FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

AT WHAT STAGE DO I GET YOU INVOLVED?

As soon as possible!

Architects, builders and first time clients, don’t always consider all the interior design implications, when combined with more structural or major refurbishment type work. So considering the fundamental elements from the start has many advantages including - spending less and avoiding frustrating mistakes! Even small details, such as simply moving an internal door could provide significant layout, storage or flow improvements. From experience we know the benefits of early planning, including the consideration of key furniture items and their positioning, before thinking about decorative schemes and lighting to help avoid any compromise or extra expense later.

WHAT'S THE PROCESS?

We need to meet you, see the property or proposed plans and discuss how we can best help!

We can then confirm appropriate design fees and agree how the designs might be prioritised to work with you & your schedule.

Elaine will visit to take a detailed brief and if needed we’ll also survey, draw-up scaled plans and take plenty of reference pictures.

The designs usually take 2-3 weeks to complete. We will then ‘walk’ you through every aspect of your comprehensive & detailed design. Which include floor-plans, showing furniture in position, with suggested lighting and any bespoke or built-in elements. More complex and structural designs will probably include 3D illustrations. In addition to various picture references and samples including wallpapers, paint colours, flooring materials, fabrics and window treatments. All as appropriate and everything needed to explain and help you understand your designs.

We could then provide you with detailed estimates for all, or part of the work. Every client’s needs are different, so please get in touch to discuss your project.

DO YOU OFFER A DESIGN ONLY SERVICE?

Yes. We understand that some clients prefer to do part or all of the works themselves, and just need a design and ideas or a direction to progress from there!

We can give experienced recommendations and guidance for a look and feel to fit your brief - from paint colours & wallpapers, to all kinds of flooring, along with window treatments in numerous formats, fabrics & materials. Plus lighting design, as well as various other elements, such as bespoke or fitted furniture, AV considerations, radiators & fireplaces recommendations to art and accessories.

Or we can just focus on the more structural, planning and layout aspects of your project. To fully consider and clarify the overall design, structure and priority materials BEFORE committing to any build works or even thinking about the decorative details.

It’s not uncommon for us to take a project over from an architect, who’s designed the overall structure and obtained planning permission etc. But who has not fully resolved all of the lifestyle and everyday living requirements that impact on how the interior functions, performs and looks! For example - an integrated open-plan kitchen design, with fully considered style & material choices, to work with the structural parameters and your brief for a warm & welcoming home. This kind of service is ideally suited to larger conversions, refurbishments & renovations. Or new builds and extensions, at the planning or early build stage.

HOW LONG DO WORKS TAKE?

This can vary enormously depending on the scope of works, but to give you some idea, the design could take 2 – 3 weeks from the briefing meeting, this allows us time to come up with the best ideas and order samples etc. Estimating the actual works could take another 2 weeks. Completing soft furnishings and surface decorations could take 4-8 weeks. Allow 8-16 weeks for bespoke furniture deliveries.

HOW MUCH DOES A DESIGN COST?

The design stage is an essential element for ‘any’ project and will be subject to your brief, the size, type of project and the extent of detail or specification required. A comprehensive room design starts from £750.00 + VAT. Larger dual-function rooms e.g. Kitchen/dining-rooms or projects that require major structural & layout changes will be more.

If accurate drawings/plans are not already available, we will need to survey and draw-up plans. This will be essential for us to create the optimum design – for you and the room/property in question. Combined with the designs, these will also help clarify the work needed and to brief contractors. This service is chargeable and will be confirmed along with the main design estimate.

YOUR PORTFOLIO IS GREAT, BUT MY HOUSE IS A DIFFERENT STYLE?

These portfolio pictures are just a ‘selection’ of some of the work we’ve designed and completed over the years. From period country homes to urban minimalist apartments, Elaine has designed many difficult and unusual rooms, including the jockies weighing room at Sandown race course, a double decker bus interior for a youth charity, The Saints players chill-out lounge, a modern open-plan family house in South Africa, a low-budget guest lodge in France and many, many more. I think we can safely say we are versatile and can adapt to your style.

CAN YOU WORK WITH MY EXISTING FURNITURE?

Yes. We are asked to work with pieces of furniture that are from a previous home. Sometimes this sets the style of the new interior. We can help by providing a scheme that coordinates some or all of the elements. Occasionally, if the new property really is quite different from where the furniture has come from, we could offer ideas on new pieces so they could be changed when funds allow, or possibly suggest small changes and updates to bring the old furniture up-to-date.

NEXT STEPS

We can provide various levels of service after the presentation. This involvement can be as flexible as you require and could include - ongoing guidance to help implement our designs, additional research, itemised specification or shopping lists, product or supplier web-links and other recommendations. Or using our experience and numerous proven specialist suppliers & contractors, we can produce written briefs & specifications, obtain estimates and oversee their works to ensure the designs are implemented as envisaged, planned & agreed. We can also work with your own team and help with aesthetic direction only when needed.

These additional management, sourcing and guidance services would be charged on an hourly basis. Usually we would submit a timesheet & invoice on a monthly basis or as appropriate for the works undertaken & agreed.

Furniture, lighting and materials that we source from our trade suppliers are generally inclusive of our time to specify and supply. This ensures the right items/styles are ordered to suit the design at no extra cost to you. Bespoke furniture and furnishings – such as curtains, blinds, upholstery and fitted joinery, including material supply, manufacture and installation, would ideally be co-ordinated and overseen by us personally to get the very best results. These items & services are then generally quoted inclusive of our project management time.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T LIKE THE DESIGN?

During the initial meeting and subsequent briefing session, we discuss your ideas thoroughly - this is one of the most important aspects of a personalised design. Don’t worry if you are not sure what you want, that’s why you’ve asked for help. Elaine asks questions to draw out a brief. Many clients find it useful to show us a look/style from magazines or reference a favourite visited location. Remember the more information you give, the closer your design will be to your taste. We would provide alternatives to a particular item presented should it be necessary, but we have NEVER had to re design a room!

WHAT AREA DO YOU COVER?

The main area we work in for practical project management once works start is the South Coast; Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Surrey. However we’re happy to travel further for just our design services. We offer a no-obligation first meeting ‘within’ an hour of our studio.