It's not every day that you work with a design firm so naturally, it can be hard to know what to expect out of our process and time together. We have compiled a list of common questions (and answers!) which should clear up any and all concerns you may have. Have another question that’s not covered below? Simply contact us.
In a nutshell, upon initial contact we will gather as much information as possible about your needs and desires for the space. We then come out to see the space in person, listen to your ideas and vision, discuss the design process and provide you with solid ideas and a direction for your project. We will email you a Fee Proposal within 2-3 business days following the consultation, outlining the scope of work, the estimated number of hours to complete your project, the estimated design fee, and the advance on our design fee required to get started. Once the advance on our design fee has been paid, that signals the start of the project, and we begin to assemble trades to acquire quotes, and work on the comprehensive design plan. Every detail is accounted for - drawings, furnishings, finishes, fabrics, and the budget breakdown for final approval. One revision is included. We require 75% - 100% of the total budget and signing of the Furnishings Proposal to move forward with the purchasing and project management phase.
It helps if all the decision makers are present at the consultation, to receive everyone's input and vision for the space. Determining your budget is a key component, so be prepared to talk about an overall budget. If you need help setting a budget, we are happy to guide you through the process of establishing one. We like to set expectations from the very beginning and therefore we will discuss your vision, your budget, your timeframe, how we work, and our fee structure at the initial meeting.
Full service means creating a turn-key design for your project, from initial concept to the final installation. It is about letting our team handle all the details from research to selection, purchasing and coordinating to installation. Full service applies to a full room or group of rooms or entire home in a single installation. Many of our clients like to work in phases, and so many of our full service projects are done one complete room at a time. Full service applies even if you already own some of the pieces we will use to complete your project.
We do offer many options that are customized to the individual needs of each client and the space we are designing. This could include upholstery, drapery, bedding, and finishes on case goods. Custom touches help give a space the uniqueness most clients desire. Of course, not everything has to be custom. We work with a lot of trade vendors and would be happy to incorporate ready made items into your design. Keep in mind that custom does not automatically mean expensive. Regardless of the route you choose, we guarantee that the finished design will be personalized to suit your lifestyle and your taste.
Once an order is placed and acknowledgement received from vendor it cannot be cancelled. This is especially true for custom orders. These require extra time, special handling and skilled artisans to create a unique piece just for you, and for that reason manufacturers will not cancel custom orders. Stocked items can be cancelled but typically a restocking fee is charged. These fees range from 15% to 35% depending on vendor.
We will discuss upfront how you prefer to work, and craft the scope of work with that in mind. We enjoy working with all personalities where some clients like to be very hands-on and involved in the process, or some who prefer to entrust everything into our very capable hands. We have found through years of experience, that the design process runs smoother, and your design dollars go further, when we fully manage the project after learning your needs and desires.
We value our clients' ideas and input which ensures that the space will reflect your style and lifestyle. We will present you with great choices and options, make recommendations and guide you through decisions while educating you in the process. We strive to make the process simple and fun for our clients. We take a very personable approach and make it an enjoyable collaboration. We ask that you give us the chance to earn your trust. We do all the work and take care of all the details.
Depending on the scope of work, your project could last anywhere from 8 weeks to 18 weeks - longer if there is construction and remodeling involved. We will discuss the timeframe upfront with you before the project begins. We have options for rush service and will be happy to accommodate your needs. Rush services usually will result in higher design fees and higher product and administrative fees.
We do charge a fee for our initial in-home consultation since we are blocking out a specific time on our calendar and traveling to your home to assess the space, make recommendations, give solid design advice and direction, and put together a Fee Proposal for you.
Most clients understand that this is a minimal cost compared to not calling in a professional from the beginning and possibly end up making costly mistakes. Clients have thanked us for the information and guidance that they receive during our consultation, and for them, it is absolutely worth the small investment into making their home one that they can be proud of.
After the initial discovery call, once we have determined that we are prospectively a good fit, the next step is the in-home consultation. The appointment lasts up to two hours. This is a working session where we will provide you with valuable and expert guidance, ideas and information to get you on the right track with your project.
We will take a tour of your entire home, and help you focus on a defined project scope. We discuss your style and lifestyle needs, your vision (and ours), your budget (we help you establish one if you are unsure), timeframe based on scope, manage your expectations about the process (the good and the not-so-good things that can happen and how we resolve them), review our tried and true 15 step design process in more detail, and details about how we work, how we bill for our services and how we manage every detail of your project.
Below is a detailed list of what you can expect during the consultation:
Definitely, yes! In fact, we encourage clients to incorporate some of the treasured pieces that they already own. That is what makes for a homey and unique design. We respect our clients' desire to repurpose and reuse pieces as much as possible. With that said, we are also very honest about what works and what doesn't - for example if a piece is just too big for the room, we will recommend moving it to another room where it might work better.
We are located in Whitestone, NY but cover most of the New York City and Long Island area. If we are a good fit, then where you live doesn't matter as much. If you are located outside of New York City and you like what you have seen in our portfolio, and how we work, we would be happy to talk about your design needs, and can figure out the logistics from there - even if you are international. We also have eDesign services that might work for your needs.
Because each project is unique, we need time to discuss your vision for the project and the scope of work, after which we will be happy to prepare a Fee Proposal for you. We generally charge hourly and estimate the total number of hours required to complete your project. This way, you know upfront what your overall fees will likely be. Any overage from our initial estimate are billed at our standard hourly rate. Although these fees are estimated upfront, staying within the scope typically will not result in increases. You will be informed about the hours used during the design process. Some services are billed at a flat fee. Prices are available for each service with a flat fee through our services menu.
Our payment options include checks, credit cards and cash.
Our pricing model is that we share a portion of the trade discounts that we receive with our clients on most furnishings.
Your home is quite possibly the biggest purchase you will ever make. Decorating your home helps to increase its value and is usually well worth the investment. Statistics show that a well decorated home will sell faster and for top dollar. Your home is where you likely spend the most time; investing a space that creates balance and harmony in your life is a great investment in your wellbeing.
Because we are not general contractors, we do not hire the sub-contractors who will carry out our designs in your home. You are responsible for hiring all the trades people involved and making sure they have proper documentation and are qualified to do the work. Trades people include general contractors, architects, builders, remodelers, building designers, plumbers, electricians, wallpaper hangers, painters, handymen, installers, faux finishers, re-upholsterers, audio/video/security installers, landscape architects, carpenters, fabricators, tile-setters, other flooring installers. We will happily meet with the contractors and sub-contractors you hire to review our design plans, drawings, materials and other specifications. Your trades people are responsible for verifying all dimensions before beginning work.
In the event that you don't have contractors, or you don't have the time to research, we will provide you with a list of trades people that we may or may not have worked with in the past. It is your responsibility to interview them and properly vet them before signing a contract and paying for their services. We act as your advisor and will assist you, if needed with what questions to ask and points to cover in your meetings with trades people. We can even attend the initial meeting upon request. We will not be interviewing the trades people on your behalf, but instead will discuss design concepts and their feasibility, and will later advise you of our observations and expert opinion based on that meeting. We include as part of our service, 2 meetings with each trades person to review our design plan and materials specifications.
We hire trades and artisans responsible for custom window treatments and installation, custom bedding, and custom upholstery (not re-upholstery).
You can reach out to us and book a free 30 minute discovery session. We are happy to answer your questions and explain briefly about the design process. We can then decide on a mutual date and time to meet in your home for the initial consultation. If you have been collecting any ideas about your style and preference, please feel free to share them with us. Discuss your ideas with your spouse or other decision makers. It also helps to determine what you would like to spend on your project and the timeframe for completion.
You can also schedule the consultation here.