Frequently Asked Questions
When should I hire a designer?
There are many ways to approach this question. Specifically, because there are a wide variety of scenarios of when to bring on a designer. Several of these may include:
Prior to purchasing a home - If you’ve found a house that you really like but you need that extra push or validation; this is a good time to bring in a designer. Your designer can help you think of the best usage of space, with on the spot spatial planning suggestions. If your designer is good, you will leave with a solid understanding + a vision of how best to utilize your prospective new home.
If you a have a solid sense of design and need a sounding board to bounce your ideas off of, that's also a useful time to bring in a designer. This is typically what we call the consulting option: you present us your ideas, and we let you know if they are crazy or not.
If you are considering a home remodel or decorating project, we would encourage you to engage a designer sooner rather than later. We are here to help you from preventing purchasing mistakes.
The one thing we will say is that you should hire a designer, before you hire a contractor. There are several reasons for this. First of all, designers usually have trusted contractors they work with that they can supply as options for you. Second, the designer you hire will help you develop the full scope of work and have a fully flushed out design plan; it is important to know what this looks like before you start collecting bids so that the bids you receive are accurate.
If you already have contractor prospects of your own, we can help you navigate the negotiation process and educate you on what to expect. We can also verify if the costs proposed are in alignment with normal spend.
What should I do before I contact an Interior Designer?
Prior to hiring a designer you should consider your budget, rough scope of work, and timeline. We can help you determine these as well, but if you have these items in mind it can help us, help you.
We always encourage clients to find inspirational photos and start to compile them as a way to survey their thoughts on what they want for their space. Once you have a sense of what your goals are and what changes you would like to make, you are ready to engage a designer.
How much involvement will I have in the design process?
We initially will want to understand your style and vibe, which is best communicated through inspiration images. We will ask you to create a Pinterest board to inform us of your dream space(s). After that, it is up to you how much you would like to be involved, each client is different. We welcome DIYer’s or the hands off no fluff type.
Do you work with licensed and insured contractors and tradespeople?
Yes. We only work with thoroughly vetted, licensed, and insured trades people.
Have you ever dealt with a co-op board?
Yes. We have dealt with many co-op boards (both as designers as well as Sarah's real estate expertise in working with buyers and sellers throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn).
Part of our process includes guiding clients through submitting their alteration agreements, floor plans, etc to the board. We work with architects that will provide plans for your building’s architect to review and assess as needed.
One of the first things we ask for when we sign a new client on, is for the alteration agreement for their building.
What cities do you work in?
We work throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California.
How are purchases for the project handled?
We use a system through Houzz Pro to collect payment, for both our services and any furnishings, wall coverings, floor coverings, materials, etc. You can submit with credit card or ACH directly through the invoice we send you, or transfer through Zelle.
Is there a contract?
Yes we will sign a contract with you at the beginning of the project. By doing so it helps set appropriate expectations, responsibilities, and diligence on both sides of the project (yours and ours).