is passionate about creating concepts, that challenge and that often surpasses a client’s expectation. Often working towards a master plan with her clients, projects can be designed over a number of stages to suit a client’s budget.

One of Robyn's specialities is working with traditional character homes. Finding the right balance between traditional and contemporary design. The architectural fabric and integrity of the original character remains, but also embraces flexible modern living.

Ruth Parnell


Ruth joined Essence Design in 2020 and is experienced in commercial and residential projects. Ruth is a highly experienced senior designer with sound technical knowledge and a strong eye for detail, she uses her experience and knowledge to provide clients with innovative ideas that often exceed their original requirements.

Ruth sees projects through from client briefing, concept development and working-drawing preparation to the selection of furnishings and finishes. Ruth has extensive skills in private architectural practice, hospitality and large-scale retail environments both in New Zealand and Australia.

Tools and Tech


Revit 2020

Revit 2020 BIM software 3D modelling provides tools to develop accurate, higher-quality architectural designs

Detail Autocad

AutoCAD 2020

Is a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application, used to create plans & details for buildings Lumion Effect Landscape 2947664

Lumion Rendering Package

Is a powerful, effective architectural visualization tool that create beautiful realistic images.