What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
I work with custom design, there are no two items alike. For example, shutters are more expensive that blinds. Dust ruffles are more expensive than a pillow. Draperies have numerous styles from simple to elaborate. It is on a project by project basis. A custom sofa with quality cushions and fabric is much better that something at a "pre chosen fabric furniture store". So there cannot be a one price fits all situations. I go out to the home and measure when I am doing furniture and windows in the home, and in some cases an installer may need to come out and measure, esp. blinds and shutters or roman shades. For Staging, the pricing goes by square feet and the amount of items in a home. There are estimates, and that I go over with you at the initial consultation. Most of my work is custom.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I just got back from Jacksonville getting nationally certified in staging (and redesign which is what my specialty is).
I recently went to one of my vendors and took a continuing education class on carpeting. Early on I was told you either have it or you do not have a design ability, I believe, as long as we have a vision, the rest is easy.
I particularly love redesign, (working with what you already have and adding to it to make it fabulous).
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I went to college in New Orleans where I studied art and drama, and attended a private art school in Florida. I have been interested in art all my life. I know how to paint a painting as well as pick a wall color or fabrics. I have a love of fine arts and luckily I have been able to travel to Europe and Asia as well as all over the United States. This shows in my interior design style. I came upon my design ability quite by accident. Even though I originally wanted to pursue fine arts I worked in Banking and as a sales rep for a national company. When I got married and moved to Japan I hired an interior designer, she told me that the only thing she could advise me to do was to become a designer myself when I got back to the U.S. That is what I did.
What types of customers have you worked with?
That is a very difficult question, in design, each day is a new experience. No two people are alike and no two jobs are alike. That is what makes this all so interesting for me.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I was the manager/ coordinator at two national companies. I enjoyed working for several years in the design industry. I really enjoy being on my own now. Most recently I met a gentleman through Thumbtack, he happens to be from the same area in Maryland that I am. I was so pleased that our paths crossed each other and that I could assist him with his new home in Ormond Beach.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
The best thing is to invite them to your home for a consultation. Have a file with photos from magazines or the internet as well as information on what you need to accomplish with your project. Exactly what are you expecting, what is your budget, and what time frame are you looking at. Are you getting ready for a special occasion or do you just need to update. What lifestyle do you live, casual, entertain frequetly, large family? All of this will better prepare the answers that you need.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
I have been in this business for years. When you hire me for a project I will do my best to make it as effortless as possible for you and your family. I can be as involved as you need me to be.