One of the first things to think about when hiring a decorator is whether or not the decorator can execute your personal style. But what does that even mean? Many of my clients don’t quite know their style, as they have never decorated before, yet alone the style that makes sense with their partner’s style, with the style of their home and with how they live in their home. Don’t worry, though, we’ll help you through this.
The first step is for you to take a look at our Portfolio. Our projects are generally more modern but always focus on the client’s style versus our personal style. Each project is different and has unique parameters (a funky piece of art we have to incorporate, a low budget, an oddly-shaped room, four kids and two dogs, you get the idea…) but if you like the general look and feel of our work, then we are likely a good fit! We pride ourselves on the fact that no two clients are the same and no two projects are the same – each client’s home has a unique look and feel that is special for them. So, you likely won’t find a project that you want your home to look like exactly and that’s our goal!
While each project is unique, we have found that all of our clients share these key style elements: comfortably modern, tastefully colorful, a touch of whimsy, a unique look, bold elements, mixing old and new, and, above all else, trust.
There are two key elements in making decisions when working with a decorator – listening and trust. The designer needs to listen and the client needs to trust. We try really hard to listen to what you are saying, thinking beyond what you are saying to what you need even when you might not know what you need, and then translating that into your space. Many of our clients don’t have the vision to see what we are recommending. We use several different ways to try to show this, but, ultimately, we need your trust so that we can execute your vision. Again, if you like what you see on our website portfolio, know that many of those clients allowed us to take risks to get their spaces to look like that! They too couldn’t fully see the final outcome but are thrilled with it!
While we need your trust, we also fully value your time and money and therefore get your sign off when making design decisions. We try to limit our risk by sourcing items that are from local stores where you can see and sit on the pieces of furniture, and by sourcing items that can be returned. Not everything can be this way though so some items that are purchased are non-returnable.
Oh, how we wish we could say everything would go perfectly, things would arrive on time and intact and nothing would ever go wrong. I would definitely have the ideal job if that were true! We try to avoid issues like this, but they are inherent to this process. Half of our job is to design and the other half is to problem solve. We maintain great relationships with our vendors so that we can problem solve when bad things do happen. We just need you to be patient and have perspective about the issue arises. Some have happened to us before and we know exactly how to handle it, while others we have never experienced and we will have to resolve it accordingly. There is always a solution though. We try to keep things in perspective which allows us to work calmly and quickly to resolve an issue. It may be a total inconvenience for you, and we apologize ahead of time for that. If you don’t think you have the bandwith in your life right now for these hiccups, then this might not be the right time for you to undergo a decorating or renovation project. We just can’t promise perfection – decorating is an inherently imperfect adventure.
Costs, Sources and Custom Items
When Nicole started this company, she thought of who she would hire if she were still a busy lawyer with a huge interest in design, little time to decorate her own home and some, but not unlimited, financial resources to hire someone to help. With that mindset, we strive to provide the best value to our clients. To us this means taking the following well-rounded approach when it come to costs, sourcing and custom items.
- We shop retail stores with local showrooms like Room and Board, Design Within Reach, Crate and Barrel, CB2, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. These stores are wonderful for providing well-made furnishings at an accessible price point and, in the DC area, showrooms where you can try the furniture out and purchase directly through trusted sales teams we work with all the time.
- We shop local vintage stores, flea markets and independent shops. These items add that unique, funky, inspired layer to your home. And, support some of our favorite local small businesses.
- We work with local art galleries and artists. This gives us access to new artists and works and a relationship that lets us bring the art into your home before purchasing it.
- We love sourcing on the Internet. But are really wary of it too. We source from several online retailers who provide access to cool products, good customer service, great return policies and quick shipping. We don’t source from certain sites that have poor return policies, crappy customer service and pieces that from our experience are not well made.
- We work with as many local vendors as possible to give you access to a team of local, trusted industry professionals. Our relationships with our wallpaper installer, electricians, painters, contractors, framers and so many other craftsmen are key to implementing our ideas. We are always happy to work with a trusted craftsmen of your own.
- We pass through any trade discounts to you, which we believe keeps our interests best aligned allowing us to get the most for your space.