Frequently Asked Questions
How do we get started?
First, we set up an initial assessment to define the scope of work, schedule, and budget, and to see if we are a good fit. If we decide to take on your project, we spend time getting to know you, your taste, the project parameters, and the project space.
How long will the project take?
The larger the scope of work, the longer the project will take. We like to assess schedule right from the beginning and strive to be realistic with clients. Most projects involve several weeks of design work before anything concrete can begin. Construction usually lasts a couple months, and furnishing timeframes are usually driven by the client—who may wish to acclimate to the new space first. As always, our clients are an integral part of scheduling decisions…for an urgent Hurricane Sandy gut renovation, we worked closely with the whole family and completed design, specifications, ordering, and full construction all in six weeks! Other clients want a more relaxed pace and fall in love with products and materials that are well worth longer lead times.
May I start with one room?
Of course! Some clients may only require a kitchen or bath renovation. Many clients have started furnishing one room and have expanded work throughout their homes.
How much do your services cost?
We provide three options depending on size and type of project, and client preference: hourly fee, flat fee, and percentage-based fee. A better question to ask is “How can a good designer make the most of my money?” A well-managed and well-designed project holds tremendous value and offers opportunities to save you money if that is a goal: it costs less to design and coordinate an organized project; a savvy professional can source from vendors that fit the bill; and you get a variety of options for how to accomplish your goals with the available funds. Most importantly, other designers make it your responsibility to stay on budget; with us, you set the budget, and we stick to it. (And if you're wondering, "what about clients with virtually bottomless pockets?" rest assured that no matter the budget, everyone likes to know that their money is well spent.)
Can you recommend a contractor, or I do I need to find by my own?
We have construction crews that we know and trust and employ on about half of our projects. In fact, we have a solid history with a whole team of building professionals, but some clients prefer to work with their own contractor, and that works for us, too. Together, we may determine that the best approach is to solicit competing bids from different contractors. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Can you design in any style?
Excellent question! Each client is unique, so our design solutions are, too. Completed projects range from ‘urban bachelor pad’ to ‘Miami Beach retro’. We’ve designed for Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts, a professional Mexican folk art collector, and fans of industrial lofts. The most successful projects usually involve a depth that comes from a mix of styles, textures, and materials. However, whether Art Deco or Victorian, contemporary or traditional, we define each client’s style individually. We dedicated a blog entry to this question and like to point out that a talented designer is able to identify and express your personal style—even if you cannot articulate it yourself.
How involved do I need to be in the project?
Since the goal is to create a space for you to shine, we do ask that you make yourself available at the beginning of a project. This helps us get to know your taste, budget, and schedule, as well as how you use the existing spaces and what you would like to have accommodated in the new space. Beyond that, we have some clients who enjoy the process and love to be involved in each step; we have other clients who prefer a more hands-off approach. We had one client years back who left for Italy for two solid months with instructions not to interrupt her unless required. She returned to a completely transformed home and was delighted and impressed that it had all happened in her absence.