1. What does an Interior Designer do?
a. Interior Designers and Decorators bring life to interior spaces and upgrade their aesthetical and practical features. While Interior Decorators mostly focus on the visual aspect of a room, Interior Designers rethink the space distribution as well as its practicality and organization.
b. Some of the work of an Interior Designer resembles that of an Architect, as it has more to do with construction work rather than aesthetical embellishments; meaning Interior Designers have to understand and comply with all current and applicable building regulations. Interior Designers may also provide consulting services selections such as color choices and interior/exterior finishes. A full service Interior Designer completes the Projects with furniture, wall, floor and window coverings as well as art and accessories.
2. When should I hire an Interior Designer?
a. By the time a client comes to see us, a great majority have already lost countless hours trying to figure out how to come up with a design plan on their own. The reasons are always the same: They just didn’t have the time, resources, contacts or training to make their vision a reality.
b. We, at Gayle Lee & Company, are masters in our trade. We design and manage projects every day; and literally make it our business to stay up to date on all of the latest trends, contacts and exclusive resources. In addition, we work efficiently and can help keep your project moving forward so that you don’t see time spent with no progress.
c. You’ll know it’s time to call an Interior Designer when the contractor is trying to bid your project accurately and cannot accomplish this due to the lack of decisions on finish materials, placements, etc.
d. Or when you are feeling completely overwhelmed with the decisions and selections that you are asked to provide.
e. Or even at the final stage, when the sofa you ordered online ends up consuming most of your living room and you are scratching your head trying to figure out how or if you can return it.
3. I live outside of the Portland area. Can you still work for me?
a. With our industry becoming more and more relatable in a digital format, working from a distance has become increasingly common place. However, we have learned a few guidelines to help us to insure the success of your project.
b. Good communication is essential between an Interior Designer, an Architect, a General Contractor and, of course, the client on any endeavor, but especially so on out-of-town sites.
c. Remote projects require everyone to have clear expectations from the onset. We cannot meet on-site with one day’s notice, but we use technology such as phone or videoconferencing. Planning ahead is paramount.
d. We require on-site visits at key stages in construction to insure that the design concept is being followed and the quality of work meets our standards.
4. How do we get started working with you?
a. We like to have an in depth telephone conversation in order for you to get a sense of our knowledge and experience and also for us to get a good sense of you and your project.
b. If we both feel that we would like to pursue the opportunity, we are happy to offer a no obligation, complementary home visit to allow us both to get a sense of personality, duties and responsibilities and also the scope of work that you are looking for us to achieve.
5. What happens during the first consultation?
a. Typically, depending on the size and scope of the project we like to allow for a reasonable amount of time to get a good understanding of what your needs are and how we can help. We will discuss your aesthetics, your lifestyle and how you would like the space(s) to function.
b. If we are a good fit, we will then create our Contract for you to review for approval and once that is received, we will start our process.
6. How involved in the process will I need to be?
a. Every client is different in this regard. In the beginning, we like to have enough time with you to understand your needs, tastes and style. Some clients like to be involved throughout the process; others like to have us narrow choices and provide them with concepts, designs, products and finishes for their feedback. We are comfortable working in either of these scenarios.
7. How can an Interior Designer save me money?
a. We have direct accounts with hundreds of manufacturers and vendors across the country so we buy on a wholesale level, which means that anything that our clients purchase through us will be billed to our clients at our cost plus mark-up that ends up being less than buying items through retail vendors. The end result is a savings for our clients.
8. Why do I need an Interior Designer if I already have an architect?
a. Even though in many subjects, an Interior Designer and an Architect have crossover knowledge, which gives them a solid base of communication. However, there are many differences in the scope of work between the two. Each professional brings their expertise and focus to the table so that the end result shows a complete, well-orchestrated and thought out project.