Why do I need to hire an Interior Designer?
Working with a professional who has the knowledge and experience from many projects, will help keep your project on schedule and on budget. A designer will enable you through the process of your project efficiently and ensure small details are not overlooked. They will research products and ensure you are using materials and finishes appropriate for your application. Our careful planning and design package will ensure overall functionality and aesthetic appeal of your space. Designers will coordinate with trades and can suggest reputable professionals that are right for your job.
What is the difference between a Decorator and a Designer?
An Interior Decorator focuses on the finishing elements in a home; paint colours, furniture, fabrics, drapery, wall treatments. An Interior Designer requires a certain level of education and work experience. They deal with everything from reconfiguring floor and ceiling plans, finishes and fixtures, lighting design and custom millwork. They have knowledge of construction and codes and regulations for each municipality, and work with other trades to complete a project.
When do I need a Designer?
When you are building a new home, adding an accessory building, renovating or adding an addition, putting in a rental suite, changing the way you want your home to function, designing a fireplace or millwork built-in, buying new furniture and accessories.
At what stage in the project do I hire a Designer?
Although a designer should be able to help you at any phase of your project, ideally it is a good idea to work with a designer from the very beginning. Having a designer throughout the entire process of your project will ensure a cohesive plan where no detail is overlooked. If you are building a new home, a designer will be able to work with your architect, landscape designer, or engineer before a plan is set in stone.
What is covered in a Consultation?
Our designers will meet with you in your home or commercial space, so we can view the space we will be working with. We will review our scope of work (what you want to achieve with the new design), your Design Programme (wish list/preferences), your timeline and budget. We request that you have a few photos to reflect your personal style, colour preferences and ideas. If we are designing a new house, we will do a site visit to the property.
When designing a house from scratch, what considerations are made?
Consideration is given to sun orientation, whether there is a view, sloped or flat lot, and any features of the property you want to enhance or detract from.
What is your fee structure?
Our fees are based on the scope of work and vary depending on the nature of your project. By having a consultation, we can narrow down our scope of work and provide you a fee proposal with an estimated value based on our experience and your needs. Although we provide an estimate, we bill for actual hours as each client goes through the design and review process differently.
What is included in your Interior Design Fee?
A basic design fee usually covers:
- Space planning, lighting design, drawing package for construction
- Researching, sourcing and selection of finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures with specifications for ordering.
- Millwork designs for fireplaces or built-ins
- Meetings with the Client to review options and make decisions
However, no two projects are the same and a design package can be tailored to your specific needs.
What will my design package include?
- Written specifications for interior finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures; furniture and accessories, with all the required information for quoting and ordering.
- Design Drawings: Demolition and Construction plans, Reflected ceiling plans with lighting and electrical, Finishes plan to coordinate with written specifications including locations of fixtures, Elevations and detail drawings showing certain design features such as fireplaces or range hoods, Millwork drawings for cabinetry and built-ins, and Furniture and Accessories Layouts.
Do I need a Building Permit?
Yes, we recommend getting a permit. Some projects depending on the size will not require one. It is best to check with your city what their requirements are.
Who makes the submission to the City for Building Permit?
Usually it is your contractor or builder. We will be available to help you through the process and answer any questions that may arise from the City.
How small of a project will you take on?
We will take on any size of project, weather it is a single bathroom or kitchen reno to full house or addition, or small office lobby to multiple floors.
How large of a project will you take on?
We specialize in full-service design. We will start from scratch designing plans for a custom home and take the project through all phases of design right through to completion, or we can start with an empty commercial space and come up with a design that works for how your business/office functions.
When can we start?
Once a proposal has been signed, we will work your project into our schedule to align with your timeline and deadlines. The initial phases of the design and planning will take a few weeks, and then we will present to you some options. There may be one or more reviews or tweaks as every client is different. You should expect the overall design process to take a few months. Drawings will then be submitted to the City for Building Permit. Once approved by the city construction can begin.
How do we start?
Booking a consultation is the first step to starting your design project. From the consultation we will provide you with a proposal. Once the Proposal is signed we will begin space planning and sourcing finishes and fixtures for your review. When you have given approval for our designs and made selections of finishes and fixtures we will finalize everything with documentation. You will be provided with a drawing package and specifications for finishes and fixtures to be given to your contractor for quoting and construction. Don’t worry, after our design package is complete, we will still be available to answer all your questions and work out anything that comes up during construction.
How long is the process?
The process can vary from project to project. It all depends on the size of the space, how much you want us to do and the level of detail required. Please review our processes under services for an in-depth description.
What is my involvement as the client?
Your involvement in your project will vary depending on the stage of design we are at. In the beginning you will need to set aside a few hours a week to review drawings, finishes and fixture options. There will be meetings for us to present our ideas and go over details along the way. You may be asked to visit showrooms to view or try products.
Do you provide project management?
Yes, we do. We will take on the headache of coordinating trades, ordering products and materials, keeping on schedule and on budget, and providing you with updates throughout the process.
What if I already have a Contractor/Project Manager?
We will work with the contractor of your choice. If you do not have one, we are happy to refer professionals whom we have worked well with in the past. The success of a project relies on a great team.
Who purchases the materials?
Usually your builder or contractor will purchase finishes and materials. If we are your project managers, we have trade accounts, can do the purchasing and will pass on our trade discounts where possible. Furniture and accessories can be purchased in retail stores by us or the client, some pieces will need to be purchased through us as our wholesalers require us to be the purchaser.
Where is the bulk of our work?
We have completed projects in Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Tsawwassen, Coquitlam, Burnaby and North Vancouver.
How will my designer understand my style?
Initially we will ask you to provide us with some images showing your style, some design details or colours you like. Between our designers we all have different style preferences. We pride ourselves on understanding what look you are after and being able to facilitate you in making design and material choices to reflect that.