Thank you for your interest in our interior design and decorating services!
We are experienced in a variety of residential project types. Our goal is to collaborate with you to create a space especially for the way you live and to assist you in completely designing your dream space from start to finish. We work with clients in Hamilton, Syracuse, Utica, Ithaca, New York City, Connecticut, Delaware and all points in-between and beyond!
Currently, we are accepting complete new build and partial home remodel projects.
We work closely with reputable architects, builders, trades, vendors and to-the-trade suppliers to ensure that the end product meets and exceeds your expectations. This is done using our three phased approach:
Phase One | Design
The initial phase includes consulting on your architectural plans and sourcing interior and exterior finishes. This would also include designing custom cabinetry and millwork, selecting plumbing and light fixtures and choosing hardware for your space. In this phase, we will also select and present flooring, tile and countertops. Once our comprehensive design plan is completed and approved, it is handed off to your build team. Please note that the design phase generally requires 9-12 months lead time before construction begins.
Phase Two | Build or Remodel
Phase two is when we break ground or start the construction on you project. You will be required to hire your own general contractor, but we will gladly provide you with our list of preferred vendors or help vet your team. We will be on site often throughout phase two to oversee the build and ensure our design plan is coming together as we envisioned.
Phase Three | Decorating
This is where the fun really begins. While the construction is underway, we start to plan how we will make your house a home. We select furniture and décor, window treatments, accessories, rugs, artwork, and antique pieces or heirlooms to make your space a true reflection of yourselves. We manage the full process from ordering and receiving shipments to the final installation. In the end, you will receive a turn-key space ready to make memories in. Please note, phase two and three work in tandem and can take an average of 9-12 months.
Every design project begins with our online questionnaire. We ask that you include as much detail about your project as you can. This will help us gauge if we are prospectively a good fit and if our style matches your goals.
After reviewing the questionnaire, we will schedule a complimentary 20-minute discovery call to briefly discuss your project needs. We’ll review the responses to your questionnaire in more detail and determine if we are the right team to tackle your design project. If so, we’ll schedule the initial consultation.
The initial consultation is two hours and is ideally held in your home or at the project site, but sometimes virtually if you are remote or in our design studio in Hamilton, NY if there is no home or site just yet.
At the Initial Consultation, we present you with our Welcome Package and contact information packet and we expect that the decision makers on the project will be present. We will begin with a discussion of the scope of your project as well as a tour of your home, if applicable. During the consultation, we will ask a series of specific questions to determine how you want your home and/or the space(s) included in the scope of the project to feel, function and flow.
We also get an idea of your personal style and how you wish to live in the space(s) included in the scope. We discuss likes and dislikes, budget and timeline and we may offer suggestions and direction for various elements of the space, but we do not present conceptual drawings, mood boards, finish selections or pricing. We will review our Design Letter of Agreement should you have any questions about how we work moving forward.
Our initial consultation is $595.00+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 are billed at our hourly rate. If additional travel or overnight accommodations are required, this will be determined on an individual project basis.
Letter of Agreement
Once we are back in our studio, we will review our meeting notes, outline a scope of work, prepare a preliminary furniture + fixture Investment Guide estimate and determine the service retainer required to get started. We will then submit the Investment Guide estimate and Design Letter of Agreement to you for your signature and approval. We charge by the hour to develop a plan for your space that reflects your personal style and that incorporates the design principles of balance, color, harmony, scale, focal point and texture.
Once the Design Letter of Agreement has been signed and the service retainer has been received, this signals the start of the project. We will connect with you, your architect and your builder (depending on the scope of your project) to establish the design direction.
This is where the creative process starts. We work in collaboration with your architect and builder (depending on the scope of your project) to design every detail of your home. This phase can take several months but is very important to planning the space of your dreams.
Comprehensive Design Plan
Creating the design plan is a collaborative process between your architect, designer and builder and often takes several months to complete. 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, construction can commence.
It’s time to start the construction on your home! We will be onsite frequently to guide your builder towards our design intent, as well as to troubleshoot, collaborate and answer any questions you or they may have.
During the construction phase, we will be working behind the scenes to furnish and decorate your space. We will present you with furniture floor plans, mood boards and elevations to help you visualize our design. You’ll have the opportunity to make revisions and collaborate with us on the final selections.
Ordering + Receiving
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 damages, storing items until your house is ready to be installed and arranging for white glove delivery on install day.
When months of hard work pays off! We will be on-site with our SBD team to move in all your furniture, make every bed, hang every photo, style every shelf and get your new home or space ready for you and your family to enjoy.
What is included in an 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 to assess the space, make recommendations 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 are your design fees?
Our design service fees are billed by the hour and our minimum design fee for a full-service project is $10,000.
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. 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 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?
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.
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.
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 serviced clients as far as Ithaca, Syracuse, Utica, Cazenovia and New York City. We’ve also completed projects in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. 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) listing you, the homeowner, as an additional insured.
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.