What advantages are there to hiring an interior designer?
One of the main advantages is relieving the stress and pressure of making (and often doubting, questioning, and sometimes regretting) decisions. Interior designers have the ability to make decisive decisions quickly, guide the direction of the design, helping narrow down selections, and advising you on how to achieve the look you are aiming for.
Another advantage to hiring an interior designer is our depth of product knowledge, resources, and sources for any of your furniture, lighting, material, or accessory needs. The research process is streamlined for you because you have access to years of product knowledge and resource relationships.
One of the other more obvious advantages is access to Trade Only discounts. Many retailers and wholesalers provide exclusive access and discounts to designers that are not available to the general public. When you hire a designer, you can expand your choices to include markets that are not accessible any other way.
Do I need to hire an interior designer?
It’s better to consult a designer before you begin your project than after it develops into a potential disaster. As a DIY-er myself, I have had experience in a wide range of projects, ranging from small DIY accessories, re-finishing furniture, building furniture from scratch, and tiling floors and walls. Some projects have turned out better than others and I have learned that certain project just requires a professional.
If you are questioning whether or not you need to hire a designer, I encourage you to contact myself or a few other professionals for expert advice. Houzz.com provides very helpful Advice discussions where you can post any questions you have and receive free advice from fellow users and professional designers.
What makes you “affordable”?
Instead of offering only a few levels of flat-rate design packages, my “A-la-carte” contract allows you to select only the design services you need. Together, we will review my various design services and decide together what services are the most cost-effective to your project needs. By eliminating the more expensive services that most full-service interior designers provide (such as additional employees and assistants, rented office spaces, and purchasing services), I am able to keep my business overhead at a minimum so I am able to offer hourly design rates that are affordable to any individual or family income.
What are your fees?
My fees are based on the hourly rate of $150/hour. I always want to be conscious of your budget in relation to your project needs, so as we review my A-la-carte contract together I will explain the various related services and benefits of each to help determine which services provide the best money-value to your specific project.
No two clients are alike, so when renovating the same bathroom, one client may desire 3D photo-realistic renderings while another client may be satisfied enough with detailed tile drawings. My goals are to provide you with a service contract custom-tailored to the needs and desires of your project and to keep all my fees transparent.
I have discovered that the savings I provide my Clients through exclusive trade discounts often exceeds the cost of my design services. Not many designers can say that!
Do you charge for the first meeting?
I do not charge for the initial introductory meeting where we chat about the scope of your project needs and review my services and A-la-carte contract. This meeting only pertains to information regarding outlining the project scope and creating your custom service agreement. After the contract has been signed, consultations regarding design solutions can be discussed, but would be billed at the agreed upon rate.
How do you accept payment?
Payment may be made via personal check. In unusual circumstances, payment via online services (such as PayPal or Venmo) is possible, with the understanding that the client remains responsible for any associated fees for such services.
Do you work with any size budget?
Yes! [ Within reason. ]
I can’t provide a Ferrari on a Ford Focus budget, but we can paint your Focus red and get you some cute stickers for the hood.
All jokes aside, one of my strongest assets is my knowledge, creativity, and ability to stretch your budget. My design experience has given me insight to know where it is important to invest your money and knowing what affordable alternatives will still achieve a high-end look.
After we have discussed the scope of your project and the amount of your budget, I will help you understand how to allocate your budget in a realistic breakdown of expenses. Once we have decided on a design, one of my services is to provide you a detailed budget of all your expenses so you know exactly what your project will cost before you make any purchases.
On the rare occasion that your budget just isn’t realistic, I will let you know in advance so you can revisit the project at a later date that better suites your financial situation.
What size and type of projects do you design?
I do not have a project size minimum. I have designed projects of all types and sizes, including paint color consultations, photo frame collage layouts, and DIY furniture transformations. I have also designed large scale projects, including home and office furniture layouts and complete kitchen and bathroom renovations.
Do I need to own the property or space?
Nope! Even if you are in a rented apartment or office space, there are still many ways I am able to help you design a space you will love. I can find out what your landlord does and does not allow (such as painting and hanging artwork) and work around it. There really is nothing standing in your way of achieving a great looking space, anywhere, any place.
How does purchasing work?
My clients manage all of their own purchasing, which is one of the easiest ways I can remain an affordable designer.
Most interior designers manage purchasing for their clients, including ordering, purchasing, tracking, receiving, and arranging white-glove delivery (which often costs up to 50% of the item!). To compensate for the time it takes to provide this service, designers mark up the price of the items anywhere from 40-100%, not including freight and delivery.
I am confident in your ability to place orders, receive packages, and open boxes so I believe this creates unnecessary work for the designer at an immense cost to the client. For items that require a Trade Only Account, I will make the purchase through my account using your direct payment information. Without the business expense required to obtain a resale license, I am able to forward my designer discounts directly to you with no hidden fees or mark-ups.
How long does the process take?
Again, the answer varies based on the scope and complexity of your project. You, my client, are my top priority so I can easily guarantee that I will respond to any correspondence with you within 12 hours to ensure that your project is constantly moving forward.
For small projects, such as selecting paint color consultations or photo frame arrangement layouts, designs and documentation can be completed within 5 hours. (It’s up to your handyman or painter how long the execution takes.)
For medium size projects, small bathroom renovations, designs can be turned around in 3-5 days. Construction could take 2-4 weeks depending on the complexity of the plumbing. Furniture refinishing takes anywhere between 1-7 days.
Designs for large projects, such as master bathrooms and kitchens, can take anywhere from 1-3 months. You can expect to live in a construction zone anywhere between 3-6 weeks, again, depending on the complexity of the plumbing and availability of your contractors.
How involved do I need to be?
It’s really up to you and the scope of your project! I have worked with clients who want a complete formal design proposal presentation and other clients who enjoy being more involved, tagging along on shopping trips, and tackling the project together. We will discuss your preferences in detail during your initial consultation.
What are your qualifications?
I received two degrees in Interior Design in 2008, after which I worked for several international interior architecture companies. While working in the hospitality industry, I was meticulously trained to produce high-level interior design drawing packages for large-scale Hilton and Hyatt resorts and hotels all over the world. I learned how to analytically consider, design, and document every detail of the project in such a way that a team of thousands of construction workers could produce and re-produce the exact same design hundreds of times without the need to contact me for questions.
This training has enabled me to design and execute dozens of projects in cites all over the world with precision and perfection. I use the same drawing techniques in the residential industry, for both local and virtual design clients, to ensure that your contractor will be able to carry out your design regardless of where you are.
For the past two years, I have been working alongside a high-end interior designer, helping manage her office, creating all of the design specifications, budgets, drawings, and renderings, as well as acting as a liaison between clients, vendors, and contractors, and managing purchasing. There I learned how to manage a full-service interior design business.
During those two years, I also worked as a virtual designer, applying all of the above skills towards projects across the nation. For more information, please visit the About page.