Selecting a Designer
What you need to know when working with a Designer -
What are the Benefits of Working with a Designer?
A designer should be able to save you time and money which is a real win. Many of the local furniture stores are closed or are suffering which causes prices to go up on lower quality pieces. Finding the right products and putting them together may be a frustrating situation if you were to do it yourself. Designers have access to a wide variety of all residential and commercial products that are not available to the public. Designers are equipped to provide the best solution in the quickest time. You will probably save time and money working with a Designer.
What are the Questions to Ask a Potential Interior Designer?
1. Do you have a design degree? So many "wanna-bes" are out there thinking that they can handle all of the issues of a project. Most likely they have only one style and don't vary from that style. You need someone that will help you with your style not their style. After all you are living there, not them.
There are many dangerous areas that someone without a design degree and some experience won't be able to handle - damages, follow-up with manufacturers, "CFAs", scale,management process etc.
Damages - There are a number of manufacturers that do not pack the items properly which leads to damages. I drop those manufacturers after one or two damages. No one is happy with damages.
Follow-up - If you are having a manufacturer fabricate a sofa with 3 different fabrics and 2 different trims all from 5 different manufacturers, the sofa manufacturer will not start your sofa until they receive all of the 5 items. I found that fabrics are discontinued and they don't tell you, the fabrics are shipped to the wrong address or misplaced in the correct address, the fabric people never received your PO and the like. You cannot let this process up to them.
CFAs- Customer for Approval - this has to do with fabrics. If you request a CFA to be sent to you for approval, a cutting from the same bolt that they intend to ship to you will be sent. There are again a number of issues - did you get the pattern number right or did you transpose numbers, is the dye lot the same as ordered since this fabric coordinates with other fabrics. I requested a CFA for a senior executive sofa. What I received was a white linen fabric with pink embroyering. Obviously not his selection. Can you image the sofa coming off the truck for him to see this pink and white sofa. It was the manufacturers fault but it was caught.
Scale - The existing space needs to be measured and the new and ewxisting furniture needs to be added to a scaled drawing. I was with a client when he ordered - without me - a 12' sofa off the website floorplan. When he received his 12' sofa, his 1400 sq ft condo was much too small. Custom pieces are NOT returnable.
2. What about the Management Process - Coordination with builders, architects, contractors, manufacturers all take a good bit or coordination. Make sure the Designer can handle the business side, Most Designers are truly right brain leaving the left brain dimished.
3. See their work - It is very important see what they have already done to get an idea if they are right for you. A good Designer should have professional pictures of their portfolio. Things to look for are -
a. Diversity of Style
b. Large and Small Projects
4. Do they have a Process - It is extremely important that they hve a honed process. Are the design fees fixed price with a workscope, do you know the price of all of the ordered items, what are the payment terms, can items be returned and where will the items be shipped. The design fees whould be fixed with a workscope in writing. All items to be purchased should be presented as an estimate prior to ordering and your approval - in writing - should be provided. Payment terms should be clear in the Agreement. Items generally cannot be returned so making wise decisions is necessary. Most manufacturers will not deliver to a residential address. All items whould be shipped to a warehouse and inspected at the warehouse prior to delivery to you. his prevents you from having to be home to receive items.
5. What about Taxes? You will need to determine who is responsible for the sales taxes.
What are the benefits of working with Design Studio?
My college degree is in Interior Design whereas a lot of designers practice without a design education. Trust me they taught me a lot!! My affiliation with ASID required me to provide them my transcripts. I also have 16+ years of experience in the design field. Many mistakes are made in the initial years that really can only be learned in that capacity. But after 16 years, many of the pitfalls have already been had. I worked in the corporate world for 20+ years realizing a Director’s title and earning a MBA from Johns Hopkins. For more information, please see the “About” section on my website.
So that makes me right and left brain. As such, I have proven to be artistic, a visual thinker, a computer guru and a disciplined project manager that provides the final project to your doorstep without flaw. My corporate experience allows me to understand your time, your desire of how to be briefed and excellence in process. This is why I am sought after and retained by many senior executives, who are my targeted client. I “get” what you want, I “understand” your soul comforts and “wow” factors.
As another benefit to you, I only deal directly with manufacturers and not distributors which cut out an unnecessary step without sacrificing any services. Dealing only with manufacturers flows saving to you. My pricing to you will be lower than retail (MSRP) pricing.
I am able to find it, price it below retail and deliver a home that meets your creature comforts. Plus we have fun – absolutely necessary!!