One of the first questions I get with new clients who have never worked with an interior designer before is, "How do you work?"
Step 1: Initial Contact
The first step after you have seen my website or saw my portfolio on Houzz is to contact me either by email or by the phone.
I prefer all my clients to fill out my Contact Us page because I may be doing other things when you call.
If you call me, please leave me a brief message about your design project and who you are.
I will return your call within 24 hours except on the weekends, I will call you on Monday.
During the phone call or via my contact us page, I need to know how many rooms and your initial investment for the project.
Knowing your budget will also determine if we will be a good fit for your project. Sometimes homeowners have Tesla tastes but have money set aside for a Leaf. This will be discussed at the beginning during the phone conversation..
Once we determine that we may enjoy working together and we're a good fit, I will schedule a meeting to meet you at my office or see your project for free, BUT I never discuss design ideas. I get paid to design for my clients. At this meeting we discuss scope of work, your investment, and my design fees for the project.
At this meeting I will ask you a lot of questions about the project, your lifestyle, and why you need me to help you create your vision.
If you want me to share design ideas, I charge $300.00 for a design consultation.
Once you decide after we meet together to discuss or review your project that we will make a terrific team, I will give you a Letter of Agreement and my design fees for the project.
Then we get excited about working together to create the home that represents you and the life you lead.
Step 2: Measure and Photograph the Space
Once you have signed my Letter of Agreement and paid my design fee, I come back with my assistant to measure and photograph your project.
The photographs help us to remember what each room looks like. Some of these photos will be used as the "Before" photos on my website. If I'm doing a bathroom renovation, I end up taking a bathroom selfie that may or may not get posted on Instagram.
Step 3: Specifying and Schematics
This is where the work begins for my team. We start searching for the right fabrics, furniture pieces, rugs, lighting, accessories, window, and wall treatments that will create a whole new look for your home. This is all behind the scenes and you will not be involved with any of the shopping and selection process. ( That's why you hired us, because we know where to look for the perfect pieces that will complete your home.)
This is usually a 2-3 week process, but I also keep you involved with an electronic design board of likes and dislikes and a Pinterest board of ideas.. I will show you 3-4 different styles of a specific piece of furniture and you can automatically like or dislike it. Very inactive and my clients love it!
Sometimes it may be necessary to take you shopping if you need to see, touch, and feel a product we want to use in the project. This is perfectly fine to do, but I will charge you $150.00 an hour for shopping with you. Trust me, I've never had a client in 14 years dislike anything I have selected for them, but I also have had clients who needed to go shopping and we aim to please.
Once we have made the selections, we develop a floor plan and a final design board to present to you at the next meeting.
Step 4: Design Presentation, Ordering, and Project Management
At this meeting we will present the final concept of the space, and we can continue to tweak it until you absolutely love it! Once you have fallen in love with the design, we will need a deposit of 75% of the total invoice to begin the purchasing. Balance will be due 30 days prior to installation.
This part is where we wait for for the furniture to be delivered to my warehouse, we track the orders, and manage over the construction. But to you it seems like a long time. Depending on what you selected it could be as few as 4 weeks to 12 weeks for custom designed furniture.
It's like watching your nails grow......
Even your dog will begin to miss me...
If you have a construction project we will be making onsite visits to see how it is progressing. We will also share with you a timeline for construction projects so you will know what to expect every step of the way.
Step 5: The Final Reveal!!
Once we have all the furniture in my warehouse and it is inspected, we will schedule delivery.
We deliver all the items on the same day and come back later to have your rooms professionally photographed.*
*Some of my celebrity clients and clients not wishing to have their homes appear in the Universe, will sign off on the contract that they do not want to be published otherwise my favorite photographers will land from helicopters causing chaos for a whole day.
We also bring in more accessories for the photo shoot that you may want to purchase(But not obligated to buy) because we get published in magazines all the time and when your friends see the magazine then come to visit your lovely home that I designed they may look a little confused..
You can always tell them I staged the shot, but why would you?
Once the furniture is delivered, the room is photographed, and we have the honor of being published in the Universe, we celebrate because we have created and designed your home in your vision and your lifestyle.
Pop the cork!! Your home is now representing you!!
Do you have anymore questions?
Robin LaMonte is the acclaimed interior designer behind her company, Rooms Revamped Interior Design based in Atlanta, Ga.