Homeowners are often unclear on how to work with a decorator or interior designer. This Fee Schedule should answer some of your questions:
After an initial discovery phone call with our design coordinator Lisa, and it’s mutually decided to move forward with an up to two hour in-depth design consultation, we collect the fee for this upfront, which is $450, and Lisa makes the appointment. Why do we charge for this? For several reasons, one being that this appointment is not a meet and greet; we get right to work, and we talk design dilemmas, obstacles, wants, needs, solutions. If the consultation is strictly a two hour consultation for you to jump start your project yourself, you will get actionable notes at the end of the meeting so that you can move forward on your own. This fee more than pays for itself when our time together prevents you from using the wrong color paint (and paying a painter to re-paint), purchasing furniture that is too large for the space, hanging light fixtures too high, getting too small of a rug for a space – to name a few of the issues confronting homeowners every day.
If your project is more involved, this meeting is to determine the scope of the project, what trades (painters, wallpaper installers, electricians, plumbers, etc) need to be brought in, if we need an architect, structural engineer and the like. We talk about problems with how a room flows, or how it functions (or doesn’t function) for your family. We work on developing a plan and prioritizing all the different moving parts of the project. If your project involves a major renovation, we discuss the process, how we prep the space, drawings, elevations, measure day, etc and plan the next step before the consultation ends.
A meet and greet consultation will not give you actionable information, and if I did design consultations for free, I would be spending all my time on these appointments and never get any actual work done :). I understand that the consumer/potential client may want to make sure we’re a good fit – that’s great because we want that too! But no designer is in the business of giving free actionable advice. Our 20 minute discovery call with Lisa is usually enough to determine if how we work is something you’re interested in. Still not sure? Let Lisa know, and if I am in the studio, she will hand the phone over to me and we can have a chat, and I can answer any questions you may have – or, if I am not in, she will schedule a time for me to call you. Still not sure? We’re located in downtown Milwaukee, a stone’s throw from the Third Ward. We invite you to stop in (appointment please, as we’re not always in the studio), see our creative and cool work space, meet face to face and chat some more. We want to work with someone who is a good fit for how we work as much as you want to work with someone you can relate to and who understands you!
After we have completed our initial meeting and we have decided to work together, we will discuss the investment and secure a retainer based on that investment. The retainer is a show of good faith and covers the planning, research, design, drawings and selections for your project. The retainer will be applied to the final payment on completion of your project.
Design-based fees when product is needed
We select and purchase products for your design — we do not go shopping at stores for items like furniture, accessories, lighting; rather, we have accounts with over 125 suppliers for all things related to the interior of the home. This assures that there is no cookie-cutter look to your home; we want it to be as unique as you are! The fees for design research, selection, procurement and delivery is determined on a case by case basis. No two projects, or clients, are exactly alike. Some clients may make decisions quickly, while others need to think about it, or want to see more than the 2-3 options we show on any given portion of the project. We will discuss and answer questions on the initial discovery call, and go more in-depth at our design consultation.
Design-based fees when no product is needed
There are times when the service needed for your project is design advice, opinions, space planning or layouts, but no purchases. The fees for this is determined on a case by case basis, but generally is sold as a block of time. For instance, if we determine your project will take approximately 20 hours, we charge for that block of time, and let you know as we get close to using up that time. There are many variables in any given project and no two projects are exactly alike, just as no two clients are exactly alike.
Each decorating or design project we undertake, whether a single room or the whole home, is based on a budget that is discussed before the design process starts. You may want to start updating your home with wallpaper and some new pillows and art. Or you may want to redecorate a complete room. Or maybe it’s time to do something with that extra space in the basement. Whatever the project, we will work with you on a realistic budget. Not sure how much things cost? We go over wants and needs for your project and give you a ballpark of good-better-best. Note that there may be instances where trades will need to be brought in to assess and evaluate the project before an investment amount can be determined.
If you are building a new home
If you are considering building a new home, we can work with you to help you make the myriad of decisions that are involved with a new build. Oftentimes you are given one day to view your options, then one day to make final choices for your new home. This can be quite daunting, so before they are locked in by your builder let us be there at your side as a sounding board and to help you with your choices. At an hourly rate sold as a block of time we will guide you with:
|• choosing cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms
• discussing the benefits of quartz or granite countertops and aid in selection
• help with choices for tile, faucets and lighting
• assist with flooring choices
• help with paint choices and wood finishes
House painters seldom want the responsibility of choosing paint colors with you. If you need help choosing color we will come to your home with paint kits. We will discuss what you are trying to achieve and help develop a coordinated color palette for interior or exterior paint. This project will be charged at an hourly rate with a minimum of two hours. A travel allowance may be charged for longer distances and will be discussed at the time of our initial phone conversation.
If you still have questions, please call our studio 414.967.1992.