What to expect.

Navigating through the initial details can be a challenge for every owner. We are often asked a lot of repeated questions so we developed a list of common answers to help streamline the process. It's a long and rewarding relationship we'll have so we want to start by easing your initial concerns about working with our Professional Design Team.


1.  What is a "interior designer"?

Being a "designer" is a term that gets thrown around extremely loosely without any educational background or qualification. There are many imposter-types out there, so it's important to know the difference. Interior Designers and Kitchen & Bath Designers will decorate, but decorators do not design. Interior designers might plan a kitchens or bathroom, but they are not a Kitchen & Bath Designer.


A professional with a bachelor's degree and/or qualified for or obtained the National Certification of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and 3,500 working hours. Continuing education is required. Interior Designers work in residential, retail, hospitality, institutional and public design.


A professional skilled in the methods of residential construction and kitchen and baths. An Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer (AKBD) starts at 4,200 working hours and a Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer is a mentor, leader, advocate and has over 14,500 working hours. Continuing education is required.


A professional holding membership with a minimum 1 year certificate in residential interior or interior decorating from a qualified educational institution. Accredited Decorators are members of CDECA. Continuing education is required. 

2.  how do I start working with COREY KLASSEN INTERIOR DESIGN?

We align with Clients that value an investment in the relationship we are about to embark upon. We receive a lot of requests for work and it is challenging to manage. We developed these simple steps to help you understand our intake and Assessment process:

  1. Complete our Project Inquiry Form online;
  2. Expect an email reply within 3 days to schedule a 20-30 minute telephone interview (if we're a fit);
  3. From there, Corey will schedule an Assessment with you.
  4. Within 2 weeks, we schedule a Proposal Presentation in our downtown Vancouver studio.

Here's what we're looking for from you:

  • You value the expertise of professionals;
  • You would like to see to see the best options, not all options;
  • You are committed to making decisions; and
  • You appreciate that good design takes time.


An Assessment is an on-site review for up to 90 minutes. The purpose is to review the proposed work areas and complete a personal assessment with many questions. Our goal is to understand the proposed project and be as comprehensive as possible. Within 2 weeks, the Proposal Presentation will outline the complete details of the project and itemize our flat design fees.

Please note that a nominal fee applies to all Assessments and no actual design work is completed during this stage. The Assessment is not a design consultation service to gather ideas or feedback on design problems.

4.  How long does the design process take?

It is impossible to tell you how long designing a project will take because every project is unique and every client has their own schedule. It's not going to be a straight line from A to B.

Depending on the complexity, a good rule of thumb is least 3 - 6 months to plan, 2 more months for permit application processing, and at least 4 - 6 more months to be absolutely finished construction. Yes, it is a year-long process on average.

We build and maintain our design schedule as we go throughout the process, meaning we find that most of our clients are initially committed but life gets in the way and things happen. If there is an interruption beyond our control, we do our best to keep the remainder of our services on track.

5.  How do you charge design fees?

We will work with a flat design fee based upon the total area. When it comes to estimating our flat design fees, it's important to note that every client and every project is different in design style, timeline, and budget so it's impossible to tell how much the design fees will be without following our initial steps (see question 2 above). A good rule of thumb is to use the value of 7 to 15% in addition to the project budget. What this really means is that you are issued 3 invoices for our design services, billed in advance of each part of our 3-Step Process (see Services & Process)

We are unable to offer hourly fees or ad-hoc design consultation services.

6.  What is a good project budget?

The beautiful projects on our website did not come by clients doing everything themselves. Project budgets are fluid and usually elicit an initial emotional response when budget numbers come in. When involving us as your Professional Design Team, you can assured that we will save you time and money before we begin.

Here are some general starting ranges for projects based upon our project history:

  • Residential Interiors - $150 per square foot and up
  • Kitchen or Bathrooms - $450 per square foot and up
  • Commercial Design - Varies, depending on needs
  • Interior Styling - $150 per square foot and up

7.  Will I need a building permit?

For replacement of cabinets, counters, tile, flooring and paint, no you do not. For everything else, yes you will require a building permit in accordance with your Authority Having Jurisdiction. Our Professional Design Team is experienced and skilled in coordinating the construction documentation needed for any size or scope of project for residential and commercial projects.

Building permits are legal requirements for all renovations, they ensure the safety of all occupants and visitors, they meet insurance coverage needs, and permit property sales. It is much less risky to proceed through a permit and inspection process that to waive the legal liability.

If you're considering working on a project without a building permit, you can expect higher design fees and a legal liability waiver before any design work begins.

8.  When can we start?

We take a select amount of projects per year and are often booked 45 to 90 days in advance. Please understand that if we are contacted in July for a same-year Christmas completion that it will not be possible. (We are asked this question more often that we care to admit.)

For serious prospective clients, our projects are held in queue with a minimum Design Retainer commitment of $5,000.00.

9.  what do I need to provide the design team INITIALLY?

As the property owner, you will need to provide us with:

  • Existing plans obtained from your building planning department. If we are obtaining these for you, you will need to provide us with letters of approval from your strata and your municipal planning, in original ink. (No copies or digital authorizations.)
  • Inspiration images of your design style. We recommend a minimum of 5 images per room.
  • Time to meet at the project site during business hours (excluding weekends and holidays.)