We'll work collaboratively in your own private online studio, where you'll be able to:
- track your project in real time and access all details in one organized place
- approve estimates, contracts and documents
- view inspirations, plans, and actions, and
- make purchases at your own pace from your personalized shopping lists
10 Steps to a Happy Project Completion
This is a great opportunity to get to know each other a bit and to discover if we would enjoy working together on your project. Tell me about your design goals. What are your timelines? Have you considered your level of investment – both of time and money? Feel free to ask me any questions. Let’s see if we’re a good fit!
You’ll have already completed your Design Detail Gathering Questionnaire, by the time we meet, so we’ll be able to jump right in. Our goal, here, is to really get into the nuts and bolt of your project. We’ll discuss your goals, possibilities, potential challenges, and begin to carve out timelines.
This meeting will take place with all key decision-makers on site, or if your project is a new build, around a table with your building plans and documents. By the end of our meeting, we’ll each have a short list of actions to get the ball rolling and I’ll have gathered enough detail, including a few photos, to draw up a Design Agreement which will include a Scope of Work.
All of the details, gathered so far, will be integrated into our Design Agreement, which will be available in your private online studio. Please review it carefully and advise me of any additions and adjustments . Once you feel comfortable, please click on Approve. This will be our binding contract and will allow me to get rolling on your design project.
This day normally occurs within two weeks after you’ve approved your Design Agreement. I’ll take detailed measurements and photographs of all the spaces involved in your project. And, I’ll arrange to have the trades people who will be quoting on your project come in to take their own measurements for estimating purposes. If you have your own trades people, this is the day to bring them in. While I can’t be responsible for trades that you bring to your project, I will be happy to discuss details with them.
This is a busy day, that gives everyone the opportunity to see the space, do their own fact-finding, and meet other trades to have some of the overlap conversations that will be needed. Over the course of the project, we bring in additional trades as needed.
While it’s not necessary for you to be there for this activity, (some people find all the discussions and activity a little overwhelming), I ask that you are available by phone or text to answer any questions that may come up, such as breaker or shut off locations. You may enjoy this activity and find the details to be interesting and the process exciting, so you are most welcome to be involved.
Preliminary layouts plans and drawings are developed. Initial sourcing for product begins and samples and inspiration photos are gathered. At this stage, we’ll meet for a Preliminary Presentation where you’ll be presented with carefully curated selections that represent the best choices for your project. Together, we’ll discover what works for you and what we need to tweak.
Carefully considered layout planning is crucial to a well designed space and is always the starting point. Once the preliminaries are established, we’ll begin to layer in other design elements – fittings, finishes, furnishings, colour, fabrics, and, finally decor accents. Quotes for trades services will be gathered.
Throughout this step, there will be a fair amount of communication between us in the Notes and Messages tabs of your online studio, as well as through calls and texts. There may be intermediate meetings, onsite and in showrooms, to discuss and examine certain elements and details together.
During this period, you’ll begin to see Notes for actions and discussions, along with inspiration images, deliverables and quotes, populating your online studio. As we continue to develop and solidify initial inspirations into concrete services and products, shopping lists with details and pricing will appear in your Product tabs for your consideration, revision and approval.
The design process is time-consuming and may require several weeks, depending on the scope of your project.
Together, we’ll develop a general timeline for purchasing product and scheduling services. This timeline will be adjusted, as we proceed, to accommodate unforeseen circumstances, such as product and trades delays or changes to the Scope of Work. Each day a decision on something is delayed, lengthens your project and pushes the completion date forward. Be aware that most projects can take several months to complete. The lead time on furnishings alone can be anywhere from 4 -16 weeks.
I strongly recommend that you hire a General Contractor or assign this role to one of your trades (often, it’s the carpenter who can take on this role). Overseeing your project yourself is a challenging and time consuming task. Unless you’re experienced, the money you save by being your own General Contractor is often lost to scheduling delays and missed communications.
Before any trades are hired or products purchased on your behalf, you will approve them in your online studio under the Project Products tab. Once approved, you’ll receive an invoice, which is payable in full to move forward with your orders. You’ll be able to pay most trades people directly and they usually invoice immediately after carrying out their work.
It will be your’s or your General Contractor’s responsibility to schedule, arrange and oversee the trades people. If you’re contracting us for Project Implementation, I will meet trades on site and online during the progression of works to clarify the design, follow up on orders, and arrange delivery and installation of specified products such as light fixtures, window treatments and furnishings.
In reality, logistics make it expensive to do a ‘reveal day’, like we see on interior design shows. The cost of warehousing all the products and bringing in enough people to do a one day installation, overshadows the need for a big reveal. So mini reveals are sprinkled over a few days or even weeks, which I see as a positive, as this gives you time to take in the transformations as they are completed.
As we move towards the substantial completion of your project, we’ll get together to select your favourites from your existing artwork and decor accessories – things like lamps, ornaments, throws, linens, and such. We’ll consider general locations for these items, then go shopping for a selection of decor elements to round out the finishing touches. You’re welcome to join me on this shopping trip!
As the trades people are completing their work, we’ll walk through each area of your project together along with your General Contractor, if you have one, to create a Punch List of any details that still need attention – such as paint touch ups or a defective light fixture. As they’re completed, these tasks will be checked off the Punch List.
In the meantime, I’ll style your space and take professional photographs for our portfolio. You’re very welcome to be involved in both the styling and the photos! You’ll receive digital images to share with family and friends and on social media, should you desire. You’ll also be invited to write a short testimonial for our social media and website. Online and word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients are the number one way people find an interior design professional. This is the time that your design project will be considered substantially complete!
Why hire a design professional?
Regardless of your design goals, my goals are to ensure that you have access to the best possible options and most current industry information. I'm continually taking design courses and staying up to date on the latest developments, trends and technologies. Of course, there is more out there in the world of building and renovating than any one person could know, so I'm never afraid to say, "Let me find that out for you."
By hiring me for your design project, you'll have:
- Clarity of your vision and ideas - help sorting out your needs and wants
- Help in achieving a cost-effective project and ensuring your home will be functional, efficient, comfortable and beautiful
- Your project clearly communicated to contractors so they can accurately prepare cost estimates and complete your project according to your wishes
- Guidance in monitoring your project during construction
- I share my designer discounts with you. These savings offset and sometimes surpass the cost of my services
- No surprises - you can track your design costs in realtime in your private online studio.
- After-Consult-Q&A is free of charge.
- See Services tab for details and pricing on design service packages.
I've got it covered
Helping you with your project is a big responsibility and to that end, I carry professional liability insurance through Lloyd's of London.
I'm a Certified Interior Decorator through the New York Institute of Art and Design and a director on the board of the Nova Scotia Interior Decorators Association. I'm a voracious life-long-learner, collecting course credits (CEU's) from design and build institutions like the American Institute of Architects, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and the Lighting Control Institute. I'm a Certified Colour Consultant and a Certified Lighting Specialist through the American Lighting Association.