1. What is the difference between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer?

The main difference is that anyone can call themselves an Interior Decorator, without any education or qualifications. They can only work with superficial levels of decorating such as colors, fabrics, wallpaper, etc.

Interior Designers have education and testing that qualifies them to do space planning, deal with building codes, remodeling and new construction in addition to the things that Interior Decorators do. Interiors Designers with credentials behind their names have had rigorous education in the field and passed stringent qualifying tests similar in depth to other professionals like CPAs and Architects. They also must participate in continuing education on a regular basis. Interior designers are held to strict ethical standards.  “ASID” after one’s name signifies a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers and can only be used by members who have met education and experience requirements. Allied ASID members have not met the requirements.

2. Why hire a Design Professional?

A good Interior Designer believes in a relationship that is highly collaborative. That is, we take time to understand your project, your budget and your taste and help steer you through the many choices and decisions you will make. Our experience and training can help you avoid costly mistakes, lead you to resources that are only available to the “trade” and facilitate your project so that it proceeds smoothly. We also provide well-planned construction and design documents so there is good communication with the contractors and vendors. We screen for qualified contractors and sub-contractors and supervise them throughout, helping resolve any problems which might arise. We stay with you and give you peace of mind from concept to completion.

3. What are our hours?

9AM – 5PM Monday through Friday. After hours appointments can be arranged.

4. What do we charge?

Our fees are hourly  and project based. Please call our office at 408-369-9801 for information on fees.

5. What to expect?

We accept all sizes of projects from a 2-hour consultation to full-scale projects.

Each project is different, but here is a general overview:

On the initial consultation we will listen to your needs and ideas and offer suggestions. We will photograph your space and take measurements. It is helpful for us if you have magazine pictures of rooms that you like and dislike. This allows us to better know your style preferences.

After the first visit, we will draw plans to scale and research furniture and / or materials for your project. We will then meet with you again in order to review these items. The design process is completely collaborative and you will be involved throughout.

Once selections have been made on construction projects, we will proceed to finish the detailed drawings and specifications so you can submit to contractors for pricing. We can either give you names of contractors and sub-contractors we have worked successfully with or work with those you select. The plans may also be used for building permits. We will make sure you have all the items for the project selected and ordered so the construction process is not slowed down.

If you are purchasing items through us, we will present you with proposals for all the purchases and place the orders upon your acceptance. We will track them, arrange for delivery, resolve any issues to the best of our ability, and help fine-tune placement. We can also help you accessorize in order to pull the spaces together and create rooms that suit your lifestyle… and say “WOW.”

6. How long will it take?

Naturally, the length of time any project takes depends on its scope. Some projects are as small as a consultation on color selections or furniture arrangement. Others are as large as a full house construction which can take up to two or three years.  Kitchen and bath remodels usually take from 10-16 weeks for the construction, once the plans and specifying are done.

7. How much will it cost?

Of course costs relate to the size of the project. Many small remodels only cost $4,000-$6,000 for the plans, finish selections and project overview.

Furniture purchases are commission based. Please call our office at 408-369-9801 for further details.

8. What about “sustainable” design and “green” products?

“Green” design is a popular option these days, but many people don’t fully know what is involved. It encompasses the many ways of saving energy, resources and the eco-system for future generations. Some of the considerations are: Choosing ways to conserve energy though use of fluorescent or LED lighting and alternate sources of energy such as solar, wind and organic fuels. In addition, the recycling of materials used in manufacturing and the use of sustainable materials for manufacturing (such as bamboo) are both good for the Earth. The green movement in design also includes using low VOC paints and adhesives…being conscious of the amount of fuel used to transport goods to your location…and the use of bio-degradable materials such as paper bags instead of plastic (which does not break down). Truly sustainable products will have a long life and give many years of satisfaction, thereby reducing the need for frequent replacement.

9. Do we do special occasion and holiday decorating?

Yes, we are happy to do that for you.