Thank you for your interest in our interior design and decorating services!
Please note: We are a full-service interior decorating and design firm and are not accepting partial completion projects at this time. We complete an entire room, group of rooms or an entire home from start to finish, starting with the initial concept all the way through to the installation of magazine-worthy finishing touches.
From one room redesigns to remodels to new construction, the SBD team is experienced in a variety of residential project types. We work with clients in Cazenovia, Ithaca, Hamilton, Skaneateles, Syracuse, Utica, New York City and all points in-between and beyond. We are currently working on projects in Connecticut and Florida and welcome out-of-state inquiries.
Whether your wish is to create an entirely new look or enhance an existing space, our goal is to collaborate with you to design and decorate for the way you live. From cabinetry to countertops, furniture to flooring, fabrics to finishes, artwork, lighting, accessories, window treatments, paint, and everything in between – we’re here to help.
Our team works in close collaboration with reputable architects, builders, trades, vendors and to-the-trade suppliers to ensure that the end product meets and exceeds your expectations.
Every design + decorating project, big or small, begins with the completion of our Design Questionnaire to help us gain an initial understanding of the scope of your project.
The Discovery Call
After reviewing the Design Questionnaire, the SBD team will reach out to you within two weeks to schedule a complimentary 20-minute discovery call to briefly discuss your project goals, timeline and expectations.
Once we have determined that we are prospectively a good fit, the next step is to schedule the Initial Consultation.
The Initial Consultation
The initial consultation takes approximately two hours and is held in your home or at the project site, or via phone conference (if you’re remote) or in our design studio located in Hamilton, NY (if there is no home or site selected just yet). Please note: We expect the decision makers on the project to be present at this meeting.
We present you with our Welcome Package and begin with a discussion of the scope of your project and if applicable, a tour of your existing home.
We will ask a series of specific questions to determine how you want your home and/or the spaces included in the project scope to feel, function and flow and to get an idea of your personal style and how you wish to live in the spaces. We discuss likes and dislikes and dive deeper into your overall budget and timeline. We will also review our Letter of Agreement.
We do not present conceptual drawings, mood boards, finish selections or pricing during the initial consultation.
Our initial consultation fee is $595.00 plus applicable sales tax and includes travel time up to a half hour each way. Beyond that, travel time is billed at half our hourly rate. Additional consultation hours beyond the two hours are billed at our hourly rate. Airline travel or overnight accommodations will be determined on an individual project basis.
Invoice must be paid at time of booking to secure appointment.
The Letter of Agreement
Beyond the initial consultation, our team will return to our studio and review our meeting notes. We will assess your project scope, budget and timeline to determine if the SBD aesthetic and process aligns with the project goals. If we determine that it does, we will then outline a scope of work, prepare a preliminary furniture + fixture Investment Guide, draw up a Letter of Agreement and service retainer request, and submit these to you for your review and approval.
This is where the creative process starts!
Here at SBD, we take a three-phased approach to planning your project. This overview of our process is designed to give you an idea of how we work, but if your project scope does not require any construction, some of this will not apply.
Phase I | Design
We work in collaboration with your architect and builder (depending on the scope of your project) to design every detail of your home or space. This phase may take several months to complete, but is very important to planning the home or space of your dreams.
The initial design phase includes consulting on your architectural plans and sourcing interior and exterior finishes. This would also include designing cabinetry, millwork and ceiling details, and selecting plumbing and lighting fixtures, door and cabinet hardware, flooring, tile and countertops.
Once the final design plan has been approved by you, the architect’s plans are complete, bids have been secured and the preliminary budget has been approved, the comprehensive design plan is handed off to your build team and construction can commence.
Please note that the design phase for new construction and large scale remodels generally requires 9-12+ months lead time before construction begins.
Phase II | Construction
This is when you break ground or start the construction on your project. You will be required to hire your own general contractor, but we will be onsite frequently to guide your builder and trades towards our design intent, as well as to troubleshoot, collaborate and answer any questions you or they may have.
Phase III | Decorating
During the construction phase, the SBD Team will be working behind the scenes to specify all of the items necessary to furnish and decorate your space. We source furniture and décor, window treatments, accessories, rugs, artwork, and antique or vintage pieces to make your space a true reflection of you and your family. We present you with furniture floor plans, mood boards and elevations to help you visualize the design. You will have the opportunity to make revisions and collaborate with us on the final selections.
Please note, phases two and three work in tandem and can take an average of 6-12+ months, depending on the project scope.
With the approval of specified furnishings, fixtures and accessories such as window treatments and rugs, we get to work ordering and receiving. We take care of tracking orders, facilitating backorders, damages and short ships and arranging the receiving and storing of items until your home is ready to be installed.
This is one of our absolute favorite parts of the design + decorating process and after months of hard work, we can hardly wait to share the big reveal with you! The SBD Team arranges for white glove furniture, accessory and rug delivery, art installation, etc. and facilitates all of the last minute details that make a house a home. We will be on-site to direct the placement of all furniture, rugs and accessories, make every bed, hang every photo, steam every drapery, style every shelf and get your new home or space ready for you and your family to enjoy.
Our Design Fees
Our minimum design fee for a full-service project is $25,000.*
We bill hourly to develop a plan for your space(s) that reflects your personal style while incorporating the design principles of balance, color, harmony, scale, focal point and texture.
Depending on the scope of your project, billable design hours will include, but are not limited to the following as outlined in our Letter of Agreement:
- Consultation, design and site visits
- Emails, phone calls and texts
- Developing and/or obtaining estimates for work to be done
- Development of mood/concept boards
- Research, analysis and recommendations for space layouts
- Elevations, perspectives and floor plans (Note: These are conceptual and intended to set forth design intent only. They are not to be used for architectural, engineering, fabrication or installation purposes.)
- Collaboration and communication with architects, trades and contractors
- Finish recommendations and purchase assistance
- FF&E (furniture, fixture and equipment) recommendations and purchase assistance
- Sourcing and procurement of furniture, fixtures, rugs, accessories, etc.
- Execution of furniture, fixture, rug and accessory placement
- Travel time (billed at half our hourly rate)
* Note: Minimum design fee does not include procurement fees, project management fees, shipping and receiving, white glove delivery services or sales tax.
What is included in the Initial Consultation?
Please note that this is a potential list of typical topics discussed at the consultation. However, each appointment is unique and some or all of the topics listed below may or may not be discussed:
- Get to know you and your goals and understand your needs
- Understand specific requirements you have for the space
- Initial thoughts, ideas and suggestions for a design and style direction
- Walk-through of each room to determine your style and how you live
- Recommendations for furniture layout
- A preliminary budget and/or project timeline
- Window treatment ideas
- Lighting, furniture and/or accessory ideas
- Styling tips
- Ideas on how to mix patterns, styles, antiques and heirloom pieces
- Explanation of the design process, how we work and what to expect
- Answer any other questions you may have
- Please note that no design work, materials or furniture selections, or re-arranging of furnishings will happen during this meeting. It all happens verbally, and we encourage you to take notes.
The consultation is a great opportunity to get to know each other, and understand your needs better, as well as an opportunity to discuss initial ideas which we take time to develop later into a custom design plan, tailor-made for your specific needs.
Do you offer free consultations?
We do not. We charge a non-refundable fee for our Initial Consultation since we are blocking out a specific time on our calendar and traveling to your home or project site to assess the project scope and get to know you and your goals for your new space. Potential clients understand that this is a minimal cost compared to not calling in a professional from the beginning which can result in 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 investment.
What exactly does full-service interior design mean?
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. Some of our clients prefer to work in phases, and so many of our full-service projects are done one complete room or group of rooms 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 window treatments, 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 many 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 work to ensure that the finished design will be personalized to suit your lifestyle and your vision for your space.
Can I change my mind if I have ordered a custom piece?
Once an order is placed and acknowledgement received from a 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 depending on the vendor, but typically a restocking fee is charged. These fees range from 15% to 40% depending on the vendor and these costs are paid by the Client.
How involved will I have to be in the design process?
We will discuss how you prefer to work and craft the scope of work with that in mind. We enjoy working with all personalities. Some clients like to be very hands-on and involved in the process and some 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 fun for our clients and by taking a very personal approach, we aim to make our time together an enjoyable collaboration. We do all the work and take care of the details.
Who are your typical clients?
The clients that we work best with are those who see value in the creative process, and who value the experience, expertise and processes of a professional design team. They are typically clients who will trust us to do what we do best. They are decisive, ready to take action and willing to invest in what they truly want their home to look and feel like.
From young professionals moving into their first apartment or home, to empty-nesters getting ready to downsize, to career-driven individuals, bachelors, bachelorettes, to high net worth individuals, to families with young children, our clients are anything but typical. The common thread is that they all desire a home that will be their sanctuary; one that will complement their lifestyle and taste. Regardless of what stage you are in your life, we would be happy to work with you to meet your design needs.
Do you have a signature style that you prefer?
We have a definite design point of view and appreciate storied interiors. We also pride ourselves on our flexibility and ability to produce the right design for our clients. It is all a part of our commitment to excellence. Most of our clients seek us out for the interiors we typically create, but we are happy to speak to you regardless of your design style.
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.
What geographical areas do you serve?
We are located in Central New York and have served clients as far as Cazenovia, Ithaca, Hamilton, Skaneateles, Syracuse, Utica, New York City and all points in between and beyond. We’re currently working on projects in Connecticut and Florida and welcome out-of state requests. If we are a good fit, then where you live doesn’t matter as much. If you like what you have seen in our portfolio and how we work, we would be happy to talk about your design goals and can figure out the logistics from there.
Is remodeling and decorating my home a wise investment?
Your home is quite possibly the largest 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 and investing in a space that creates balance and harmony in your life is an investment in your well-being.
How do you work with trades people?
Because we are not general contractors, we do not hire the sub-contractors who will carry out our designs in your home. You or your contractor are responsible for hiring all the trades people involved and for making sure they have proper documentation and are qualified to do the work. We recommend that you require each and every trades person on-site to provide you with a COI (Certificate of Insurance).
Trades people include architects, general contractors, 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 can 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 attend the trade meetings upon request to review our design plan and materials specifications. 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 based on that meeting.
We hire trades and artisans responsible for custom window treatments and installation, custom bedding, and custom upholstery and re-upholstery.
Is interior design emotional?
Designing a home is emotional and if you haven’t embarked on this adventure before, you may not be prepared for how emotional it can be. The larger the scope the more emotional it will be. Getting a new sofa and chairs – easy. Getting a new sofa and chairs in a new living room in a newly constructed house – much more detailed. The more time and money you have invested in the project the more emotionally invested you’ll be as well.
Many clients don’t know what to expect when beginning an interior design project. There are a range of emotions that you will go through: Excitement for the possibilities of your home. Anticipation when the project starts. Delighted when you start seeing mood boards, making selections and envisioning the finished product. Apprehension when old furniture is removed, or construction begins. Anxiety when you feel time and money passing without “seeing” results because of work being done behind the scenes to ensure the desired outcome. Disappointment when the project (inevitably) takes longer than expected. Elation when it’s done, and you see everything come together. And finally, relief that you can enjoy your new space and your home no longer has contractors and trades people walking through it on a daily basis. These emotions are totally normal.
Our role as an interior designer and decorator is to manage expectations and while we cannot promise a perfect experience, we can ensure your desired outcome if you trust both us and the process.
How do I get started?
Please take some time to fill out our Design Questionnaire
Once we receive your completed design questionnaire, we will reach out to you within two weeks to schedule a complimentary 20-minute discovery call. We are happy to answer your questions and explain briefly about our design process. We can then decide on a mutual date and time to meet in your home for the initial consultation for up to two hours to assess your needs and provide direction for your project. 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 partner or other decision makers. It also helps to determine what you would like to spend on your project and the timeframe for completion.
Have a question that is not answered here? Email us.