Frequently Asked Questions
What is your style?
This is probably the most common question I hear. However, as a professional interior designer, I believe it's fairly irrelevant. Allow me to explain why.
To make an analogy, you wouldn't expect a knowledgeable financial advisor to set up an investment plan similar to his or hers without considering your specific goals. Nor would that large-muscled trainer only train you for body building if that wasn't your objective. These professionals wouldn't put their personal preferences on a client. Instead, they draw from a broad base of knowledge in helping their client reach goals and objectives.
Similarly, an interior designer reflects the style, taste and preferences of the client.
As a professional, I make an assessment of the family lifestyle, personal preferences, budget, style of the home and multiple other factors in order to recommend the best furnishings or accessories for your home or office. I never impose my personal preference toward one particular style. I might have a style for furnishing my own home, but even then preferences of my family and the style of the house might precede my own.
What is more relevant is what style I typically design. By that, I mean, what resources do I use on a daily basis? Since I practice in the Bellevue, Seattle and greater Northwest area, my clients tend to prefer a modern/contemporary design with the warmth and comfort of a traditional look. This offers a casual, airy and spacious effect. There are a variety of styles that can be combined under our Northwest-style umbrella – from Arts & Crafts and Shaker to Danish Modern and Late Modernism.
I also have clients who enjoy creating traditional, Victorian and colonial style adaptations in their home; drawing on my extensive travel experience and European background, I am able to create lavish interiors adorned with fabrics and blends of finishes that invite one home and make a sense of belonging, tradition and history.
I don't want to create an illusion that the modern and traditional are the two styles I practice. I am equally passionate to create an English-Country kitchen, a Nantucket living room, a Beach house mud-room, or a Log-cabin entertainment room. The ability to create various themes that are unique to you, my client, styles that are reflective of your dreams and wishes, rooms that carry the only designer signature I'd expect – loved and cherished by the family for years to come – this is what I feel keeps me as designer on my toes.
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What do you charge?
The question of cost is obviously a very common question. While the short answer is inevitably "it depends," I will try to provide some general guidelines that might help you in deciding when to bring us on board.
Every project starts with a complimentary 45-minute consultation at our cozy studio in downtown Bellevue (see below). If you feel my design approach is a fit for enhancing your interiors–as so many loyal clients already have–the next step is meeting at your home. Here, I gather information to create a detailed fixed-rate proposal for transforming your space to reflect your refined tastes.
Based on thorough knowledge of practicing designers in the area, my hourly rate reflects a combination of the service quality (think Nordstrom's customer service combined with an array of unique brands vs. Macy's level) and my inner talent to discover, visualize, and deliver the solution. Combined with the swift turnaround times, my fixed fee proposals stay competitive and accurately reflect exceptional value I am able to deliver.
For projects of a smaller scope, such as an interior/exterior wall color consultation, we offer our aptitude at an hourly rate of $145. This allows you access to as much or little of our expertise as you need.
As to the question, how much the entire project would cost; the rule of thumb is that the interior décor of the house runs from 25% to 35% of the real-estate value of the house. Major portion of this budget would typically cover master bedroom suite, living, dining, and family rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms are essential parts of the house, thus their remodeling/update is guided by a separate investment schedule.
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Do you offer a free consultation?
For new clients, we offer a complimentary 45-minute consultation at our studio. This gives us a chance to get to know one another and discuss the project and ways that we can help you; we can both ask questions and see if our services fit your style. This complimentary session can be scheduled Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm, or Saturday 9:30 am to 4 pm.
You are welcome to bring photos, dimensions of the room/rooms you would like to work on, your idea book or any other materials that help convey your lifestyle and preferences.
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What services do you offer and how are you different?
I offer interior design services for residential clients and design/build community. I work with new construction and renovation of primary and secondary homes and condos. In addition to typical living spaces within the home (bedrooms suites and family rooms), I design the following specialty areas: kitchens, bathrooms, kids bedrooms, meditation spaces, spas, home offices, home theaters, wine cellars, and home health care and fitness areas.
I am able to:
pinpoint client's needs faster
Through my unique design process I analyze ten to twenty design options for each project, involve my clients in a fun and enticing design discovery of their tastes, and consequently deliver the best comprehensive design solutions for their home or a room. All of these benefits heighten when delivered in efficient manner.
support short turnarounds with fewer revisions
I am trained and experienced to be fast and efficient when it comes to various sides of design and project management. The design process I have polished combined with my ability to visualize the space in its complete form, and inner sense of client’s style and preferences allows me to guide my clients through the stages of the design process faster and more accurately.
deliver exceptional results the first time.
The breadth of professional contacts through practice and active involvement with AIA, NKBA, and ASID; continuous market research on new products, and keen ability to visualize a space in its completed stage saves you months in research and frustration; and ensures that your place will look what you've always envisioned it to be.
Here is a sample of areas of expertise that I offer to my clients:
- Color scheme consultations
- Space planning
- Kitchen cabinets design and layout
- Bathroom/spa planning and design
- Interior detailing of wall, floor, and ceiling designs
- Design of tile layout and other wall/surface solutions
- Custom design of furniture, drapery and accessories
- Long-term project and lifestyle planning
- Selection/specification of appliances, plumbing fixtures and materials
- Electrical, and mechanical specifications
- Audio/visual and communication technology
- Construction documents and specifications
- Ergonomics and design for aging-in-place
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What are you days and hours of operation?
Our studio in downtown Bellevue is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10 am - 6pm; Wednesday and Saturday we are open by appointment only. Appointments for a complimentary session as well as consultations are highly recommended as we might be out of the office to visit a showroom or meet with the clients. If you would like to have a color consultation, it is best to meet during the daylight hours.
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How to make an appointment?
To make an appointment, please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 646 6483 with the following information:
- Your name
- Your address (project's location)
- Contact info – phone and/or e-mail
- Briefly describe your project
- How soon you would like to start and complete the project.
- Days of the week you would like to meet.
We are looking forward to speaking with you soon.
Idée Chic Design
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