Q: Why hire an interior designer?

A: There are many misconceptions about what an interior designer does. Many assume that the role of a designer is to make a room pretty. While that is a part of it, there is much more to it than that. Making a room more functional, oftentimes by creating a different layout, changing traffic flow (which may include opening up a wall for example) and using the proper amount and scale of furniture are all pieces to the puzzle of creating a functional and inviting home. Coordinating fabrics and furniture, flooring, window treatments, artwork, lighting and wall color are all part of the designer’s role, as is making sure there is enough variety and texture within the design to create visual interest, along with adding comfort and style. In-depth interviews with the homeowners allows the designer to create and implement a personalized design plan. Hiring a designer can save the homeowner from costly mistakes.

Q: I love watching all the design shows, and shopping for the perfect items for my home is one of my favorite pastimes. Can I hire a designer just to make sure it all works together?

A: Good for you! It’s great to hear about someone who truly enjoys searching for that “just right” lamp, or chair, or piece of art – that is someone who loves the thrill of the hunt. However, in order to really implement the perfect design plan, the designer must be allowed to use her creativity from start to finish. Just as an attorney wouldn’t allow a client to do part of their job, a designer can’t create the best plan for the home if they don’t have decision-making control over the project. The client is of course involved in every decision and must love it before any part of the plan is implemented.

Q: Does that mean I can’t use any of my existing furnishings or artwork when hiring a designer?

A: Absolutely not! Oftentimes there are items the clients would like to keep in the new plan, whether it’s a new sofa they just purchased or a favorite family heirloom. Whenever possible, these will be blended into the new design plan. Keep in mind, however, that if an existing piece is too large or small in scale in relation to the room, or if the client wants a “Fixer Upper” look but insists on keeping their overstuffed black leather sofa, there is only so much a designer can do with that.

Q: So then my room ends up looking like the designer’s style?

A: This is another misconception that is inaccurate. Much discussion goes into how the room will be used, by whom, what items are staying, favorite colors, least favorite colors, budget and timeline before any design plan is created. The portfolio here shows a variety of styles – from a contemporary downtown loft to a north woods log cabin. These are homes that reflect the inhabitants; the designer’s job is to create a cohesive space that speaks to the homeowner’s lifestyle and personality.

Q: Do you do kitchens and bathrooms too?

A: We are not a general contracting firm, nor are we architects. That being said, many of our projects involve renovations which often include kitchens and bathrooms. When hired for these updates, we partner with a team of experts, each bringing their own area of expertise to the project. We work in conjunction with the contractors, architects and tradespeople, making sure that the vision that we have is carried out in a cohesive and efficient manner. All of the selections are made by us (see #3 above) to ensure that everything from the sinks to the lighting to the faucets, tile, countertops, cabinets, hardware and flooring all work well together and flow in a visually pleasing manner, and that the specs (specifications) for the item are in line with the code requirements for that item and that project.

 

Q: Do you do landscaping or exterior house color consultations?

A: No. We’ve determined that it’s best to narrow down the specifics of what we do.

Q: How do I determine what my investment should be for the project?

A: This is a difficult task for most homeowners. We assist with this by walking through the home together and discussing the needs – how many people will be using the room, how much seating is needed, what items are being kept, etc. We then give an investment range of good, better, best so that the homeowner can determine where their desired investment falls in that range. For renovation projects, the process to determine the investment is more involved.

Q: So how do you charge?

A: Good question! How we charge depends on the type of project, and we go into that in detail when our first discussion takes place on the phone, and again when we meet for the first time at your home. In a nutshell: if product is being purchased to furnish a room, the design fees are by and large included in the retail price of the products that we specify. If there are renovations that need to happen, fees are determined based on the number of hours needed to research, design, implement and manage the project.

Q: I’m excited! When can we start?

A: Great! It’s a wonderful feeling to know that your home, which may be looking and feeling a little tired, will be having new life breathed into it. Understand that design is a process. It’s about so much more than making a room look more attractive, and that means this takes time. From our first phone call to the final decisions, we work with you every step of the way to give you the perfect space. We coordinate all of the selections, ordering and delivery; we want the experience to be enjoyable and stress-free. Call us to start the process!

Q: I just painted my living room, now I need new furniture. Can you help with that??

A: Of course! One thing to understand though is that, ideally, if you know your room needs updating including new furniture, it’s best to hold off on painting it.

Q: Why?

A: For the simple reason that there are more paint colors than there are fabrics. Paint color is infinite, as colors can even be custom mixed to coordinate with fabrics; however the reverse is not true. Painting your room before calling a designer means that the fabric choices for your furniture may be more limited. Call us to discuss – having the room already painted isn’t a deal breaker!

Q: My home looks pretty good, I just need a little help in a few rooms – new paint in my living room, a piece of art over the fireplace, a new centerpiece for my dining table. Can you help me with that?

A: Knowing your home is almost exactly how you want it means you can really enjoy it now! Much as we’d like to help everyone, our time is so limited that we don’t always have the option of taking on smaller projects – but – we will always be honest with you, and, when possible, help you create a finished space. If you’re unsure if your project qualifies, please give us a call! We’d be happy to discuss it with you!