Design Process

This document provides a detailed outline of the steps we’ll follow during the course of your project.

Step 1: Consultation

The design consultation is the launching pad for every new project. During this first meeting we will discuss the scope of your project, your goals and your budget. I’ll ask you questions to learn about your tastes, your lifestyle, and how you intend to use the space. Please make sure all decision-makers are at this meeting and budget two to three hours. Please have your questionnaire completed before the initial consult.

During the consultation we will cover:

  1. The scope of your project in detail.

This will include all the rooms involved in the project, how you intend to use each room, and your ideas and goals for each space.

  1. Your tastes, preferences, likes, dislikes, style and lifestyle.

I’ll ask lots of questions and we’ll look at pictures to focus in on your tastes.

  1. Budget.

It’s best to work out your finances and set an overall budget before you begin the project. If you are unsure about where to begin, I will work with you to determine your goals and set a realistic budget for your space.

Design fees are calculated separately from the budget.

  1. Design process and letter of agreement.

We will review the design process in detail and go over a sample letter of agreement so you know howthings will proceed every step of the way.

  1. Contact person assigned.

If there is more than one decision-making adult in the household you will assign one to be the contact person for the project. This person will be named in the letter of agreement as having authority to make decisions and sign off on work orders on behalf of both parties. This will also be the person I will have direct contact with and receive direction from during the course of the project. Because it is not always possible to meet with both people at the same time, the contact person will be responsible for communicating any ideas or decisions to his or her partner.

  1. Questions or concerns.

We will address any questions you might have about Marsha Sefcik Interiors or about your project.

Step 2: Letter of Agreement Signed and Deposit Paid

Shortly after the initial consultation you will receive a letter of agreement. The letter of agreement will detail the scope of the project, fee structure, policies and procedures, and designer and client responsibilities. Along with signing the letter you will be required to pay a deposit. The deposit will be credited against your final invoice at the end of the project. If there are two decision-making adults in the household both parties will be required to sign the letter. Once the signed letter and deposit are received by my office we will move forward to the next step.

Step 3: Site Measure & Trades Day

This day normally occurs within two weeks after the letter of agreement is received. I will take detailed measurements and photographs of all the spaces involved in your project. Where appropriate, I will also arrange to have the trades people who will be working on your project come in and take their own measurements for estimating purposes. While this is a busy day, it saves time down the road. Over the course of the project we will bring in any additional trades as necessary.

Step 4: Floor Plan

Carefully considered space planning is crucial to a well designed space. After all the measurements have been taken I will develop floor plans for each room. Floor plans allow us to determine what can fit in a space, how it is arranged, and the scale of each piece. The amount of time this takes will vary depending on the scale of your project. We will schedule a meeting during which we’ll review each floor plan and discuss the benefits of each.

It is helpful to have all decision-makers at this meeting.

Step 5: Design Scheme

Once we have decided on a floor plan, the next step is to create the design scheme. This starts with developing   a colour scheme and sourcing fabrics, furniture, fixtures and materials. Custom furniture and built-ins are designed and finishes chosen. Materials for flooring, counters and cabinetry are selected. Wall and floor coverings are considered. Window treatments are designed and fabrics, trims and hardware are chosen. A lighting plan is developed. Drawings, samples and pictures are gathered. Quotes and pricing are researched and cataloged.

In other words, this is where it all comes together and every detail is considered. At the end, you will be presented with carefully edited selections that represent the best choices for your space.

Throughout this step there will be a fair amount of communication and there may be intermediate meetings to discuss certain elements of the design. Creating the design scheme is a time-consuming process and will require several weeks, depending on the scope of your project.

Step 6: Presentation and Sign-Off

Once the design scheme is ready a presentation meeting will be scheduled. All decision-makers must be at this meeting. We will go through the design in detail and you will be presented with fabrics, drawings, photos and samples for each element in the design. For some elements you’ll be presented with two or three options. You will also be given a budget outlining the cost of each item. During the meeting you’ll provide feedback and we’ll narrow down the options to the best one for each element. If there are items that need to be re-sourced we’ll discuss the steps involved with that.

By the end of the meeting we should have a complete design scheme that meets your approval. If you still need time to consider your options you’ll have a week to mull things over . If you want to see, touch, feel or sit on some of your furniture options we can arrange a trip to the showroom. Timely approval of the design scheme is crucial for maintaining accurate pricing and ensuring the availability of some design elements (fabrics or antiques, for example). If the design is not approved in a timely manner there may be additional costs associated with replacing items that are no longer available. Once the design has been approved and all elements are finalized, we can begin executing the design.

Step 7: Scheduling

A time-table is developed for purchasing and ordering, work to be done by trades, and final installation. This schedule will be adjusted along the way to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Please be aware that most projects take several months to complete. The lead time on furniture alone can be 12-16 weeks.

Step 8: Work Orders & Purchasing

Before any trades are hired or items are purchased on your behalf you will receive a work order that details the work to be done or item to be purchased along with all known associated costs. (Freight and delivery are usually billed separately). Work orders are the safety net to make sure we stay on the same page throughout the design execution and nothing gets purchased without your approval.

You will receive two copies of each work order – one for your records, and one that you will sign and return to my office with a 50% deposit. For fabric, antiques and other off-the-shelf items payment must be made in full when the work order is approved. The balance on each order will be due when the merchandise is ready for delivery or when services provided by trades are substantially completed.

Step 9: Trades Begin Work

If there is work to be done by trades we schedule this to being as soon as possible. I manage the scheduling and oversee the work to make sure the design is executed properly and with the highest quality workmanship.

Step 10: Follow-up

Throughout the design process I manage the project and stay on top of the details. This step takes place as we’re nearing the end. It’s a cross check to make sure work by trades is underway or has been satisfactorily completed, all concerns have been addressed, furniture ordered, payments made, schedule on track, and no detail overlooked. We’ll schedule a brief meeting to review anything left outstanding or any changes that need to be made.

Step 11: Installation & Styling

This is where the vision becomes reality. All work by trades has been completed. Now the furniture is delivered, window treatments are installed, rugs laid, accessories placed and art hung. If it can be arranged, I have it all done on the same day so you get that “wow” effect when you come home.

Styling is what elevates your space to magazine quality status. It refers to adding those finishing touches and follows a different process than the rest of the design. Before the installation I’ll go to a number of stores and choose various accessories for your space. This could include art, lamps, throws, vases, candles, and other types of accessories. On installation day they’ll be placed throughout your space. I’ll provide you with the cost of each item and you’ll have a day or two to decide what you want to keep. You’ll pay for what’s staying and I’ll return anything you don’t want.

Step 12: Punch List

A punch list consists of all the little things at the end of a project that are left outstanding or need attention (such as paint touch-ups or a missing lamp). We’ll go through each room together and compile the list.

I’ll arrange to have each thing on the list addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible. If there’s something that’s not right, don’t worry… I’ll make sure it gets taken care of and you won’t be left high and dry.

Step 13: Miscellaneous Extras

This step is the catch-all for all the “while we’re at it we might as well…” things that get added to the to- do list throughout the project. These items will be handled in conjunction with the original project but will be budgeted and invoiced under a separate agreement as an addendum to the original contract. No additional work will be started without a signed agreement. Wherever possible additional work will be fit in to the schedule to maximize on time and materials.

Step 14: Et Voilà!

Relax, settle in and enjoy!