Why use an Interior
The designer's tasks include:
General Furniture Layout & Space Planning,
Choosing/Designing windows and doors,
Moldings and other architectural elements
Cabinet and built-in design
Fixtures, Audio Speakers
Tile choice and placement,
Stone Sourcing and Fabricating,
Paint, Wall Finishes,
Furniture Design and Purchase
Rugs and Carpeting
A design firm
has comprehensive expertise in all these areas, thus saving you money and assuring you the most beautiful and unique result.
What is the process?
appointment is a fact finding mission. We need to gather as much information as possible from you to ensure that we are
both working toward the same goal. At the second appointment, you are normally presented with layouts, samples and pictures
to review, sort out and approve. By the third appointment, you and we should be making decisions on the items
to be completed. Before the fourth appointment ordering should begin. Then, depending upon what is being completed,
additional appointments may be necessary for finalization. We will place your orders, follow-up, project manage, schedule
installations and follow-up on completion.
What will it cost?
Sandra Meyers Design charges an hourly rate for design services and cost plus 20% for products and services we are
asked to purchase. Weekly job reports and monthly billing are the norm.
How are hours computed?
Our designers actually have a "time clock" program on their computer desktop
where they "punch in" when they start working on your project and "punch out" when they stop.
It tracks to the second, rounding to the minute, and we punch out for all interruptions.
What about phone calls?
We don't charge separately for most
brief client phone calls and emails. Usually, when we call or write you, though, we have a question and we're in
the process of working on your plan or project-- in other words, "clocked in"--in that case we don't "clock
out" to make the call. If you call us when we're working on your plan, we stay "clocked in", too. Very important:
we clock out to pick up all other calls, eat lunch, go to the bathroom, etc. It's a crucial responsibility which is not
taken lightly. We don't log time for brief calls when "off the clock". Longer, more involved calls,
where we discuss specific aspects of your project are considered to be "meetings"--and are logged as
such. If not, we would have to waste an awful lot of time arranging face-to-face meetings to accomplish the same thing
What is billed?
The firm bills these items at an hourly rate: Setting
up client files, CAD planning and drafting, decorating plans, preparation for client meetings and all contact time --on the
phone, by mail, and in person--for your project (with, for example, your architect, lighting consultant, window purveyor,
the building inspector, your contractors, plumbers, meeting your shippers, your materials suppliers, etc., etc.), paperwork
and billing for your job, and all site visits, travel, online and other research, shopping, preparation (pulling and organizing
samples) and directing/delegating/overseeing the work of others as might be necessary. Questions/problems, should they arise,
regarding billing or other managerial aspects of the job are always handled "off the clock". You are not charged
for our initial visit.
What about expenses?
Since your job is configured at an hourly rate, your direct costs (furnishings, rugs, window treatments,
materials, labor, fabrication, shipping, handling, are billed. Postage, "outside, special, or excessive" copies,
photography, and other unusual expenses can be passed on to you if they become excessive. In reality, however,
our office costs are almost never billed.
Do you make a profit on furnishings?
We charge a 15% handling fee on any furnishings/finishes/labor we source or manage for
you. This amount covers the handling costs/returns/etc. that are associated with buying your furnishings. This
is also the same amount most general contractors will charge you. So you can decide who should source which materials. We
get 20-50% off retail for a huge number of furniture, rug, fabric, wall- and window-coverings and accessory manufacturers
and you will get those prices, lowering the cost of using our design services considerably. As a final detail, taxable items are taxed to you, and discounted furnishing items must
be taxed at the retail price.
Why should I build
a custom kitchen, when the semi-custom lines are cheaper?
We want you to get the best kitchen at the best price possible. However, when you get cost figures
from a kitchen showroom for your cabinets, they sometimes look a lot less expensive than the custom option we will often recommend.
This is not because we have a "special relationship" with our custom suppliers--the price is passed directly on
to you. You have to compare apples to apples regarding the custom features, though,--or you will not really have the
true comparison. "Semi-custom" usually means that the cabinets are priced in a stock size (3-inch increments for
width, 2 for height --but not all sizes are available in every line.
Changes are always possible, BUT every change you make in a "semi-custom" cabinet (interior, size,
features.) is usually a 15% increase (additive). All the "gingerbread" (millwork, hood, corbels, moldings, columns,
etc) is over-the-top expensive. Custom features like our back-bar slide-up are almost unheard-of. Inset doors
are more, excellent drawer slides are more , Your counter and hardware will be additional, too.
On the other hand, some custom builders are not equipped to apply catalyzed finishes,
so you may have to steer clear of custom if you want painted cabinets. Our custom shop offers catalyzed paint.
Finally, If the kitchen company makes
a design for you, they own it. It's "free" if you buy your cabinets from them, but to buy your plan from them and
build custom or buy elsewhere will usually cost $2-5000 Caution: some places have you sign a contract that you pay this even
if you don't take their plan. It makes it impossible to compare directly. Any price she gives you now is so preliminary (based
on linear feet, etc.) it will not even resemble the price you actually cough up in the end. Just as long as you know what
you are buying. The problem comes when you get really involved with a kitchen plan and then the price starts going up, and
you feel backed into a corner...in too deep to walk away.
If you dream
of a kitchen with a lot of special features and fitted cabinets, we recommend you have your own final kitchen plan in
hand when you shop prices. That way, any cost-saving recommendations your chosen purveyor might have can
be taken into consideration. She will likely redraft the plan to use their stock sizes, etc And she will have some good suggestions,