When it comes to your home, we want to help you make wise decisions!
Below are answers to some common questions.
When should I engage an interior designer?
The earlier you involve us the better. We can help save you from going backwards and potentially wasting money when you involve us at the first idea of a new construction home or a full renovation project! Again…The sooner the better.
If you are planning to start a project in 6 months… you are right on time. Waiting until the week before demoing your kitchen is too late. (and sadly we get those emails too often)
In short: An interior designer exist to be on the front end of the project, not at the middle or end. We help pull all the decisions together to achieve a cohesive style and give the builders and contractors the exact directions they need, when they need it, not when you are busy with your family doing things you should be doing!
Designer vs. decorator.
What’s the difference?
Our team takes on both, but we realize many use “interior designer” and “interior decorator” interchangeably, while the two professions are actually very different.
A designer often does the decorating, but someone who is a decorator only, does not do the design.
A designer typically works with an architect and builder to create optimal functionality of interior space, including the shape of a room, walls and floors etc. Usually meeting with building reps to get ideas of how space will be used and helping adjust and maintain the desired outcome for a client.
Often a designer will take on the decorating after implementation.
A decorator is usually more cosmetic with styling and picking out paint, fabrics and furnishings to change the feel and aesthetic of a space, while working within its functionality (the functionality is what falls under a designer).
While a decorator can select hard furnishings (plumbing, flooring, lighting etc), more often the designer decided where those would be, meeting with plumbers and electricians.
A designer is usually more familiar with what is happening behind the walls and understanding of function in the home and what is up to code or not.
A decorator is great for refreshing a space, and hirable later in the home project process, whereas a designer is essential and necessary from the inception of a project to help layout the bigger picture of the floor-plan or flow for both residential and commercial.
To be clear: A designer does not fluff pillows and sweep in at the end to make it pretty.
The right designer can make or break a home project… the idea being they not only delivered your desired result but even enhanced it and saved you money along the way via less errors.
What should i expect to pay or how do i set a budget?
All designers have their own methods and means for charging for services. Whether per hour, flat fee or a % of the home project, all are being compensated for what they have valued themselves per hour of work.
Interior design is not a perfect science and most will do their best to give an estimate.
Here is where the difference begins. How experienced is the designer at covering all the details and giving you an ACCURATE estimate of the full scope of work.
We have a team approach that has an hourly rate factored over the entire job, so we can give you a bottom line number when doing an estimate.
But we don’t low-ball it to get the job and then sneak it up on you, which is sadly not uncommon.
Our team approach also means we have 5x the eyes on a project per billed hour as opposed to a one person show doing everything on their own. This ensures fewer mistakes and efficient design, saving you money in the long run!
NOTE, A few things that impact the bottom line:
budget clarity, ability to trust a designer, timeliness with decisions (ie. getting back to emails), clear communication of desired outcome, did we say trusting your designer?
Setting a budget can be challenging as no project is copy and pasted (unless you are doing a personalized production home) NOTE: As a general rule, a custom-built home will cost you twice as much as a personalized production home will. And the land cost is usually not included in that figure.
Custom home projects mean custom budgets specific to what your square footage is, style and desired timeline. So thus more money.
A good designer works with the builder - so you will typically pay a builder (contractor) fee, and a designer fee separate. If you are designing a home with an architect then you could potentially being paying 3 different companies but in doing so, positioned yourself for the BEST outcome of a team approach. (Unless you go with a firm that has all 3 on board)
In our experience, it works best this way when you have all the players in at the beginning and working together for YOUR desired home!
This question depends on the project and the budget, but here are some things to consider.
We like working seamlessly with a builder and ideally in advance with an architect the home owner has selected, in a way that reduces stress for all involved.
If neither are selected we can work with the builder to achieve the desired outcome, but depending on the budget, it’s great to have all 3 decided and working together before beginning a project.
Again, budget is a key factor here, as the variables are many, and ultimately, your desires in keeping with your budget for your home, should determine your approach.
Also, keeping in mind, not all builders, designers and architects are created equal.
All have their own preferences and specialities.
We know in the end, you will want whoever you decide on to have a great working relationship with the each other and everyone remembering YOU are the client and they are their to serve you!
Going with a team that has worked together before can be a huge asset and we highly recommend it when able.
So - in conclusion, all 3 matter and if you are able, having them all working together sooner than later is the way to go.