Courtney Thomas
May 30, 2018

Want to Know How We Work? Steps 1-4

You are staring down the remodel abyss debating whether or not moving houses would be easier than tackling your outdated kitchen and cramped Family Room/Breakfast nook layout. You know enough not to want to go it alone or leave design decisions to your well-meaning mother-in-law, but you don’t know the first thing about working with a designer or if you even want to. This blog is for you. If you’ve been through our website, read some of our content and like our style, you may consider picking up the phone or emailing us. Here’s what your next few steps might look like:

Step 1- The Connection

Screen Shot 2018 05 21 At 1.17.54 PmChances are, Julie will answer the phone or return your call. She thinks I’m too easily side-tracked by your life story to stay on topic. During the initial phone call, she may ask about you, your family, your design preferences and your history working with redheads. Whatever the subject may be, 3 important topics will likely be addressed: project scope, budget, and timeline.

1. Project Scope = what changes are you looking to make to your space?

2. Budget= what do you have to invest in the project?

3. Timeline = when are you looking to begin and end the project?

You may not have the answer to any or all of these questions right now and that’s okay. We can walk you through it. These answers, however, help us both determine whether we are the best fit for your needs. Maybe you need someone to begin immediately and we are back-logged by a few months or you conclude that our full-service offering is more than you or your budget needs. That’s what a first phone call is for: to be informed.

Step 2 – The Initial Meeting

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If we are thinking along the same lines and are on the same page about the aforementioned 3 topics, we will schedule a walk-through of the space or a review of your architectural plans (if you have them). This is where I like to point out that just because I walk or review a space without speaking doesn’t mean I’m not already assessing and analyzing its potential. I am, but I’m also brainstorming early ideas which would be premature to discuss until agreements are signed and project scope, budget and timelines are solidified. If you’re looking for quick, committed design ideas, you may be disappointed. I like to let my design ideas marinate before presenting:)

Step 3 – The Proposal

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We put together a proposal that will be based on either an hourly or flat fee. Without getting into specifics, the hourly is often better suited for remodels or projects where the scope of work is more likely to slide around and a set process is harder to follow. A flat fee is better suited for projects like new builds where the scope of work is set and a set process is the most efficient way to move from concept to completion. Flat fees are often to a client’s advantage since they allow us to be both pro-active and streamlined with our time and costs. (more on this later:))

Step 4 – The Design Direction

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Should you accept the proposal, we will sign an agreement, welcome you to the ginger fold and get you going towards a new vision for your house. This is where the creative kicks in and we begin our collaboration on style direction. You finally get to share all your Pinterest boards with someone who takes notes and gives you carte blanche to get lost in the Pinterest black hole. This is the eye candy and wishlist way station. Ask for it now, because budgets come next and that’s when we must do our adulting best to prioritize.

I wish the concept to completion idea was an overnight transformation and that design services were limited to just being creative. It turns out, even creative businesses require lots of non-creative admin work. The vision will come to life. I promise. It’s worth all the steps we walk you through to achieve it. So hang in there. Steps 5-8 coming next.

Courtney Thomas Luxury Interior Design Services

Courtney Thomas, ASID

Principal & Lead Designer

My job is to make spaces functional in their layout, comfortable in their use, inspirational in their style and luxurious in their appointment. In that order. For that one moment after installation, the pictures are perfect.

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Courtney Thomas Lead Designer