Frequently Asked Questions
Below, you will find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
What Is The Design Process?
In a nutshell, upon initial contact, we will gather as much information as possible about your needs and desires for the space. We then schedule an in-home consultation 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 3-5 business days following the consultation, outlining the scope of work, the estimated number of hours to complete your project, the minimum 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. We return for measurements, 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 90-100% 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 range. 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.
What Exactly Does Full Service Interior Design Mean?
Full service means creating a turn-key design for your project, from the 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.
Do You Offer Custom Options, And Do I Have To Go Fully Custom?”
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 whatever route you choose, we guarantee that the finished design will be personalized to suit your lifestyle and your taste
Can I Change My mind If I Have Ordered A Custom Piece?
Once an order is placed and acknowledgment received from the vendor it cannot be canceled. 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 canceled but typically a restocking fee is charged. These fees range from 15% to 35% depending on the vendor
How Involved Will I Have to Be In The Design Process?
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 for your home. 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.
How Long Will It Take?
Depending on the scope of work, your project could last anywhere from 12 weeks to 24 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
Do You Offer Free Consultations?
We do charge a non-refundable 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 the home one that they can be proud of
Click here to schedule a consultation
What’s Included In The Initial In-Home Consultation?
After the initial phone conversation, 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 the defined project scope. We discuss your style and lifestyle needs, your vision (and ours), your budget (we help you estimate 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 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.
Can I Use My Existing Furniture?
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.
Is There A Minimum Product Budget Required?
While we technically don’t have a defined minimum product budget for your project, a very important part of the value that we bring to you is to help you develop a budget. We advise you of what the ideal investment range could be for your project during our initial conversations. Of course, we cannot know what that actual budget will be until we begin the design process.
We understand the importance of having a defined spending plan from the very beginning, and we take pride in helping our clients realize their design vision at a price point that works for them. We find that a typical starting point for any room for a full-service project would be around $35,000.
Our approach is that we want to design your grand vision. This means that our focus is on the ideal design that will address all your needs first and foremost, and then we focus on the budget. As we create the design plan for your grand vision, we are very careful to keep the budget range we discussed in mind, but we still design with the creative freedom that is required to produce our best work for you. This means that we will show you the perfect solution for your home even if it takes you beyond the budget range we estimated. We can then discuss the direction we want to go from there and we will guide you every step of the way to ensure the integrity of our initial design remains intact.
What Are Your Design Fees And Is There A Minimum Fee?
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 an Interior Design Fee Estimate Proposal for you.
We present our design fee as a flat fee, but it is based on an hourly model. This means that we estimate the total number of hours we believe will be required to complete your project. This way, you know up front what your overall fees will likely be. Any overage from our initial estimate is 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. Our minimum design fee (regardless of hours) for a full-service project is $6500
Our payment options are Bank Transfers (our preferred) personal or business checks, (credit cards with a fee), and cash.
Do I Have To Purchase All My Furnishings Through You?
We always strive to make the design process easy and fun for our clients. A major part of what we do for you as your designer is we source all the beautiful and unique materials for your home, along with all the great furnishings to create that fully finished home, with all the gorgeous layers that will be just your style and personality.
But we also act as your retailer. Instead of designing a beautiful space for you and then handing you the plans to go off and do your own purchasing and managing of all the small details, we do that all for you. You’re going to buy furniture anyway, so we do require that all the furnishings that will be purchased for your project be done through us. That way we can manage and control all the fine details and issues that come up with the procurement phase.
We have cultivated relationships with our trusted suppliers, vendors, artisans, and tradespeople in every product/service category imaginable, who value our business and will offer us the best service and pricing.
Our team is fully equipped to manage all the issues that may come up with purchasing, logistics, storage of your furnishings to final installation and styling in your home. You don’t have to lift a finger when you work with us. We guide you through the initial design decisions and then we fully execute the design for you, down to the light bulbs and candlesticks.
Of course, we are happy to incorporate pieces you already own into your design as much as we can, as long as they work.
Do You Have A Studio Location And Resource Library?
As one of Palm Beach’s top interior design firms, we feel it is important to have a well-stocked resource library to help inspire our clients. Our design studio located in Wellington is equipped with hundreds of catalogs and thousands of fabric samples, wallcoverings, and window treatment samples that we source for your project.
We also frequently visit the South Florida Design District as well as Many trade locations throughout Palm Beach County, and attend several market events in Atlanta, GA and High Point, NC, and international shows like Maison & Objet to source items and stay on the cutting edge of design trends.
Will I Have The Opportunity To See And Sit On Pieces Before I Buy?
Your comfort and pleasure are always at the forefront of our minds, and we understand that sometimes you may want to see and sit in the pieces before we order. We want to honor that as much as possible, but since we are not a furniture showroom, we will most likely not have pieces for you to sit and test before we order.
What you can rely on is that we establish relationships with quality trade vendors and we take the time to learn all about their product lines, so we know how the products we specify are made and can guide you through the features and benefits of each product.
We also visit markets twice per year, to see, touch, and feel these products on behalf of our clients, so we have a very good idea of what they look like and how they sit.
If sitting in an upholstered piece is an absolute must for you, we will try our best to source from a local trade showroom and have them handle the logistics. This can sometimes create issues in and of itself, but we would manage that process through to delivery. Keep in mind that most showrooms do not stock all their upholstery frames, and even if they do, you are likely not buying the one you actually sat in. They will be ordering from their suppliers just like we would.
We take the time to understand what your specific needs are in an upholstered piece – how deep, how high, how tall, the cushion type, etc, to help make the best decision for you.
Do You Work With Small Budgets?
A big part of what we do is to help our clients set a suitable budget for their needs. There are several misconceptions in the marketplace today about what design and decorating cost.
We help educate you on the value of design and how to maximize whatever your budget is.
The minimum budget to consider before embarking on any full-service design project is around $35,000 per room not including design fees.
How Do I Know You Are The Right Fit For My Project?
That is a great question, and we are happy you asked!
We understand that we are embarking on a project that will last quite a few months – maybe years if it is a new build. Therefore, it is important that we get to know each other and establish trust.
Trust, great listening skills, and communication are very important to us and we strive for that from the onset.
We begin the process with a discovery call for up to 30 minutes, where we will learn more about the project scope and what your “grand vision” is. We will then meet for a consultation in your home, where we get to understand your lifestyle, how you want to live in your home, how you want it to feel, what is important to you and your family now and in the future.
The consultation is a comprehensive session where we provide a lot of value, but we keep it fairly laid back and organic and allow you to open up about what your ideal home is to you.
Of course, we share a lot of information on our website, blog posts, and social media, and our design work should give you a good idea of the types of projects we have worked on in the past. Our great testimonials speak of the outstanding relationships we have built with our clients, many of whom are repeat clients or referrals. We are happy to provide references if that is ever needed.
We are our clients’ biggest advocates, and when you hire us, you save time and money. You don’t have to lift a finger because we take care of it all for you.
How Do I Get Started?
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