Working With Us
Step I: Initial Consultation
Before beginning any project I will don my snappy business clothes and come to your residence or office for a one-and-a-half-hour design consultation.
Please don’t worry about the “BEFORE” state of your space because that's why I'm there.
I'll review your :
- Aesthetic and functional needs for your space;
- Explore your personal preferences and lifestyle;
- And discuss your project budget and timeline.
This is also your opportunity to ask any questions, show us pictures you like and tell us why your mother-in-law is driving you nuts.
Before I conclude, I'll give you three fabulous ideas for your space, photograph it and then go back to our office and think up more creative ideas to share with you.
Your fee for this consultation is $150.00 which is credited back to you if you decide we're a match and you'd like to engage Soul Interiors Design to execute your vision. Many people have.
Step 2: Interior Design Proposal
Following our initial consultation, and after you get even more frustrated looking at your space and decide you need professional help, I'll provide you with an:
- Estimated Budget of our Professional Design Time
- Detailed outline of the Scope of Work
- Samples of Deliverables (i.e. drawings, specification binder, etc.)
- Client References
If you have a spouse or partner, it's a good idea to have them participate in this important meeting. I want everyone to feel comfortable with their investment and timeline, and know who we are before we walk in your house or office at 7:00 a.m. with a tray full of Ventis.
Depending on your scope of work, project budget and how nice you are, we'll offer you one of three ways to work with us -- flat fee, hourly, or by the day (half-day and telephone consultations are also available and detailed under Services and Packages).
If, for some reason, you decide we're not the right design team for your project (I think it happened once) I'll be happy to recommend two other professional interior design colleagues in our local American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) chapter to assist you.
The bottom line is that I want your collaboration with a professional interior designer to produce the best possible result. It's good for business and good for you!
When you're interviewing any designer, be sure to give careful consideration to their work experience, professional business practices, design aesthetic and compatibility with YOU. It is not just about pretty portfolio pictures! It is a business relationship and you must feel comfortable and confident in the professional you hire.
You can read about some of our client success stories by clicking on What Clients Are Saying.
Step 3: Letter of Agreement & Project Retainer
Ok, you’ve said “Let’s Dance.” What’s next? You'll receive a Letter of Agreement with a request for a Project Retainer. Our Letter of Agreement details the terms of conducting business with us.
The Project Retainer is your initial financial deposit which signals your intent to proceed with your project and to reserve your time with us.The amount of the project retainer varies based on your scope of work and is credited against your final payment at your project’s conclusion.
Following receipt of your signed Letter of Agreement and Project Retainer, we are off to the races. We're usually so excited and full of creative ideas that we can’t wait to get started.
Step 4: Estimated Project Budget
Once your project begins, we'll provide you with a Project Budget. The Project Budget will outline the estimated price of purchases and any sub-contractor labor needed. Together, we'll review it and make recommendations on where best to invest your money so you get the most bang for your buck.
Be assured, we are picky, picky so any vendors and/or sub-contractors we team with to create your new space meet our high standards of customer service, professional licensing and excellent job performance.
If your job necessitates the use of an architect, general contractor or structural engineer we'll assist you with referrals and securing their bids.
Once we have all the estimates in hand we'll provide you with a final Estimated Project Budget for your approval. And then the fun begins!
Step 5: Project Commencement
Depending on the size of your project and your availability, we'll schedule needed client meetings to keep your job progressing and receive your feedback.
We want your feedback during the process and hope you'll trust us even if we push you a little out of your comfort zone to try a new color palette, different layout or innovative building material.
Communication. Trust. Collaboration. We have found these three strategies to be the keys to a successful design project. It's that simple. Oh, and gooood coffee.
Step 6: Project Completion
Nothing makes us happier than to have our client absent the day of their installation of new furnishings and fixtures, and then they come home or back to their office, and WOW!
It’s called the “Big Reveal." It’s magical to see the look in a client’s eyes and the smile on their face when they look around their space and say “I can’t believe it’s the same space!” Be still my heart.
But rest assured, our job doesn’t end when your project is completed.
We want your new home or office environment to look fabulous and remain functional for years to come so we’ll be invited back for Thanksgiving Dinner.
As such, we are only a phone call away to assist you in maintaining your new interiors so you receive years of enjoyment from your new space.
The 5-Step Design Process
Wouldn’t it be fabulous if your design project progressed as quickly as they do on the television shows? Imagine…. you sign a letter of agreement and voila the demo crew is at your front door at 7:00 a.m. the next morning ready to go!
Ok, ok, time for a little reality check. Here's a brief outline of the real phases an interior design project moves through so you know what to expect before you begin, and feel comfortable with the process.
Phase I – Programming
The Programming Phase is like a first date, but without the butterflies. This is where we get to know you and your desires -- for your new space, that is. We'll ask you a number of relevant questions, inventory your existing furnishings, photograph your space, and discuss your project budget and timeline.
If needed, we will meet with your architect, and any other consultants involved, before beginning the next phase – Design Development.
Phase II – Design Development
Design Development is the courtship. We are so excited we can’t contain ourselves. The creative ideas are flowing and we can’t wait to share them with you. We want to call you every day, but we don’t (I promise).
We develop new space plans, furniture plans, and color palettes, as well as select your new interior finishes such as paint, wallcovering, flooring, ceiling and window treatments, moldings, cabinetry and countertops. This is also the phase when any custom-designed pieces or treatments would be sketched for your review.
After we finish sourcing your job we meet with you to review the plans and finish selections and make any refinements needed.
Then we finalize your design drawings and meet with you once more before starting the final detailing of your plans and ordering your furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Phase III – Construction Documents and Administration
Our time together is increasing. We’re getting really serious now and want to be exclusive, so to speak. We’re having intimate, detailed conversations…about that ½” edge detail on your countertops!
During the Construction Documentation phase it’s all about the details. We detail out all of your drawings so your contractor knows exactly what our design intent is and has accurate drawings to price out your job.
After you receive several contractor bids and their proposed timelines, we assist you in reviewing each to ensure accuracy and fair pricing.
We also draft and submit purchase orders for all of your equipment, interior finishes, and furnishings so items are received and ready to install before construction begins.
Phase IV – Construction/Installation
We’re engaged and we’re starting to build something new together. This phase is filled with excitement, surprises, and a few “I-Never-Knew-It-Could-Be–Like This” exclamations, sprinkled with a “Ohhh- Maybe-We Should – Re-Visit – The Budget” moment.
Designers (most) live for the Construction Phase! We get to see our ideas come to life and that smile on your face. We stop by the job site frequently to oversee the sub-contractors and ensure work is progressing on schedule and as planned. We meet with you weekly to address any of your concerns.
Following construction, we coordinate the delivery and installation of your new furnishings, accessories and artwork. It’s like Christmas morning all over again!
Phase V – Project Completion
The Big Day arrived and now we're sitting back, albeit a little tired, and saying “WOW, what an experience to have some many great people helping us fulfill your dream.” And then…you get to live it.
Before we conclude our time together, we do a final walk-through with you and prepare a list of any remaining small items needing attention. We also discuss the care and maintenance of all your new finishes, furnishings and equipment so you can enjoy them for many years and maintain their new appearance.
As we drive away, we are content knowing our collaboration has laid the foundation for you to live and work in a personalized space you never want to leave.
*Please note not all of these activities will pertain to your job as defined by its scope of work.
7 Costly Mistakes Clients Make When Hiring An Interior Designer
We want your project to be successful – no matter who you hire!
With this in mind, we have prepared this complimentary special report entitled "7 Costly Mistakes Clients Make When Hiring An Interior Designer" to give you insider industry tips on how to avoid common errors clients unknowingly make when hiring a designer.
We want you to feel empowered to begin your project knowing you have the insider tools to maximize your investment, save project time, and select the best interior designer for YOUR job.
You will learn:
- How to REALLY interview a designer and not get seduced by a pretty portfolio;
- Three KEY issues to consider when articulating your vision to a Designer;
- What NOT to say when beginning your project;
- Two things clients MUST do to stay in budget;
- How to get your job completed FASTER and enjoy the process;
- What you must REQUIRE in your Letter of Agreement with a Designer;
- And, the ESSENTIAL discussion to have upfront to ensure a successful design project (and it’s not about money!)
You will garner the knowledge to avoid common issues such as:
- Increased project budgets;
- Costly job mistakes;
- Miscommunications among team members;
- Delayed building inspections;
- Fabrication errors;
- Stressful meetings;
- And cancelled orders, among others.
Whether you plan to hire a designer this year or in the future, we want you to feel informed and prepared to begin your journey of creating a space you never want to leave.
By simply investing ten minutes reading this useful article you'll be taking the first step to guaranteeing an enjoyable and successful decorating or remodeling experience!
Just enter your information below and download the PDF today! You'll receive an email with a link to the complimentary article right now.