Frequently asked questions
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A DESIGNER?
ASAP! The Designer should help you make decisions long before any Contractor is involved. We’re not just plush fabrics and luxury furniture; our job is also to help you plan the best layout, possibly structural decisions and lighting plans. Without looking at these prior to the renovation starting you could make huge compromises or costly mistakes. You’re investing in this space to enjoy for the foreseeable future, and rushed decisions can be bad ones; it is vital to allow sufficient time for the whole design to come together.
HOW MUCH DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER COST?
We work on an hourly rate and we’ll give you an estimated minimum based on what we discuss in our meeting prior to commencing. Other than adding value through beautiful design, see ‘Why hire an Interior Designer’ (LINK) to understand how a Professional Interior Designer can actually save you money.
HOW MUCH INPUT WOULD I HAVE?
We create spaces that are Client focused so we encourage you to give a detailed brief and to talk about your home lifestyle, or aspirations for your business. If you have an idea please share it and we’ll be here to help work out if it’ll work for the space or the overall look and feel we want to achieve. LINK to briefing the Designer
WHAT IS THE DESIGN PROCESS?
In order to reach the final design for your Interior, we’ll go through several different stages, each requiring decisions for your consideration. Check out a more detailed insight on our Design and Services page. (link)
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE INITIAL MEETING?
This is our chance to understand and get an overview of your vision and what you’d want to get out of the process. See our article on how to come prepared. link
HOW LONG WILL THE PROCESS TAKE FROM START TO FINISH?
Until we have a good idea of the work to be done and the design specification, we can’t really give you a super accurate answer. Does it have ‘Minor Construction’ work or ‘Major Construction’ work? Or, is it an ‘Interior Refresh’ only? Roughly for a small ‘Refresh’ we would allow at least 3 months and a ‘Larger Renovation’ 6 months. Keep in mind first there’ll be weeks of ‘Design Process’ and many decisions to be made and plans drawn up so that we can get Contractors to quote before even booking them in. They then need to be lined up alongside the lead times of products to be installed. We can sit down and work out a rough timeline dependant on what’s involved. Link?
HOW DO I HIRE CONTRACTORS?
We can provide you with the details of Tradesmen with whom we’ve worked with or (dependant on location) we have a network of Colleagues to whom we can turn to for recommendations. We’re also happy to work with Tradesmen’s you source. We always encourage getting multiple quotes and you’d be hiring all main Contractors directly, and therefore need to make the decision on who to hire. We can though assist in gathering quotes and managing where needed. See level of service (Link to other question)
WILL I BE ABLE TO SEE WHAT THE ROOM LOOKS LIKE BEFORE INSTALLATION?
As well as creating floorplans for initial space planning, we present creative mood boards, 2D wall plans and visuals which will give a good idea of the overall look, scale and layout. If you’d like a 3D rendering we work with Digital Artists to create these on request.
WILL I BE ABLE TO SEE ALL THE PRODUCTS BEFORE PURCHASE?
We digitally present all products through the software Ivy, with images and costs. You’ll then approve all pieces individually, whilst seeing visuals, so you can see how it looks together and you know you’re happy with all the pieces. Keep in mind many products will be sourced from Trade suppliers or Dealers all over the world and we won’t necessarily be able to pop in a Showroom to see the pieces physically. Rest assured we’ve attended many Interior Tradeshows and Showrooms to see these brands and the quality of products ourselves. The main exception we often make is with Sofas for which we can arrange meetings at Showrooms. We also have great relationships with Brand Managers who can guide us in selecting pieces based on your physical needs.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE FROM?
Each year we attend some of the most inspiring Interior Trade Shows such as Decorex London and Maison et Objet Paris to find interesting and wonderful brands to work with. We then have exclusive Trade only accounts with a variety of brands, and we cherry pick from Retail suppliers for the right pieces. When we want something with real charm and history we use our little black book of Antique businesses across the world. Some of the most unique items come from special bespoke pieces we commission from talented craftspeople, so if we can’t find that perfect piece we can get it made or have a cherished piece updated. See what I found inspiring on some of my show trips (Link)
HOW MUCH SHOULD MY BUDGET BE?
Budget questions should come into the conversation at the very beginning, it doesn’t benefit anyone to start working on a project, only to find out the budget is too small or too large. We know budgets can be tough to talk about and we also feel like reality TV has blurred the lines between affordability, timeliness, and realistic expectations. Social media is flooded with beautiful examples of interiors and it’s easy to look at something and think ‘that is what I want’ without considering the level of skill, time and expertise that went into achieving it, and the price tag that came with it. Being level headed and realistic about how far you can stretch will save you time and frustration and it will give your Designer and installation team a fair chance to manage your Project. Think of it like this, are we shopping at ‘Ikea, ‘John Lewis’ or ‘Harrods’? Of course not literally, but this will give you a good idea of how different the price points can be when sourcing. Do we need to be savvy to create something special, or do you want complete luxury and bespoke? Once an amount is allocated to the sourcing we’ll then work within this. All products will be presented through the software Ivy and sometimes there may be multiple options to choose from. You can then either accept or decline an item and see the total price change at the bottom.
The Designer, Architects, Joiners, Electricians, Plumbers, Tilers, Flooring Fitters, Decorators, etc. What you spend here depends on the scope of the Project. Is it a ‘basic refresh’, ‘minor construction’ or ‘major construction’. We would advise a minimum of 30% of your budget; very dependent on the work needing to be completed and we suggest getting multiple quotes, but also that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best one to go with.
Usually an Interior Designer works out at 5-15% of the Project budget, but this is dependent on the scale of work involved, changes made to the design, level of service, and site or showroom visits required.
WOULD YOU TAKE ON A PROJECT OUTSIDE OF THE NORTH WEST?
We’re based in the beautiful Ribble Valley in Lancashire, so inevitably most of the work we complete is in and around this and the surrounding areas of Yorkshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and Cheshire. We do however work on Projects further afield across the country and beyond with Clients who love our work, from a bar in London to a Holiday Home in Europe. To make the Process efficient we have become adept at using technology to its best.
With services from Consultations to Full Service Interiors Design and Project Management, get in touch (link to contact form) to see how Magpye Creative Interiors can elevate you home or business.