Interior Design FAQ

Got questions about our interior design services? Claire has answers.

What is an Initial Consultation Meeting?

All of our professional design services begin with a two-hour in-home paid consultation meeting. This appointment is either a stand-alone meeting or a preliminary consultation before moving forward with further interior design or decorating services.

 

What is the difference between your 2 different types of consultations?

The first type of consultation meeting is a stand-alone ‘Working Design Session’ where we provide you with actionable, professional design advice to kick start your project and make sure you are headed in the right direction. We can make recommendations on furniture layout; kitchen & bathroom design; suggested style of furnishings; paint colour specifications; as well as ideas for selecting finishes such as countertops, backsplash, tiles, flooring, and lighting.

We can also make suggestions on styling your home, providing guidance on how to accessorize a space and advice on hanging wall art to get that ‘finished look’.  At these meetings, we often bring samples from our studio library once we have assessed your needs via your completed questionnaire. Reviewing your completed questionnaire ahead of time, allows us to better understand your priorities & allows us to be best prepared for our meeting to ensure we are making the most efficient use of our time together. Sometimes the initial consultation is all clients need to continue with their projects on their own.

The second type of consultation is what we like to refer to as the Information gathering & research phase. This meeting is a stepping-stone to further design services. Here we will take time to gather detailed information about your needs, and wants for your upcoming design project that we will initiate for you. We will also take photos and a video walkthrough of your home and review inspirational images so that we can better understand your desired vision and outcome.

We will make recommendations on which of our custom design package plans will be best suited for your project & clearly discuss the process for moving forward with the next phase of design services. We work with you to achieve your desired look & help you avoid costly mistakes that many homeowners endure during a redesign or custom decorating project.

 

How much does it cost for the initial meeting?

Please click this link which will take you to our services page with more information & pricing.

 

Do I need to do anything before we meet?

It’s important to us to offer exceptional value and to make the most efficient use of our time together at the meeting. For this reason, once payment has been made via email transfer and the date for our meeting has been confirmed, you will receive our questionnaire. We kindly ask that you complete and return it to us via email at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. It is not mandatory that you do this, but we have found that by doing so, we can better understand your needs for interior design services & review this with you at the meeting. 95% of our clients submit a completed questionnaire to us before we meet.

You will also be asked to send us photos of your home as it is currently, so we can add these to your file. Again, it is not mandatory, but this process does help us to be best prepared for our meeting with you.

 

After the consultation meeting, do you follow up with any notes or further ideas of what was discussed?

At the meeting, if it is a stand-alone consultation, we will leave you with a list of recommendations based on what we discussed. This may include paint colour specifications, rough hand sketches of room layouts or wall vignettes and other notes for you to refer to in terms of suggestions we have made for your home. If there is something specific that we mention would be helpful for you to see, we may send you a brief follow up email with some links or photos to further convey our ideas.

If the consultation was a meeting to learn more about your project and gather information with the intent of working with you for further design services, we will always let you know what the next steps are in the interior design process.

 

What happens if we’d like to book another stand-along meeting at a later date for you to discuss a different project or if we want your professional advice on items we may have chosen for our project that you helped us to jump-start?

We can book another meeting for either of those reasons. We love working with great clients again!

Why is custom decorating one of your most popular services?

Ever feel like your home doesn’t quite feel pulled together and that pieces of the puzzle (so to speak) are missing or in the wrong place? 

Have you purchased furnishings without really looking at the ‘full picture’ only to realize later on that you’ve wasted money on items that don’t look right in your home either because of their size, colour or style?

You are not alone. Your home is likely your biggest investment, so why take risks? Custom decorating is our most popular service offering and is perfect for you if getting professional advice, saving time and money, as well as feeling confident in a well thought out plan, is important to you.   

We take care of everything for you when curating a custom design for your home. From room layouts and selecting the best pieces for your lifestyle to procurement and the exciting reveal day, we oversee and manage your project from start to finish so you don’t have to worry about a thing.  You will feel confident knowing you will get the look you desire and that every little detail is taken care of for you.

 

Are we involved in the design process or is it out of our control once we hire your services?

Design projects are very much a collaborative process.  The ‘getting to know you’ phase at the start of the project allows us to understand your needs, your lifestyle & your investment amount.  We ask a lot of questions and discuss in depth your requirements for each space.  Our goal is to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. 

While working together, we build a partnership with you & establish trust. Our working relationship with you is extremely important to us.  We ask that you kindly allow us to do what we do best and let us curate a design based on our detailed assessment of your needs & wants. You have the final say on decisions before any orders are placed or any work by trades gets underway.

 

Can we use some of our current furniture to mix personal pieces into the design plans or does everything need to be purchased new?

We are happy to use some of your current furnishings if you still love them and if they work with the new design and the style you wish to achieve. We will be honest in letting you know what we feel can be reused and what we believe needs to be replaced. Sometimes we may do a mix ‘high and low’ items depending on your budget and lifestyle (ie – pet-friendly and child-friendly furnishings.)

 

How much will it cost to hire your services for our custom decorating project?

Your home and your project are one of a kind, just like you!  The size of your project, the scope of work and how much you would like us to be involved will be key factors in determining the investment amount needed. If you refer to the services page of our website, you will see starting price points for each of our services. 

For full custom furnishing projects, we tailor our design plans specifically to you and take care of every detail from start to finish. This means that we will procure items, place and track orders, arrange deliveries and be present for installations, to bring you a big reveal!  On average, expect to invest 20% – 25% of the overall cost of the project.  For example, if the cost of the project is estimated at $25,000, design services are estimated to be $5000 – $6250.  Of course, this will depend on how swift you are at making decisions.  It is also important to understand that each change or alteration may affect other aspects of the design, which in turn could increase the time needed to ensure the overall plans are not compromised.  Clients who put their trust in us receive the best results at the most cost-effective price point.

 

Do you get trade pricing & if so, do you pass this along to your clients?

It’s important to us that you understand that the biggest value in hiring us for a custom project that we oversee from start to finish is our award-winning customer service. We prevent you from making costly mistakes that many homeowners make who tackle a project without the guidance of a professional.  Clients trust us to take care of all the little details and to bring in trusted suppliers and trades.

You will see from our extensive client reviews that our clients rave about our exceptional customer service, which we pride ourselves on. While we regularly attend trade shows and compare the pricing of various suppliers, we cannot guarantee the lowest price. Our prices are competitive without compromising quality & clients hire us for peace of mind and to let us do what we do best because we do this every day.

 

Please remind me how the retainer works

Invoices issued for products and services are to be paid in full at the time they are issued.   The retainer is non-refundable and remains in our possession until such time that design services may no longer be required.  It is at this time that these monies are applied to the final invoice for services only.  The expectation is that design services are ongoing or used within 3 months of signing our Letter of Agreement, as we only take on a limited number of projects at a time.

For what type of project would I need to consider your 3D design service?

Our 3D design services are perfect if you are:

  • Looking to renovate your home & want a comprehensive plan with a full scope of work & 3d drawings
  • Redesigning either your main floor, second floor or basement and you can’t visualize possibilities and would like to see your space before you make final decisions and commence a renovation
  • Unsure of how to layout out a room design to get an idea of what it will look like and size of furnishings required to avoid purchasing items that won’t work in your space

 

Why do I need 3D rendering plans, isn’t a 2D drawing sufficient?

Many people find it difficult to be able to visualize how a space will look once walls are taken down and the layout is changed. When you are investing tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, you don’t want to take risks.

Seeing your space before you renovate gives you confidence in the design and minimizes on-site change orders after renovations begin. Not only do our clients love these 3D rendering plans, but contractors and trades benefit from seeing these drawings to make the entire process much more enjoyable and easy to follow for everyone involved.

 

Are any revisions included in the plans you present to us, should we wish to make some changes?

Yes. For full floor redesigns, we provide you with 2 options for layout.  We offer 1 revision which includes a maximum of 3 changes to the plans. For example, if you prefer Option A for the layout, but you like one or two specific elements from Option B, then we will try to incorporate those elements from Option B into Option A.  If the requests for changes exceed 3 change requests, additional fees may apply. 

 

Do you help us carry out the renovation to assist with interior design selections and finding trustworthy tradespeople to implement the design plans?

Yes. We offer a ‘Kitchen and Bath Package’ which is a follow-up service to the 3D presentation.  Despite the name, we can help you with more than just your kitchen and bath selections.  Let us guide you with our expertise in sourcing flooring, countertops, backsplashes, fireplace stone, wall or floor tiles, plumbing fixtures, lighting, paint colours and more. 

Sourcing for a renovation project & finalizing choices is often extremely overwhelming for homeowners, not to mention the time-sensitive & strict deadlines from your contractors for placing orders. Don’t rush this part of the process and make uneducated decisions, let us work with you to ensure your home comes together beautifully.

We also make recommendations for quality tradespeople. In fact, part of our process for this service is to bring our General Contractor on site for the second visit, the measure meeting. This way, not only do you get the opportunity to meet with our trade, but we also discuss ideas and any structural limitations, prior to commencing the plans.

 

If we only need the concept design and wish to take things from there, doing it ourselves or hiring our own builder to do this, is that okay?

Absolutely. After the presentation meeting, whether you decide to work with us; hire another contractor or carry out the design plans on your own, the drawings are yours. We are clear to state that the plans are for concept only and they are not exactly to scale. You are responsible for the final layout & measurements.

 

Are your plans permit-ready?

No. Our renderings are for concept purposes only.  We are, however, able to send our CAD formatted drawings of the design sent to you once final revisions have been made. You will need to arrange for an engineer to review the plans and have them make some adjustments in order to prepare them for permit approval.

 

What are the timelines for this service?

Depending on our workload at the time you inquire, we typically have a 4-week turnaround from the date of measure to the presentation meeting.

 

Kitchen & Bath Packages

Despite the name, we can help you with more than just your kitchen and bath selections.  Let us guide you with our expertise in sourcing flooring, countertops, backsplashes, fireplace stone, wall or floor tiles, plumbing fixtures, lighting, paint colours and more for your upcoming renovation project. 

Sourcing & finalizing choices is often extremely overwhelming for homeowners, not to mention the time-sensitive & strict deadlines from your contractors for placing orders. Don’t rush this part of the process and make uneducated decisions, let us work with you to ensure your home comes together beautifully.

Is my job too small for you?

No job is too small. We are happy to help you in any way that we can in helping you make your house a home that you fill will lasting memories.  From one-time interior design consultations to comprehensive 3D designs for full floors and custom-tailored one room designs, and for anything in between, including paint colour selections, if you’re seeking guidance on anything related to your décor, please make us your first call.

 

Hiring a decorator is expensive, it’s a luxury, right?

If you value your time and want to avoid compromising the final result in the hopes of saving a few bucks, our service is well worth the investment. As Red Adair said, “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.”  

 

I usually rely on trades to give me free advice, isn’t this good enough?

This ‘free advice’ can sometimes be the most costly.  My trades prefer when we are on hand to make decisions pertaining to the design rather than advising on areas of a project that are not their area of expertise. Some trades may make a suggestion based on it being the easiest option for them to get the job done quicker, rather than actually having your best interests in mind.  If you are really lucky, you may even get ‘leftovers’ from a previous project they worked on if you ask for suggestions of finishes and fixtures.  (No we are not kidding, we have seen this happen!) 

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