WHY WORK WITH ME
- I provide WOW results.
- I can both hand sketch on the fly or draft a fully workable set of construction drawings to communicate my design.
- I save you time and money
- I save marriages. So I’ve been told.
Everyday there are interior projects being done without interior designers as part of the team. It’s true, (sigh) projects can be done without a designer’s expertise. Not every project warrants my skills and resources and that is okay with me.
BUT, simply put, if you want to do something out of the ordinary, skip the cookie-cutter show home look and create something that is truly special, AND have fun along the way – then you MUST have an interior designer as part of your team. If you haven’t worked with a professionally accredited interior designer before, prepare to be wowed.
Universal Technical Skills
It’s my firm belief that as a designer you may have a natural talent for style, and your passion for design may have made you an incredibly creative person – but if you can’t communicate those ideas to first your client, and then to a build team, your talent is worthless to others. In fact, you can do more damage than good.
Imagine being sold this super creative idea but then have it not fit within your budget – or worse, have a plan not informed by a process that will bring it to fruition, so it just creates disappointment, project overruns and frustration to ALL parties.
This is why I chose the BEST and TOUGHEST design degree program in Western Canada to attend: Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Interior Design and Foundations in Applied Design. At the time, it was the only program in British Columbia accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Prior to this I had attended the Building Technology program at British Columbia’s Institute of Technology where I majored in Architecture.
My natural abilities and my passion for design got me into the programs, but it’s the technical skills I learned there that make it possible for me to make your dream spaces a reality and the project a pleasure for the entire team.
Even though most of my career has been spent hand drafting, with an actual drafting board and ink pens, in the past decade I have embraced the technology that allows me to be more efficient and productive and reduce errors.
Technology has not only streamlined my design process, making my services more cost effective, it has also made me a better designer. I can create powerful documents that communicate much more effectively and foster better collaboration. And they use WAY less paper and take up less space!
Modern Collaboration and Communication
Early in the process, I like to use image-sharing sites like Houzz and Pinterest with my clients to understand their vision and share broad-stroke ideas. I also use a tablet that travels with me everywhere and has your personal selections and specifications at my fingertips, cutting back not only on wasted paper, but the time it takes to locate loose paperwork when specifying options for a project.
I’m able to send, save and update drawings such elevations and floor plans online. I use tools that store on the cloud, allowing me to access information at a client’s home, a construction site, showrooms or wherever your project takes me.
For most of my clients, I use digital design boards to communicate the vision and cohesiveness of a palette – and to illustrate how each component works with the rest of the space.
This isn’t to say I’m not able to produce a beautiful design board. They still have their place when it makes sense for a project, and I enjoy making them. But in many cases I find clients don’t want to invest in having a designer spend time gluing surfaces, floor plans and textiles on a presentation board. I can do it quickly and efficiently electronically, and changes or additions can be done immediately.
I use a slick, scalable, efficient interior design specific software tool called Studio Webware – an integrated specification, ordering, accounting and contact management system. The cloud-based system offers detailed proposals for my clients that provide specifications, pricing and even images attached so you can visually see what you are ordering. Communication and orders are sent through the same enterprise system to the fabricators and manufacturers, ensuring proper checks and balances.
The system saves time needed to re-enter information and reduces errors from omitting or transposing information. It also provides my clients with real-time information about what’s been ordered and paid for and when it’s due to arrive.
I use a very powerful 3D rendering program called Sketchup. I use the PRO version, but a free version is available to all so you can have fun with it too! When I send you your 3D image, you can either view it as a regular jpeg or print it out as a document or view it through the Sketchup program and “fly through it.”
I also use a nifty little online collaborative tool, where we can share ideas for your space and make decisions. All comments are kept in one easy-to-find location, so you don’t have to search through your entire email inbox to find that one message where I answer your question about how high the dining room light fixture should be installed. I get rave reviews from clients about how user-friendly this system is.
So the next time you’re out shopping and can’t remember what it was I recommended for this or for that, you can pull up your entire project on your smart phone and there’s your answer! It’s a lot easier than trying to remember everything yourself, and much more cost effective than carrying me around with you. Better for your back too!
Passionate On-Site Advocacy
I’ve been on hundreds of construction sites. I know the lay of the land – and have the steel toe boots and hardhat to prove it. I know the terms and I know how to work with a team.
When acting as a client’s on-site advocate and communicating with the builders, I like to foster open collaboration and lead with grace. I will embody the vision we have created and work tirelessly on your behalf to make your space a reality.
Looking at 2D construction drawings and hearing terms such as “mullion” and “plinth base” can be off-putting and confusing – especially if it’s your first time building a custom home or doing a renovation. I can help you with this trade-talk. It’s one of my favourite subjects.
Transparency and Design Billing
I take great joy in extending my trade discounts to my clients. I am not a salesperson – I’m a designer, so I make my living solely on my ability to collaborate with you and bring our vision to a treasured reality.
Never will you have to question my motive for recommending a particular product or service. It is always in the best interest of your project and your satisfaction, not because I make a percentage on your purchases or receive kickbacks. Trade discounts range from 10% – 50% and apply to lighting, plumbing, appliances, paint, window treatment, fabric, flooring, wall coverings, tile and furniture.
My fee proposals are based on my best guess at a range of time required to effectively design and execute your project. If I spend less time than estimated, my invoice will reflect that decrease. Estimated time will increase only if scope of work changes or the unforeseen happens. Regardless, all increases will be discussed and approved before commencing additional work.
I bill hourly at $125.00 an hour, and my invoices indicate time/date and description of work completed.
I make a promise to you and I keep it
I end all of my fee proposals with this promise – and I mean it with all my heart:
“After detailed analysis and dynamic collaboration with you and local trades/resources, I will create a space that provides comfort in function, beauty in form and delight in details, all uniquely tailored to you and executed within your means. Through my 20 years of experience in the industry and with the comprehensive local and global database of design manufacturers and trades, that I have meticulously built relations with over all these years, I am able to give you a lifetime value through your interior and my never ending service to you. It is always an honor to be invited into the design process of my client’s homes or businesses and together we will joyfully create a space that will eloquently speak to you as well as for you.”
Excitement is Contagious
I love what I do, and it shows.
Isn’t it frustrating when someone is good at their profession and it goes to their head, making them hard to work with? I think so. You will find I’m focused and conscientious, but never stuffy. Fun and outgoing, but never relaxed about details and service.
Call me when you want something extraordinary. I love delivering!