18 Things to Remember When Working with Your Designer…
This list is for clients or potential clients who have never worked with a designer. I love HGTV as much as the next person, but the convenient editing and "made for TV" timeframes/budgets can paint an unrealistic picture of what to actually expect. For this reason, I decided to share a list comprised of helpful hints gathered from myself (and other designers) on how to get the most out of working with us. There is a method to our "creative madness" and the end goal is always a beautiful space and a happy client. Without further ado, here are 18 things to remember when working with your designer...
#1 OUR GOAL
We want you to be thrilled with the final product! We will strive to exceed your expectations. ***Remember this!***
#2 MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
We like to receive initial inquiries through email. This is where a potential client reaches out and gives us a little information about why they are interested in our services. Once we read the inquiry, we will respond by email. If we feel that we can potentially meet a potential client's needs, then we will schedule a discovery phone call (at no charge to our potential client). This is when we gather more details about the client's needs and share our process and fees with them. If all parties feel that this is a good fit, then we will schedule a consultation. This necessary process allows all parties to learn as much as possible about one another before investing time and/or money. This is a mutually beneficial process that ensures a wonderful working relationship between clients and their designer.
#3 CAN WE HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH
We require a signed service agreement before getting started on your project. We also require written approval (along with required payments) before ordering materials, merchandise, or services on your behalf. We will send a service agreement prior to the initial consultation, so that there is plenty of time for clients to read it, sign it, and have it ready to give back to us at the end of the initial consultation. This allows us to get started without delay.
#4 MUTUAL RESPECT
Communication is the key to a successful project. Respect is equally important. We believe in timely, open, and accurate communication. We also value our personal time as well as the personal time of our client's, project related trades, and service providers. For this reason, non-emergencies will be addressed during normal business hours.
#5 PROBLEM SOLVING
Things will go wrong. This is not an exact science. Our team has the experience to address and resolve any issues we may encounter.
#6 NO STRESS
Enjoy the process! Don’t stress! That’s our job!
#7 TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Timely decisions will keep your project moving. Timelines slip and product availability changes when decisions are delayed.
#8 BE PROMPT
Prompt payment of deposits and invoices will keep your project on track. Slow payments cause the project to lose momentum. Please be courteous and pay on time.
#9 DOES THE SHOE FIT
Just because you love something doesn’t mean it’s right for you or your home. We will provide you with form, fit, and functional design.
#10 TOO MANY COOKS
Your friends, neighbors or extended family members are not your designer. Too many opinions, even from well-meaning people, end up costing you time and money. You have hired us. Trust us.
#11 PERFECTLY IMPERFECT
People build things, create things, and install things. The items for your project are no exception. There are industry tolerances for construction, furnishings, and fabrics. It is our job to determine what is within the industry standard based on our experience. If a product or service does not fall within industry standard, then we will do everything in our power to have items repaired or replaced. Each vendor, manufacturer, or tradesman is ultimately responsible for their product or service. However, we will still do our best to hold them accountable.
#12 BEST GUESTIMATES
Lead times are quoted by our suppliers and contractors. We do not set ship dates or completion dates. Please be prepared for longer lead times as many factors can impact timelines.
#13 FINAL SALE
Custom and special-order items cannot be returned. Items that can be returned must be returned within the manufacturer's required timeframe (restocking fee/billable hours to make returns may apply).
#14 YOUR PERSONAL SHOPPER
We have invested our time and talents building relationships with trusted vendors and in finding the best pieces for your space. We do everything that we can to find the best pricing, but we may not always catch every online sale. We prefer that you make design related purchases through us. This ensures that neither quality nor design are compromised. It also shows that you respect and support our small business. We promise to be good stewards when purchasing for your project. Cheaper is not always better in regards to quality or overall costs (remember that our hourly rate needs to be considered when calculating overall savings). We take all of these factors into account when choosing the perfect items for your space.
#15 “SURPRISE” IS NOT AN EMERGENCY
Birthdays, holidays, parties, and guests do not speed up your project. We want to complete your project in a timely manner. Rushing our team and applying pressure does not change the schedule. However, it does take the joy out of the project. Please be patient and allow us the time needed to get it right.
#16 EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
Items can be backordered or discontinued without warning. If this occurs, we will work quickly to source a comparable replacement. In our experience, this usually happens for a reason and our clients often fall in love with Plan B.
#17 STEP BY STEP
Your items will be handled multiple times on the journey to your home, their final destination. Shipping, receiving, delivery and installation are four separate services and may be invoiced as such.
#18 THE BIG REVEAL
We understand how exciting Installation Day is for you. It’s exciting for us, too. We will invite you to see the finished product as soon as it is complete. Please refrain from critiquing during an installation. We are happy to make reasonable adjustments (if needed) after everything is in place!