How do we get started?
First, we set up a mutual interview to see if we are a good fit. If we decide to take on your project, we spend time getting to know you, your taste, the project parameters and the project space.
How long will the project take?
The larger the scope of work, the longer the project will take. We like to assess schedule right from the beginning and are realistic with clients. Most projects involve a few weeks of design work before anything concrete can begin. Construction usually lasts a month or two, and furnishing may take longer—especially if clients wish to take time to get used to the new space first. As always, our clients are an integral part of scheduling decisions…for an urgent Hurricane Sandy gut renovation, we worked closely with the whole family and completed design, specifications, ordering and full construction all in six weeks!
May I start with one room?
Of course! Some clients may only require a kitchen or bath renovation. Many clients have started with one room and have gradually expanded work throughout their homes.
How much do your services cost?
We provide three options depending on size and type of project, and client preference: hourly fee, flat fee, and percentage-based fee. A better question to ask is “How can a good designer save me money?” A well-managed and well-designed project is truly affordable: it costs less to design and coordinate the project, contractors charge less working with a professional, and there are extensive savings on materials and equipment. Our trade discounts are typically 10-40%. Many designers pocket all these savings, but we like to pass them on to you. And most designers make staying on budget your responsibility, but with us, you set the budget and we stick to it.
Can you recommend a contractor, or I do I need to find by my own?
We have our own construction crew that we employ on about half of our projects. We have a solid history with a whole team of building professionals, but some clients prefer to work with their own contractor, which works for us, too. We may also determine that the best approach is to solicit competing bids from different contractors. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Can you design in any style?
Excellent question! Each client is unique, so our design solutions are, too. Completed projects range from ‘urban bachelor pad’ to ‘Miami Beach retro’. We’ve designed for Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts, a professional Mexican folk art collector, and fans of industrial lofts. The most successful projects usually involve a depth that comes from a mix of styles, textures, and materials. However, whether Art Deco or Victorian, contemporary or traditional, we define each client’s style individually. Note that we dedicated a blog entry to this question and like to point out that a talented designer is able to identify and articulate your personal style—even if you cannot express it yourself.
How involved do I need to be in the project?
Since the goal is to create a space for you to shine, we do ask that you make yourself available at the beginning of a project. This helps us get to know your taste, budget and schedule, as well as how you use the existing spaces and what you would like to have accommodated in the new space. Beyond that, we have some clients who enjoy the process and love to be involved in each step; we have other clients who prefer a more hands-off approach. We had one client years back who left for Italy for two solid months with instructions not to interrupt her unless required. She returned to a completely transformed home and was utterly delighted.
What other kinds of services do you offer?
Beyond traditional architecture and interior design services, we have assisted retail clients with merchandising/display, corporate clients with staffing and streamlining various aspects of the organization, and prospective residents in assessing rental or purchase properties prior to closing the deal. Whoever the client is, we apply our critical and creative problem-solving skills to come up with a range of solutions. For more traditional home renovation projects, we can be called upon for storage solutions, assistance with property valuation and assessments, move coordination, and professional organizing. Recently we were asked to find a home for a client’s orphaned piano…so feel free to ask us almost anything!