Searching for the right design professional is challenging for home and business owners. There are multiple conflicting information sources and many imitation designers out there. Here are the important facts about our projects that you have the right to know.
What is "interior design"?
Interior design is the practice and application of the safety and welfare of the occupants within a space. It is a highly technical profession similar to an Architect that focuses on interior living environment building codes, fire protection, exits and egress, the use of construction techniques, sensory conditions, energy efficiency, sustainability, universal accessibility, and materials. It focuses on human behaviour, psychological perceptions, historic precedent and a particular process to solve the Client's needs.
There are 2 certification bodies for interior designers:
How do we charge?
Professional interior design services are an additional cost to the overall project budget, usually somewhere between 15 - 20%, meaning they are not inclusive of your budget. We work in 4 segments of the interior design industry and each has a slightly different methodology.
- Hourly. Applies to Commercial Design and Additional Services and requires a design retailer to get started.
- Square Foot Flat-Fee. Applies to Residential Interiors or Kitchen & Bath Design and is calculated using the total work area and complexity, always invoiced as a flat line-item service fee by each phase.
- Percent of Project. Applies to Interior Styling and is calculated using the total project budget multiplied by 15 - 20% to calculate the professional services and requires a design retainer to get started.
All of our professional services are invoiced and due upon receipt. We accept all major credit cards, cheques, and cash.
What do we need to start?
Each owner will need to provide initial documentation to start an interior design project. Here is what we need from you to get started:
- As-built plans. Existing plans of the building and property lot.
- Inspiration. A Houzz Ideabook, Pinterest board or project brief.
- Needs & requirements. You know your home or business better than we do. Take the time to list your needs and requirements.
- Time. You will be needed during the project to meet, make decisions, payments, site visits, and more. Expect your time to be needed.
- Financing. You will need to arrange financing for the project based upon the approved scope of work and construction budget (provided by others.)
You can also consider purchasing Corey's ebook "Client Project Planner" for $25 (incl. 5% G.S.T.) (for residential clients only.)
What is a good budget?
What you are really asking is about scope of work. Our projects are filtered into 3 major categories of Economy, Mid-Market, and Luxury. Each category has a different type of scope and a different type of budget. In order to explain this better, we developed a Project Budget Matrix that guides our professional services:
|Renovation & New Build Project Matrix|
|Scope of Work|
|Project types||Replacement||Reno / New Build||Reno / New Build|
|Wall / structural changes||None||Limted||Extensive|
|Building permit required||Varies||Yes||Yes|
|Interior Designer Services||Online only||Moderate Scope||Full-Service|
|Additional Professionals||Commerical Only||Yes||Yes|
|Project Budget Guidelines (by square foot)|
|Kitchens & Bathrooms||$350/sf||$450/sf||+$600/sf|
How can I decide?
You primary role as the client is to make decisions, so behold the de
Anything else important?
This is an evolving list of "typical challenges" but here are the big points:
- Busy Owners. Your project will require your time to make decisions and take action items away to implement. Be sure to schedule your time accordingly and keep progress moving ahead.
- Absentee Owners. From time to time, owners "disappear" on us for weeks at a time. If after 10 days of no responses, we automatically pause all work. In these scenarios, there is a 20% surcharge of the contract price to re-start a project.
- Owners not reading legal agreements fully. It is the our responsibility to provide you with a contract and offer to review it together. It is the owners responsibility to read and understand the contract. We can not make you read our contract, but it is our responsibility to complete and enforce our Agreements.
- Owners shopping on their own (or going rogue). This is both a good and bad thing. Remember that we offer cost-effective design fees based upon set revisions so more options and more revisions mean added costs.
- Owners changing their mind. In each of our design meetings, we take direct action based upon your feedback to implement solutions and products. Changing your mind is costly and counts toward the revisions accounted for in your contract.