Design Process

  1. Phone Call Book Your Free Design Call Now

Either you’ve found my website, or been referred. You can send me an email or CLICK HERE to set up a phone call appointment. We’ll start off with a free phone consultation to discuss:

  1. General scope of your project
  2. Your goals
  3. The design process
  4. Your style
  5. Your investment plans
  6. Desired Timeframe
  7. General pricing

 

We can then set up our first consultation.

 

  1. Consultation

I meet with you in your home (or via Skype for remote work) for a collaborative client & designer work session. This is a working appointment where I provide you with valuable information, tips, advice, resources, and a solid direction for your design project.  We will take a tour of the spaces to be designed, either in real life or on paper &  go into details for your vision, investment, time frame & expectations. From this, we will land on a specific scope and level of service to fit your needs.  We will also review the terms of my Letter of Agreement which you will sign later.  2 hour meeting, $300.

  1. Proposal Outlining Project Scope and Estimated Design Fees

I outline the scope of work for the entire project, the design intent and goals, the estimated design fee, the required deposit to get started, the estimated timeline, and the terms and conditions. The Fee Proposal is approved and the design fee deposit is received to signal the start of the project. Please note that the Fee Proposal is not the same as the Design Plan or Design Presentation. The Fee Proposal needs to be approved and fee advance received before I begin your Design Plan. This is when the Letter of Agreement is signed and 50% deposit collected.

The process can split here, depending on whether or not the project requires plan design, or decorating or both.

 

Some parts may overlap, depending on the size and scope of the project.

 

 

 

BUILDING DESIGN

 

  1. Schematic Design

I will create a thorough list of project objectives, measure the affected spaces, draw base plans, develop schematic design options in 2-D and 3-D, and review options with the Client. The SD phase includes the following steps: Programming Meeting: Designer will review a checklist with the Client to collect complete information regarding desired size, function, and aesthetic of new or renovated spaces. Architect will measure existing house and create base drawings in 2-D and 3-D for use during design. Designer will create initial design options and review with Client in person.

 

  1. Design Development

The next step is to refine and revise. Once the Client selects a design direction, the Designer adds detail and incorporates requested changes. Selections are made for finish materials, fixtures, appliances, cabinetry, custom trimwork, etc . These are then reviewed in-person. The DD phase includes the following steps: Designer revises drawings based on Client feedback from SD phase. Designer reviews changes with Client.

 

  1. Pricing

Once the basic design is developed to the Client’s satisfaction, preliminary pricing may be obtained from professional contractors. During this phase, the Designer produces pricing drawings, assists in contractor selection, distributes drawings, and receives estimates. Pricing drawings include: A narrative description of project scope Floor plans and 3-D views that describe extent of demolition and new construction A list of specific products, fixtures, and materials to be included in the estimate as well as quantities of significant materials such as flooring, counter tops, and tile Instructions for preparation and itemization of estimates to facilitate comparison

 

  1. Construction Documents

Once preliminary pricing is received, the Client may wish to adjust the project scope to satisfy budget and time constraints. Changes are incorporated and the final design is detailed. The Designer will develop construction documents in accordance with the building codes and zoning ordinances having jurisdiction. The Designer will decide which drawings are necessary for construction. These may include: • Site plan • Ceiling plans • Zoning and code information for permitting • Door and window details • Demolition plans • Materials and fixtures lists • Floor plans • Construction details • Sections • General notes • Interior and exterior elevations

 

  1. Construction Phase

The Designer acts as the Client’s advocate during construction by answering contractor questions, interpreting the construction documents, and assisting with final product, material, and color selections. Most assistance by the Designer is provided remotely, via telephone and email, with approximately  3 site visits throughout.

 

INTERIOR DESIGN & DECORATING

 

  1. Site Measure And Planning Day

I will measure, document and photograph.  This may happen during the first consultation, if you decide at that time to officially start the project.

 

  1. Concept Development, Sourcing, Researching, Quotes + Estimates

The design concept is developed through a similar process as building design.  Plans, style boards, budget sheets and renderings, are produced, if requested. I begin to source all materials, fixtures and furnishings. I work closely with my trades people who provide estimates and quotes for their scope of work. They will each provide a written estimate outlining their scope of work and the cost for labor and/or materials. (These estimates will be presented to you in the Presentation Meeting.)  I generally allocate your budget, based on these estimates, product prices, and allowances for unknown items.

 

  1. Presentation

This is where I meet with you to go over the details of your custom design plan. This includes all drawings, color scheme, mood board, fabric samples, furniture selections and budget breakdown including estimated costs for any work by our trades and artisans. One revision is included and must be requested at this meeting. the balance of our design fee, plus 100% of the furnishings budget is required.

 

  1. Final Presentation

Meeting is sometimes needed if revisions were requested. This involves all the approved elements from the original Design Presentation, plus any new elements that were agreed upon and any revisions requested. Because I believe in collaboration between client and designer, as well as our trades and artisans, this presentation will address all of your wants and needs for your project, based on previous meetings and discussions. The Final Presentation includes working drawings, color scheme, all furnishings, fabric memos and detailed budget breakdown – item by item. It will all be laid out for you so that you will be able to visualize what the finished space will look like. Any adjustments to the budget due to revisions are agreed upon at this meeting

  1. Purchasing

In this step, I create all purchase orders, track orders, assess lead times, note any back-orders or discontinued items that may delay the project, and make decisions whether or not to re-select. Delivery will be coordinated for either the project location, or receiving company.

  1. Construction & Renovation

In this step contractors begin construction of your project. I collaborate with builders, vendors and fabricators and make site visits as necessary.

  1. Budget Review

I sometimes call a second budget meeting on larger projects. This is especially true if change orders were created at the request of the client. This is where I ensure that I are on track with budget. This step is usually not required for smaller projects.

 

  1. Receipt of Orders and Initial Installations

Items I ordered are received, inspected for damages, tagged and stored. Claims and reorders are made for any items that arrive damaged. I prefer to install on one day instead of several different deliveries arriving onsite, however, some custom items like window treatments will be installed prior to the big day.

  1. Furniture Installation and Styling

This is the big step when items are installed and styled for a beautiful and inspiring finish.

  1. Project Reveal

This is the exciting moment when I walk through the finished space and point out all the features and benefits of each item, discuss how to care for each piece and any warranties available (if any). There will be outstanding invoices from delivery companies, cleaning service, etc which I will present to you at the Client Closure Meeting.

  1. Final Walk Through

This may happen on the same day of the reveal or on a separate day.  Although I strive for perfection, mistakes can happen. The final walk through is where the client gets a chance to point out any deficiencies observed. Items that could have easily been missed during the exciting moment of the reveal

 

  1. Resolving Deficiencies

I coordinate with the trade person, subcontractor, or vendor involved to cure any deficiencies. Thankfully, this step is not needed in most cases, but I make sure that you will be happy with your finished space

  1. Client Closure Meeting

This is where we meet to close out the file for the project and where I present you with the final invoice. I make sure that you are fully satisfied with your new space.

 

I will also graciously ask for any feedback, reviews and referrals, and discuss any additional projects you would like to move forward with.

  1. Professional Photography

I will schedule a professional photographer to shoot pictures of the project, which I will also share with you. If I intend to have these pictures published in a local or national publication, I will discuss that with you and determine if you want your name disclosed or not.

FAQS & POLICIES

CAN I SHOP ON MY OWN? You have hired me to design and complete a vision for your space and I ask that you do not select or purchase items because that selection may not be a fit for the design, space, or budget. You will receive a detailed Specification for items to be purchased direct.

WHAT ADDITIONAL COSTS CAN I EXPECT? I do my best to give you a full cost outlook of each item, but additional costs such as storage, shipping, installation, or unexpected labor do occasionally happen.

DO YOU WORK WITH CONTRACTORS? I work with the contractors hired by the client. I love working with other design professionals to create your custom space. I prefer to use professionals that I have worked with on previous projects and can provide recommendations when necessary. AWDS does not provide contractor services; so independent contractors hired by the client are an integral part of the process.

HOW LONG DO PROJECTS NORMALLY LAST? This depends on the scope of the project and what is purchased. Occasionally there are delays caused by weather, vendor vacations, factory errors, and other unpredictable influences, that are out of my control. The client as well as all professionals hired to work on the project are expected to not cause unreasonable delays in the project.

HOW DO I PLACE AN ORDER? Once you receive a Proposal you have 3 days to either accept or decline the item. For acceptance, a signed copy of the proposal or approval  along with full payment (or credit card agreement) is required to place an order.  No item will be ordered by Designer until Designer receives signed proposal and full payment.

CAN I CHANGE MY MIND AFTER AN ORDER IS PLACED? Most often orders cannot be cancelled or refunded. In the event that a full refund can be attained you may cancel the order and receive a refund for the cost of the item minus the purchasing fee and any other applicable fees. You will be charged hourly for the time spent on cancelled orders. Custom orders are nonrefundable.

WHEN ARE PAYMENTS DUE? Proposals are due with payment within 3 days. Invoices for time billing and reimbursable expenses are due on receipt. Invoices more than 30 days past due will accrue a 10% late fee per month and all work will cease until invoice is paid.

WHAT IF I DECIDE MID-PROJECT I WANT TO ADD MORE TO THE SCOPE? Since I work hourly, increasing the scope is not a problem.

WHAT IF I HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT AN ITEM? Please bring these to my attention immediately and we will discuss your concerns and if necessary, find a more desirable solution.  The decision about what is purchased and installed in your home is ultimately yours.

WHAT ABOUT BUDGET? We can work within your budget, whether you are looking for a completely custom masterpiece or more along the lines of Pottery Barn or a mix of the two. Having a budget is very important for the project running smoothly and for your expectations to be met.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SPECIFICATION & PROPOSAL? A Specification is a document that I provide the details for you to purchase an item yourself. You will pay the vendor directly. A Proposal is a document where I am requesting payment for items so that I can purchase the item on your behalf. Proposals are payable to Annilee B Waterman.

HOW ARE ITEMS DELIVERED? Our policy is to perform one large installation of all your items. This includes all furniture and accessories purchased. Items purchased by Annilee B Waterman go to a receiving company, awaiting installation. It is our policy to not deliver items to client’s homes directly or in multiple trips. Construction materials and fixtures can be delivered to the job site, or picked up by contractors. Clients are responsible for all shipping, storage, & delivery fees.