Let's Begin At The Beginning
Stacey Lapuk, ASID
Sometimes we need to take a breath, and get down to basics. So here we go!
WHAT DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER DO?
The simple answer is we evaluate your needs, your architecture, functional requirements and style to create for you a home that tells your story beautifully and practically. Sometimes that means working with your architect at the onset of your project, other times it’s to simply help design and furnish a room.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
We are professionals. We have been educated and have over 35 years of experience doing our design work day in and day out. We have won awards for our designs. We can take your style, needs and dreams for your home, and make them a reality for you. We have resources beyond those of which you’re aware or have access, and we can gently push the design concept just a bit past your comfort zone to create something extraordinary – a truly unique and custom home made specifically for you
We can save you money. No expensive or embarrassing mistakes. Your furniture will fit, and be the right scale for your space; your colors will work and flow throughout your house. That gorgeous fabric you loved as a swatch doesn’t look quite the same when it’s a wall of drapery, does it? That perfect chair and fabric you found is faded and the cushions flat after just a year. Do you want to add to the landfill, or create what will be perfect and long-lasting for your home?
We can save you time. We know what needs to be done and in what order. We know where and to whom to go for what we need. We can anticipate (most!) obstacles. We know what might work, and what certainly won’t no matter how perfect it might seem.
We can provide for you the “wow” factor. We think outside the box. We are trained to think spatially and creatively. We pay attention to detail. We understand why something works, how to build a design that will measurably enhance your well-being and productivity. We create joy!
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
If you are building a new home, or remodeling an existing one the sooner you have an interior designer on the team the more design choices you’ll have and the less money you’ll spend.
When we see the architect’s drawings, we can all work together to be sure details are addressed that could become quite a bit more costly if attention were paid to them later in the building process.
The architect may not be aware of the need for floor electrical outlets to placed just so; or that the fireplace surround is going to require additional support due to its weight. The gorgeous ceiling detailing may not align with how the space will ultimately be used, or the kitchen may not accommodate 2 cooks at the same time (or a lower counter for kneading bread!).
The antique rugs you’ve had in your family for generations don’t have a room large enough to hold them, and the only wall space for your art collection is directly opposite bright windows where they will be damaged by the sun.
You may really want remote-controlled window shades, but the sills may not be deep enough to position them properly. And you really do need additional storage built into the room – might be a perfect place for window seats with drawers below.
In addition, the architect might want to specify a particular flooring material, or stone for the counters. We’ll want to be sure the texture and colors will work successfully with the fabrics and rugs you’ll want.
Think of creating a 3-dimensional painting in which you’ll get to live. All the parts – the colors, the type of paint, the forms, shapes and scale will need to work together. All the design should be sketched out together – both the architecture and the interiors. They all need to blend seamlessly, so the form of the building moves you comfortably to your perfect sofa.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT DESIGNER FOR ME?
The short answer is someone who has experience, has some sort of accreditation (ASID, IIDA), and most importantly, someone who you feel can really hear what you’re saying. Not simply the words, but truly gets what you’re trying to communicate, and understands the energy you’re looking for in your home.
Integrity, honesty, intuitiveness and creativity are also key. The designer should be your advocate, and have the ability to offer solutions in a range of quality and price points.
I wrote a short article that may be of help, “The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask When Hiring an Interior Designer”.
CAN AN INTERIOR DESIGNER BUY MORE THAN I CAN?
Yes. Much more. Not only are there a myriad of trade-only resources available to you through a professional designer, we can most-times access retail products at a discount, or go directly to the manufacturer, bypassing the enormous mark-ups retail shops need to include in their pricing.
As well, we can create custom furniture, custom rugs, custom lighting – really whatever might be needed for your unique design dreams. We have decades of building relationships with furniture makers, rug makers, upholsters, fabric houses, metal workers and just about any craft or artisan product you can imagine. This means the sizes will be perfect, the finishes just right, and the pieces completely designed and made just for you.
HOW DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER CHARGE?
There are a variety of ways in which designers are compensated for their work. After many years of trial and error, we’ve found that billing our clients a flat design fee whenever possible is most comfortable for our clients. Of course, this means there is a tight scope of work and we permit one round of revisions.
If that feels too unyielding for some clients who want more flexibility and time making decisions, billing on an hourly basis would be the way to go.. This provides more options in their design approach if required.
We earn our design fee for the intellectual property, creativity, experience and vetted sources we provide our clients.
Project management is always billed on an hourly basis, and product purchases are always completed through our firm. This assures that the procurement process is controlled and managed properly, your design concept is executed appropriately and your end result is beautiful. We problem-solve along the way when items arrive damaged or there is an issue with stock, shipping, dye lots and a myriad of other issues.
Call today to schedule your complimentary Design Discovery Call. We’d love to speak with you about how we might help you achieve your dream design for your home!
Stacey Lapuk, ASID is celebrating her 30th year with her firm. Named “One of America’s Ten Designers To Watch” by Design Times Magazine, one of the “Top 100 Interior Designer in North America” by Blink Art Resources, and the winner of multiple national design awards. Her goal is simple: To co-create with her clients the home of their dreams with responsive and comprehensive solutions, and timeless, beautiful results.
Her full service firm attracts clients desiring the finest workmanship, materials and custom design. Facets of work include partnering with architects on new construction, remodels, kitchen design and bath design, color consultation, custom furniture, flooring, area carpets, wall and window treatments, lighting design, art procurement and antique acquisition. Service areas include but are not limited to Marin County, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Ross, Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, San Rafael, and Pacific Heights.