Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Design Process?
In a nutshell, upon initial contact we will gather as much information as possible about your needs and desires for the space. We then come out to see the space in person, listen to your ideas and vision, discuss the design process and provide you with solid ideas and a direction for your project. We will email you a Fee Proposal within 3-5 business days following the consultation, outlining the scope of work, the estimated number of hours to complete your project, the minimum estimated design fee, and the advance on our design fee required to get started. Once the advance on our design fee has been paid, that signals the start of the project, and we begin to assemble trades to acquire quotes, and work on the comprehensive design plan. Every detail is accounted for - drawings, furnishings, finishes, fabrics, and the budget breakdown for final approval. One revision is included. We require 75% - 100% of the total budget and signing of the Furnishings Proposal to move forward with the purchasing and project management phase.
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 guarantee that the finished design will be presonalized 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 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 but tyically a restocking fee is charged. These fees range from 15% to 35% depending on vendor
How Involved Will I Have To Be In The Design Process?
We will discuss upfront how you prefer to work, and craft the scope of work with that in mind. We enjoy working with all personalities where some clients like to be very hands-on and involved in the process, or some who 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 simple and fun for our clients. We take a very personable approach, 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 all the details.
How Long Will It Take?
Depending on the scope of work, your project could last anywhere from 8 weeks to 18 weeks - longer if there is construction and remodeling involved. We will discuss the timeframe upfront with you before the project begins. We have options for rush service and will be happy to accommodate your needs. Rush services usually will result in higher design fees and higher product and administrative fees
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, career-driven individuals, bachelors, bachelorettes, public figures, high networth individuals, families with young children, and every other lifestyle imaginable. 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 for your design needs.
Do You Offer Free Consultations?
We do 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, make recommendations, give solid design advice and direction, and put togther a Fee 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 small investment into making their home one that they can be proud of
What's Included In The Initial In Home Consultation?
After the initial phone conversation, once we have determined that we are prospectively a good fit, the next step is the in home consultation. The appointment lasts up to two hours. This is a working session where we will provide you with valuable and expert 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), timeframe based on scope, manage your expectations about the process (the good and the not-so-good things that can happen and how we resolve them), review our tried and true11 step design process in more detail, and details about how we work, how we bill for our services and how we manage every detail of your project.
Do You Have A Signature Style That You Prefer?
While we have a definite design point of view of bold, eclectic and 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 bold interiors we typically create, but we are happy to speak to you regardless of your design style.
Can I Use My Existing Furniture?
Definitely 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 Katy but cover most of Houston. We have serviced clients as far as Baytown, Magnolia, The Woodlands, Galveston. If we are a good fit, then where you live doesn't matter as much. If you are located outside of Houston and you like what you have seen in our portfolio, and how we work, we would be happy to talk about your design needs, and can figure out the logistics from there - even if you are international. We also have eDesign services that might work for your needs
What Organizations Are You Affiliated With?
We are affiliated with several trade organizations as a way to build our network and grow the resources that we bring to you. Some of these organizations are ASID (American Association Of Interior Designers), IDS (Interior Design Society), GHBA (Greater Houston Builders Association), NAHB (National Association Of Home Builders), BIDN (Black Interior Designers Network)
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 a Fee Proposal for you. We generally charge hourly, and 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 from our initial estimate are billed at our standard hourly rate. Although these fees are estimated upfront, staying within the scope typically will not result in increases. You will be informed about the hours used during the design process. Some services are billed at a flat fee. Prices are available for each service with a flat fee through our services menu. Our minimum design fee for a full service project is $5000.
Do You Have A Resource Library That I Can Use?
As one of Houston's top interior design firms, we feel it is important to have a well stocked resource library to help inspire our clients. Our design studio located at 6193 Highway Blvd, Suite 207 in Katy is equipped with hundreds of catalogs and thousands of fabric samples, wallcoverings and window treatment samples that you are welcomed to schedule an appointment to come in and browse. We also frequently visit the Houston Design Center, the Decorative Center Houston, and attend several market events in Dallas, TX and High Point, NC and international shows like Maison & Objet to source items and stay on the cutting edge of design trends.
Do You Work With Small Budgets?
A big part of what we do is to help our clients set a suitable budget for their needs. There are several misconceptions in the marketplace today about what design and decorating cost. We help educate you on the value of items and how to maximize whatever your budget is.
Do You Offer Discounts?
Our pricing model is that we share a portion of the trade discounts that we receive with our clients on most furnishings.
Can I Order Just Custom Window Treatments, Pillows and Bedding?
Yes! You don't have to do a full room project if you are just looking for custom soft furnishings like drapery, bedding and pillows. We are happy to meet with you in your home, take measurements and design the perfect soft furnishings for you. Learn more here
Do You Think Remodeling And Decorating My Home Will Be A Wise Investment?
Your home is quite possibly the biggest 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 I Get Started?
You can reach out to us and book a free 30 minute discovery session. 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 consultation. 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 spouse or other decision makers. It also helps to determine what you would like to spend on your project and the timeframe for completion.
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 involved, and making sure they have proper documentation and are qualified to do the work. Trades people include general contractors, architects, 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.