What is the design process?

Upon initial contact,we will ask you to complete our Design Questionnaire and once we receive and review the questionnaire, we will reach out and schedule a complementary 20-minute discovery call. Once we have determined that we are prospectively a good fit, the next step is the in-home initial consultation, which lasts up to two hours. This is a working session where we will provide you with valuable 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 a defined project scope. We discuss your style and lifestyle needs, your vision (and ours), your budget (we help you establish one if you are unsure) and timeframe based on scope. We manage your expectations about the process (the good and the not-so-good things that can happen and how we resolve them), review our design agreement indetail, and discuss how we work, how we bill for our services and how we manage every detail of your project.

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. 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 Consultation.

Once we are back in our studio, we will determine the service retainer required to get started based on the project scope and submit the final Design Agreement to you for your signature and approval. Once the service retainer has been paid, that signals the start of the project, and we begin to assemble trades to acquire quotesand work on the comprehensive design plan. Every detail is accounted for – floor plans, furnishings, finishes, fabrics, and the budget breakdown for final approval. One revision is included. We require 100% of the total budget and signing of the Furnishings Proposal to move forward with the purchasing and project management phase.

What's included in an in-home 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 andsuggestions 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 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, makerecommendations, give solid design advice and direction, and put together a 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 investment into making their home one that they can be proud of.

What are your design fees?

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 estimatedfee proposal for you. We charge hourlyand estimate the total number of hours required to complete your project. This way, you know upfront what your overall fees will likely be. Any overage above our initial estimate are billed at our standard hourly rate.You will be informed about the hours used during the design process. Our minimum design fee for a full-service project is $5000.

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 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 work to ensure 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 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 upfront how you prefer to workand 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 experiencethat the design process runs smootherand your design dollars go furtherwhen 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 personalapproach 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 the details.

Who are your typical clients?

We have clients from all walks of life - from young professionals moving into their first apartment or home, to empty-nesters getting ready to downsize, to career-driven individuals, bachelors, bachelorettes, public figures, to high networth individuals, to families with young children, and the list goes on. 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 station 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 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 and ready to take action. They are willing to invest in what they truly want their home to look and feel like. They understand the value of high-quality design work.

Do you have a signature style that you prefer?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 portfolioand how we work, we would be happy to talk about your design needsand can figure out the logistics from there - even if you are out of state.

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. Investing a space that creates balance and harmony in your life is a great 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 are responsible for hiring all the trades people involvedand for making sure they have proper documentationand 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 will 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 vette 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 trades 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 and expert opinion 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 - a little 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 strangers walking through it on a daily basis. These emotions are totally normal, and you are not alone.

Our role as an interior designer 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 one week to schedule a complementary 20-minute discovery call. 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 consultationfor 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.

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We are based in Hamilton, NY with completed projects in CT, DE, and NYC. We travel! If you wish to chat about our work, our shop or our events, please reach out and send us a line!

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