The responsibilities and capabilities of an "interior designer" can vary depending on who you ask. The term "decorator" often gets used interchangeably with "designer" and can cause some confusion. A decorator typically deals with furniture, accessories, fabrics, and sometimes finishes. Whereas an interior designer deals with the technical aspects of pulling an interior space together. Hiring a decorator can be sufficient if your goal is to simply update an existing space with furnishings and paint. However, if you're undergoing a project that involves construction, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional designer.
An interior designer is able to provide drawings and specifications so your builder can efficiently and effectively execute the design. Since renovating and building is such an investment, it's important to hire to right people so you know what you're getting in the end, and to avoid costly mistakes during construction.
A Registered Interior Designer, on the other hand, has undergone the education, experience, and examination requirements recognized by the province (IDIBC). "RID's are proficient in interior design principles including building systems, construction standards, codes, space planning, design development, contract administration, project coordination and professional practice."
You can read more about IDIBC and Registered Interior Designers here.
Every project starts out with a discovery call and an in-home consultation. If we both decide to move forward with the project, we will prepare a scope of work and a contract for your review. Once everything is signed and we have received the retainer, we’re in full project-mode! At Studio Ash, we follow a comprehensive 5-step process for our full-service design projects. This allows us to ensure everything is accounted for and gives you the peace of mind you need while undergoing your project.
Read more about our intensive 5-step process here.
We have found through years of experience, that the design process runs smoother, and your design dollars go a lot further, when we fully manage the project after learning your needs and desires for your home. That being said, we always value our clients' ideas and input, which ensures that the space will reflect your style and lifestyle. Before we begin the project, we will discuss how you prefer to work, and craft the proposal with that in mind. With your trust and guidance, we can do all the work and take care of all the nitty-gritty details while we communicate with you along the way.
Early in the process, we will discuss your target budget, which is the total amount you hope to spend on the project. At the same time, we help you create your wishlist, which is an itemized list of everything you would like to achieve. Unfortunately, the target budget and wish list rarely align, which is understandable – if you haven’t built or renovated in a while (or ever), how are you supposed to know what a new kitchen costs?
During the design phase, we will source everything on your wishlist while choosing items that align with your quality expectations (a $1,000 faucet vs a $300 faucet), while staying as close to your original target budget as possible. We will then present our design which includes everything on your wish list. You can then choose to eliminate items or rooms, separate the project into phases, or continue with the design as presented. Whatever you’re most comfortable with!
Many homeowners don't realize that they should hire an interior designer from the very start of a project. From the time you even begin to dream about your new home or renovation, the help and guidance of an interior designer will make all the difference!
How far in advance you should get in touch with us depends on your project size, type, and scope. However, in general, for small renovations and decorating/furnishing projects you should aim to reach out 6-9 months before your desired completion date. For large renovations and new builds we should start planning 8-12 months before your desired construction start date. Keep in mind that industry delays and decreased availability means projects are taking longer these days. If you’re hiring an architect, you should contact us once you have preliminary floor plans in the works.
So, the short answer is, hire a designer right away! The earlier we get involved, the smoother the process will run. Also, the longer you wait, the less value and impact your designer can have. Some decisions will have already been made, potentially eliminating the ability to carry out unique, custom designs.
Before our meeting, make sure to have an open conversation with all members of the household. Discuss the scope of work, budget, priorities and goals, and ensure there is agreement on the points that are important to each person. It helps to make a list to ensure nothing is forgotten during our meeting – it goes by quickly!
It isn’t essential, but selecting photos of spaces you like and would like to use as inspiration can give us a better understanding of your personal tastes and expectations. Pinterest and Houzz are great resources for images.
1. Start by booking a free 15-minute discovery call. We are happy to answer your questions and explain our design process.
2. Once you decide we’re a good fit, we can then decide on a mutual date and time to meet in your home for the initial consultation. If you have been collecting any ideas about your style and preference, this is a great time to share them with us. Discuss your ideas with your spouse or other decision makers. It also helps to determine what you would like to spend on your project and the timeframe for completion.
3. During the consultation, we will discuss the services we offer to determine which package is best for you and your project.
To get started, send us a message here, or click the button below to schedule a discovery call!
Since each project is different, our full-service projects are priced out as a customized flat fee. After we meet to discuss the scope for your project, we will provide you with a project proposal tailored specifically to your project and design needs. Clients will typically budget $5-7 per square foot for large scale renovations and new construction projects. Our à la carte packages are priced by-the-hour with a $3,000 project minimum. Alternatively, we offer a two-hour in-home consultation for $400.
The services we offer can be as comprehensive as you want them to be. We can handle every aspect of your project, from initial space planning through to interior styling (see our Full-Service package). Rather, you’re welcome to select our services on an hourly, à la carte basis if you would rather handle some aspects on your own. No matter what your project size or budget, you will always receive 100% commitment from us.