Frequently asked questions about Designing Women
Q. What exactly do you do?
A. When people call and ask this question we always ask them what they are hoping we can help them with. Whatever the problem, we can usually solve it and more and if we can't we can usually point you in the direction of someone who can. We are house doctors - so we make your home feel better, look better and work better!
Q. Where do you work?
A. Although our office is located at Northbridge, we design all over Sydney and beyond: Lower North Shore, Upper North shore, Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs, South Sydney and South Coast, Inner West, Western Sydney, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Central Coast and further.
We are more than happy to visit clients in outerlying areas and charge a travel fee to cover our time and costs for fuel etc. However, we will always provide you with an estimate for our costs upfront.
We do in fact have clients throughout Australia via our Design by Distance" service where we can provide a long distance service via various media eg. internet, photos, telephone communication, emailed plans.
Q. I just want some help picking some colours and placing my furniture. Is that something you can help me with?
A. Absolutely. At designing women we offer a whole range of services and are happy to assist with colours, furniture placement, or designing a whole house. We get involved as much or as little as you require.
Q. How much do you charge?
A. At Designing Women we realise that each project is different, so it follows that our quotations and fees also differ. However, when you call us and talk through your needs we can give you an initial consultation price and send you our scale of fees with more information including lots of things to think about for your particular project. For work required subsequent to this consultation, we provide you with a project plan and projected costs. We are very conscious that our time is your money so we make sure that you get great value. Our fees are hourly based and very reasonable - and are a sensible investment in your home, your lifestyle and your peace of mind!
Q. I am doing some renovations to my home. At what stage should I involve a designer?
A. Good question! By involving a designer in the planning stages, it can save a lot of money and costly mistakes can be avoided. We work with your architect and/or builder to incorporate your design ideas at the planning stage.
Q. Do you have a showroom or organise meetings with suppliers to help us choose colours, finishes & PC items?
A. Yes we do both. If you are within travelling distance from our design studio, we can arrange for you to visit. Our design studio is full of resources to help you choose carpets, fabrics, colours, mix and match handles, cupboards and more. We also have a huge reference library which is great for developing ideas and styles. Often we will select a range of resources based on your brief for you to consider or alternatively arrange for suppliers visits. It all depends on you and the brief you provide.
Q. I have never used a designer before, what do you do?
A. Although we often start with the kitchen, bathrooms & living areas, we offer space planning and design solutions for the whole home....inside and out. We guide you through the myriad of decisions that have to be made during the course of your project, allowing you to choose the level of service you require with no obligation to proceed further.
Q. I don't know how to put together a brief. What do you need from me as a client?
A. Don't worry, we help you every step of the way. Our first meeting is a brain storming exercise where we exchange ideas, define needs and assess priorities. This meeting is the first critical step to devloping a good design brief and applies to all areas of the home. We take a holistic look at your project which generally includes space planning, traffic flows, furniture placement and existing constraints. We help you crystalise your priorities and define the design brief. The design concept comes from our fundamental "F" words (link)
Q. I would like some design advice about my kitchen, but feel I am quite capable of working with the kitchen manufacturer myself. Can you draw plans that I could take to a manufacturer?
A. Yes, we can work with you to develop a design and provide you with preliminary sketches or detailed plans. Your manufacturer will use these plans as a starting point but will develop the design details with you. These plans may vary depending on your choice of materials, appliances, flooring etc. There are some pitfalls to be aware of, but we will provide you with information sheets to help you through.
Q. I have a lounge room that opens out to the garden. Do you design outdoor entertaining areas?
A. Yes we do. We can address all design arenas including landscapes and outdoor living spaces. These days great importance is placed on outdoor living, which is why we like to take a holistic approach to design. The flow between indoor and outdoor space is extremely important and all areas must work together. In our experience areas that are designed in isolation do not work as well.
Q. What sort of style does Designing Women specialise in?
A. We don't have a particular style...we're here to help you develop yours. All of our designers bring different talents to our team and from our initial conversation with you, we try and match you to the designer that we feel best meets your needs.
Q. I have so much "stuff" and need help to declutter and organise it all - can you help?
A. Yes! We can help you to "declutter". We actually have a "declutterer" on our team who can come into your home and give you as much or as little help as you need to sort out what to keep, what to throw, what to store and how to get organised. She can work with you alone or in conjuction with a designer if you are also renovating or thinking of building new storage solutions etc.