Frequently Asked Questions About Interior Design Firms

As you begin your design journey (yes, it really is a journey) here are some answers to common questions we get asked that you may find helpful.

First, we love our clients and feel that being open and honest right from the start can help to make ours a strong, collaborative relationship, and eliminate confusion.

These answers have evolved over time from years of being tried and tested, and with great effort. We’ve put significant thought and meaning behind all the answers to help you understand the journey.

Why is hiring a designer valuable to a decorating or renovation job?

Sometimes it’s hard to understand the value of a designer when there seems to be so much on the internet that tells homeowners how to do their own design work. Indeed, you can do it yourself, but a designer will:

  • Determine correct sizing of furniture or built-ins and work out the best room layout
  • Offer suggestions or shopping locations you may not have thought of or have heard about
  • Provide valuable time management solutions and eliminate slowdowns in decision making
  • Create more effective communication between you and the contractor
  • Interpret your ‎vision into something achievable
  • Bring experience to the table as well as trades, companies or suppliers that have a good record of service
  • Be a calming presence during what can be a difficult time for some people.
  • A designer is your advocate on-site, making sure you get the best space possible. They cab often see things that contractors missed.

How do I create an accurate budget?

It’s easiest to create a budget room by room and then add up each room’s cost for an overall estimate.

Generally things will cost more than you think, after all, when was the last time you bought a sofa or hired a painter? If your house has increased in value, assume the fixtures and furnishings that go into the house will have increased in cost as well!

Go shopping if you don’t know the cost of things. For instance, go to retailers where you would actually like to purchase things from; not the cheapest place you know of. Check out the price of a sofa, hardwood and bathroom fixtures. This will give you an idea of how to gauge the cost of things realistically.

What is the order of things in a project?

The order of a project depends on what the scope of work is. Basically, the largest piece of furniture gets selected first and then this filters down to the smallest pieces.

In renovations, it starts with:

  • A plan on paper
  • Review with contractors
  • Quoting, and then ‎we construct the order from there.

We are familiar with the process and will share this with you depending on your particular project.

What are drawings and why do I pay for these?

Drawings are plans of a space or room that locate walls, furniture, fixtures etc.

A CAD (computer-aided design) drawing puts everything into scale and shows exactly what fits and what doesn’t. They are extremely valuable for furniture sizing and placement and can save you a lot of money in the long run as they eliminate any question as to where something will be placed.

Renovation or kitchen drawings are a tangible thing that contractors can use to price a job and they help to clarify what is envisioned for the space‎ before you engage in actual construction.

Renovation drawings are 75 percent correct, and represent the optimal design. However, we don’t know what’s behind the walls so the proposed design may change once the wall removal begins. This is typical in all drawings whether for new construction or renovation.

It’s also important to note that you own the drawings and can choose the contractor and trades you prefer to work with. Alternatively, we will recommend trades for specific jobs. You can have anyone quote on the work.

Jane Lockhart

Hire us for your next design project.