Frequently Asked Questions
What is the design process?
Every project begins with an Initial Consultation. This is an up to two-hour working meeting that takes place in your home. During this time, we will gather as much information as possible about your needs and desires for the space. We will listen to your ideas, discuss the design process and provide you with solid ideas and a direction for your project. We will email you a Scope of Work that clearly outlines your project requirements within 3-5 business days following the consultation. If we decide to move forward together on your project, upon signing of our contract and the receipt of a retainer, we will begin working on your behalf. We will prepare a full design plan with every detail, including drawings, furnishings, finishes, fabrics, and the budget breakdown for your final approval (one revision included). We will require 75% of the budget and signing of our Letter of Agreement to move forward with the purchasing and project management phase. We provide a turn-key service, so all you need to do it sit back, relax, and enjoy the process.
FYI - It helps if all decision makers are present at the consultation, to receive everyone's input and vision for the space. Determining your budget is a key component, so be prepared to talk about an overall budget. If you need help setting a budget, we are happy to guide you through the process. We like to set expectations from the very beginning and therefore we will discuss your vision, your budget, your timeframe, how we work, and our fee structure at our initial meeting.
How involved will I have to be in the design process?
We will discuss at the Initial Consultation how you prefer to work, and create the Scope of Work with that in mind. We enjoy working with all personalities where some clients like to be very hands-on and involved in the process, or some who prefer to entrust everything into our very capable hands. We have found, through years of experience, that the design process runs smoother, and your design dollars go further, when we fully manage the project after learning your needs and desires for your home. We value our clients’ ideas and input which ensures that the space will reflect their style and lifestyle. We will present you with great choices and options, make recommendations and guide you through decisions while educating you in the process. We strive to make the process simple and fun for our clients. We take a very personable approach, and make it an enjoyable collaboration. We do all the work and take care of all the details.
Who are your typical clients?
Our typical clients are busy professionals who appreciate a beautifully designed, highly functional space, but lack the vision and time required to create this. Our clients desire a home that is their sanctuary; one that will complement their lifestyle and provide them with a haven to relax, recharge, and enjoy time spent with family and friends.
Do you offer free consultations?
We do charge a non-refundable fee of $475 for our initial consultation since we are blocking out a specific date and time on our calendar and traveling to your home to assess the space, make recommendations, give you solid design advice and direction, and put together a proposal for you. Most clients understand that this is a minimal cost compared to not calling in a professional from the beginning and ending up making a costly mistake. Clients have thanked us for the information and guidance that they receive during our consultations, and for them, it is absolutely worth the small investment into making their home one that they can be proud of.
What is included in the initial consultation?
After the initial phone conversation, once we have determined that we prospectively are a good fit, the next step is the initial consultation. The appointment lasts up to two hours. We will take a tour of your entire home, and focus on the rooms to be decorated. We discuss your needs, your vision, budget, time frame and expectations and make recommendations for improving the space. The consultation fee is due at the time you call to book your appointment. We will email a Scope of Work outlining the design work required for your project within 3-5 business days. After reviewing and approving the Scope of Work, a signed contract and receipt of retainer are required in order to begin the design process. We will meet again in a few weeks to review the full design plan for your project. One revision is included.
What are your design fees?
At Andrea McQueen Design, our expertise is quantified in increments of time. Our fees are charged by the hour and invoices for design services are issued on the 15th and 30th of every month, or the next business day. We are confident that we provide our clients with exceptional value and strive to move your project forward quickly and efficiently, saving you valuable time and money. We are also proud to share our trade discounts and preferred pricing with clients, which can significantly offset design fees. Please contact us for more information.
How do I get started?
The first step is to gather all your favorite design ideas, colors and style preferences. Take some time to start a Pinterest Board, and look through design magazines and books. Determine the feel and function you would like for the room. Discuss your ideas with your spouse or any other decision makers. It also helps to determine the budget and time frame for completion. Or you can simply call us to schedule your Initial Consultation.
How long will my project take?
Depending on the Scope of Work, your project could last anywhere from 4 weeks to 18 weeks - longer if there is construction and remodeling involved. We will discuss the timeframe with you before before the project begins.
Can I use my existing furnishings?
Yes! In fact, we encourage clients to incorporate some of the pieces that they already own. This is what makes for a homey and unique design. We respect our clients' desire to repurpose and reuse pieces as much as possible. With that said, we are also very honest about what works and what doesn't - for example if a piece is just too big for the room, we may have to move it to another room where it may work better.
Can I change my mind if I've ordered a custom piece?
Custom orders cannot be canceled. These orders require extra time, special handling and skilled artisans to create a unique piece just for you, and for that reason manufacturers will not be able to cancel once they are ordered. Most stocked items can be canceled but usually with a restocking fee that ranges from 15% to 35% depending on the vendor.
Do you work with small budgets?
We work with clients to help them decide a suitable budget for their needs and strive to help you get the best value for your money. For those with smaller budgets, we often find that booking a 2-hour Initial Consultation is sufficient to kick start their project and point them in the right direction. This Consultation Only is a great option for the DIY client! In order to ensure our clients are getting the most out of working with us, we do have a minimum design fee of $5000, we also find that in order that that fee to be best put to use for our clients, a minimum furnishing fee of $20,000 is recommend.