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Hiring a Contractor For your Next Project? You Need THIS!

You’ve decided to redo your 70’s style master bathroom. You’ve done your due diligence hiring a contractor. What’s missing?

You need an Interior Designer.

Why, you ask? Your contractor knows about scheduling a job. Your contractor knows about bringing in the different trades. Your contractor knows about installation. Your contractor knows about permits and codes. And sure, your contractor knows a little about design. But your project is going to cost money and “a little about design” is the difference between a functional bathroom and a functional bathroom that looks beautiful as well. It is also the difference between a bathroom for anybody and a bathroom designed especially for you.

Hiring a conractor

How can an interior designer help in your next project? Here are five main things we do…

We help with the selection of materials

We ask lots of questions. In the case of a master bathroom redo, we’ll ask about budget, showering habits, the look and feel of the room, likes and dislikes. Depending upon your decision making, and time constraints, we may bring you selections to choose from, or bring you to different showrooms to see what is available. We will help you hone in on the selections you like and the look you are wanting to achieve.

We can let you know if you are getting a fair price from your contractor

We have worked with many different contractors and know what the average prices are to do a renovation based on this area and the scope of your job.

We will check in all the items ordered through us

We do this to make sure the contractor has everything he/she needs prior to starting the job. For a bathroom project, this includes tile, plumbing, wall finishes, countertops, cabinets, lighting, etc. Mistakes happen. The faucet finish comes in wrong. A part doesn’t ship. Tile arrives and the color is off. We find the errors and work quickly to have them resolved so your job can begin on time.

We communicate with the contractor and with you

If something doesn’t look correct, we are the contractor’s first point of contact. You don’t have to worry about dealing with any issues that arise. In turn, we will keep you in the loop, but we are the problem solvers.

We will inspect the work

We will make visits onsite on a regular basis to make sure things are being done correctly and as you expect.

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With today’s technology, we do projects where the homeowner hasn’t moved in yet, is traveling, or works and can’t keep an eye on the project. No matter what the client involvement is, we will keep your project moving smoothly.

Hiring a contractor

Working With an Interior Designer

Have you worked with an Interior Designer in the past, or are you considering working with one for the first time?

We’ve put together some of our TOP TIPS for you when working with an Interior Designer so that you can make the most of your time and investment. These are in no particular order as we think they are all important and helpful.

Before you go on, however, please read our blog, How Do I Find An Interior Designer?

BUDGET

Have a budget in mind? Let’s say you want to design your family room and one of your first purchases will be a sofa. Sofas range in price from $599 up to amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We would never sell a sofa for $599 because it will be junk and you will want to get rid of it within the year. And we have never sold a sofa on that high end either. A decent quality sofa will start at around $2,700 and the price will go up from there.

Often times a client will ask us what a room may cost and we will provide that information. Ideally, if you can provide us with a range, we will be able to tell you if we can do what you are looking for within that range. If your budget is $10,000 and you want new flooring, window treatments, a sofa, chairs, tables and decorative painting, we will also let you know that we cannot do all of those items for that price and we may suggest you begin with the floors.

We want to provide you with quality items and workmanship so that years from now you don’t have to replace everything because it has fallen apart.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

You are hiring professionals with many years of experience. You may come into a project thinking you know exactly what you want to do, but we ask that you keep an open mind as our job is to provide you with ideas that you may never have considered. A key part of the design process is open communication.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE AND WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE

We will often ask clients what they currently like in their home and what they don’t like. This gives us an idea of your preferred style. Again, open communication is important with this step.

PRIORITIES

You may have a long list of what you would like to do in your home and we will often ask for your priority items to get the project started.

LEAVE THE WORRYING TO US

We’re really good at it. But seriously, you are hiring a professional with experience. We’re used to Murphy’s Law and can handle stressful situations. When decisions are being made and once decisions have been made, we will guide you through the design process. We will let you know if a fabric won’t work on a sofa, when the scale of a faucet won’t work in your application, if a paint color will make your home dark. We will do our very best to make sure the final product is something that you will fall in love with.

ASK QUESTIONS AND GIVE FEEDBACK

We’re not mind readers. We want you to ask questions and provide us with feedback. Open communication is something we strive for to make the design process an enjoyable thing.

HAVE FUN

Too often, we see people go into this process like it is torture. One of the reasons you are hiring a designer is to take the pressure off yourself. Our best outcomes have been achieved when the client truly enjoys the process and has fun with it.

Working with an interior designer

How Do I Find An Interior Designer?

You’re reading this, so you may have a home project and are looking to work with a professional Interior Designer. You may be asking yourself some questions like, How do I find an Interior Designer? or, What is the difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator? You can see the answer to this question in one of our previous blogs entitled, Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator to learn about the differences. When trying to find an Interior Designer, this is what we would suggest.

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Ask Around

If you love someone’s home, ask them if they worked with an Interior Designer. Referrals have always been our best source for quality clients. Ask friends and relatives to share their experiences when working with an Interior Designer.

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Look Online

It is helpful to see the range of an Interior Designer’s work, and the best way to do that is to get on their website and look at their portfolio page. Like what you see? You’ll want to get more information. Other helpful information on the internet? Reviews! Does the designer have any? What are people saying?

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Speak to the Designer By Phone

Consider this a phone interview. See if you like their method of communication. Ask lots of questions. Find out how they bill their clients. Make sure you are comfortable with their pricing methods. If you decide this is someone you would consider for your project, schedule an appointment.

How Do I Find An Interior Designer? Set Up an Appointment

How do I find an Interior Designer?If you’ve liked everything so far, it’s time to meet with the Designer. Find out if they charge for that first appointment so there are no surprises later on. Often times when an Interior Designer charges for the first appointment they are giving out ideas and letting you know what they can do for you. Simply put, this exchange of information is valuable. This is a good time to make sure your personalities work together. Are you comfortable with this person? Is this someone you can trust? How long have they been in business? Do you like their initial ideas about your space?

If you’ve met with more than one designer, it is time to gather all your information to decide who you want to work with and who best suits your needs. Like anything else, don’t go by price alone. Experience in the design business means that a company has stood the test of time. Selecting an Interior Designer requires some homework on your part. In the long run, some upfront work on your part can help to make your project a successful one.

Painting Inside Your Home? You’ll Want to Check Out Our Top Tuesday Tips

Painting in your homeIt’s time to consider painting your home and you may not be sure where to begin. Our Top Tuesday Tip would be to hire an Interior Designer to help with the process. This is true for many reasons.

Top Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer When Painting Inside Your Home

EXPERIENCE – We know that shade blue. We know you’re going to hate it when it’s on the walls. Yes, we’ve used Revere Pewter and know you are going to love it.
FOLLOW UP – That color we selected is first put on your walls and you panic. We will follow up to ease your worries or to say, yes, that needs to be a little bit lighter or just wait until it dries, you will love it.
RECOMMENDATIONS – We can recommend painters who are trained, licensed and insured. Of course we will work with your painter as well
IN WRITING – We will provide you with a worksheet that you can give to your painted that will map out the paint colors and finishes for your project
SAMPLE BOARDS – We will provide you with large sample boards so you can see what the potential colors look like (more about sample boards below)
DECORATIVE PAINTING – We work with a team of expert decorative painters who can do basically any finish on your walls. They will provide sample boards (for a fee) so you will know exactly what your finish will look like

Our second Top Tuesday Tip when painting your home is always, always, always use A SAMPLE BOARD. You can do this, or we can do it for you. We always purchase the smallest quantity of the paint or paints you are considering to use. We will then paint posterboard or foam core with theses paints. The beauty of these samples is that you can really see what the paint will look like in different areas of a room in different lighting. We see all too often that people select colors based on those teeny tiny swatches and end up making costly mistakes. Or, they paint many different colors directly to the wall and have no idea what the color will look like in other parts of the room. You may spend some dollars up front for the sample boards, but they will end up costing less in the long run.

Painting in Potomac
This Potomac home has an open floor plan that called for a single wall color throughout the “public spaces” of the home. The moulding was accented with a Benjamin Moore White in a semigloss finish that added definition to the space. The fireplace wall was accented with a color that highlighted the height of the ceilings, coordinated with the stone of the fireplace and made the beautiful artwork stand out.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Rug – A Great Accessory for the Oscars and Your Home

See How to Roll Out a Great Rug in Your Home

The 2019 Oscars are this Sunday and  we can’t help but think of the glamour on the red carpet. Over the years, we haven’t used any red carpet, but we have rolled out some wonderful rugs for our clients.

When the right rug is found, it’s almost like A Star is Born. Often times, clients tell us it’s The Favourite part of their room! Yes, a few remind us of a Bohemian Rhapsody (See what we did there?!) Here are some rugs we’ve used over the years… all purchased from C.G. Coe & Son Inc.  

A Great Rug, Like a Great Movie, Survives the Test of Time

Here are some rugs we’ve used over the years… all purchased from C.G. Coe & Son Inc. Twenty-seven are shown here. And since we are on the topic of movies, that reminds us of the movie 27 Dresses, which did not receive an Oscar, but did take a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Comedy in 2009.

Best of Bethesda 201910 quality rug rugs3

When working with our clients, it is important to select a quality rug that comes with quality service. Rugs can be expensive, and it is critical to find a rug that will stand the test of time. And of course, as interior designers, we want that rug to look wonderful as well!

Use Carpets or Area Rugs for a Pop of Color or Pattern

When a rug is selected, it serves as the “jumping off point” in a room. A rug can provide color in a room. These rug colors can drive the colors in the rest of the room through fabrics, paint, wallpaper, window treatments, etc.

An example of a rug providing color is shown below. Because this rug is bold in its colors, we chose to pair it with neutral wall colors, furniture and accessories.

Colorful Rug

A rug can also provide pattern in family room like the one shown below. The black and cream colored pattern in this rug pairs well with the black and white furniture and the gray color of the walls. Yellow pillows and the vibrant but soothing natural artwork provide the pops of color needed to keep the room from being boring. See our blog, “The Layering Process – A bedroom Takes Shape”, that shows how a patterned rug was the jumping off point from which all other items were selected for a guest bedroom.

patterned rug

Finally, a rug can add texture to a room as shown in this picture. A simple gray textured rug was chosen to set off the black, gray and white in the room. The artwork really stands out with this neutral palette.

textured rug

Of course, rugs aren’t limited to color, pattern, or texture… they can include a combination of the three. Rugs are also not limited to family rooms; you can use kitchen/dining room rugs, bedroom rugs, runners and even outdoor rugs to boost your home decor

When selecting a rug, we like to go with our client to help them with the selection process. As they find ones they like, we provide them with ideas of what will work with the rug in terms of fabrics, colors, etc.

We help to guide our clients through the rug selection process as it can be overwhelming without the help of a professional. Once some are selected as potential “likes”, we feel it is important to see these rugs in the clients’ home with their lighting, flooring and any existing furniture. It is not wise to purchase a rug in a showroom. When you get it home, you may be very surprised and disappointed.

Once a rug is selected, we get to work to provide the client with fabrics and wall colors that will complete the room package.

We’d like to end with our

Top Three Things to Look For When Selecting a Rug:

  1. Quality – find one that will last and hold up to the demands of your home
  2. Style – select a rug that makes you smile when you enter a room
  3. Service – purchase from a company who will answer your calls and show up at your door if there is a problem

Thanks for reading. If you decide to watch, enjoy the Oscars! If you decide to purchase a rug or make any other changes to your home, give us a call.