Renovation Resources

Estimating a Renovation Fee Before the Renovation

When starting a renovation project, figuring out the cost is one of the most daunting tasks. Estimating the renovation fee involved in remodeling your home, your office or your business can be stressful and make you want to tear out your hair. Thankfully, there are tools out there that can make the process easier.

Before starting your home remodel, you can estimate the cost your project by using an online remodeling calculator. Most calculators, like the one linked, will ask you for a few specifics regarding your project (is it a bathroom remodel? Kitchen? What’s the square footage involved?) and your ZIP code to give you general costs for your area. For instance, say you were doing a remodel of your 300 square foot kitchen. You want mid-range materials and appliances, and there’s some partial demolition involved. You happen to live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas. The average cost would come out to be around fifteen thousand. You must remember though, that these numbers are including the compensation fees of the workers you’ve hired, not just the materials needed to complete the job. These calculators are often able to be used to estimate costs for businesses as well, so don’t think they can only be used for home renovations.

If you don’t want to trust a computer, however, than you can always look at the average prices of work and material in your area. You can generally expect to pay around $70 an hour for a carpenter, while a painter would be paid around $25 to $35 an hour. Electricians, if your job calls of one, can average between $70 and $90 dollars.

Cost of materials are generally simple to figure out by simply perusing the hardware and do-it-yourself stores in your area, such as Home Depot. Do some research on your contractor to find where they get their materials and how much they cost. Paying more than $2 per square foot of fiberglass insulation is much more than the national average, so make sure your contractor allows you to know the materials and costs as a way to keep track of where your funds are going.

Don’t forget to factor in costs that aren’t usual for simple renovations. According to the Houston Chronicle which recently posted an article about renovation costs:

Factors that can raise your costs include rezoning issues, seismic upgrading, installation of new air conditioning, exterior refinishing and the addition of handicapped-accessible entrances.

Knowing these costs ahead of time will help in your renovation cost estimation. Always be thorough in your checking of your home or business before your start your project, so you can anticipate additional costs ahead of time. However, as a buffer, try to put aside a small part of your budget for contingency: a just-in-case fund, for any unforeseen problems that may occur.

If you are planning a future remodel for you home, office or business feel free to contact us.

Considering the Pros and Cons of Ready-Made vs Custom Furniture

When it comes to furnishing your home or business, you have the option of using custom-made or ready-made furniture. Often, people don’t give enough consideration to the idea of decorating using custom furniture; there is a general perception that it is a costly extravagance. In truth, both types of furniture offer pros and cons, and it’s important to understand the differences fully before making a final decision.

Furniture which uniquely reflects your personality or business

While ready-made furniture may allow a degree of choices regarding color, styles, and fabrics, the most obvious advantage of having a custom-made piece is that it will be the only one of its kind. By working with a designer, you will be able to create something that is an accurate reflection of you, your home, or the business concept you wish to promote. A custom piece can blend seamlessly with your existing decor or make a bold statement and be a conversation piece.

The perfect fit and maximum efficiency

Two of biggest advantages of having something made for a given area is the flexibility you have in making sure it conforms exactly to the required size or shape and the ability to maximize the potential use of space.

Quality and durability

By commissioning a custom-made piece of furniture, you are not only able to contribute creatively, but you are also able to pick out all of the materials used. You have the final decision on the wood and fabrics utilized, and the result will be something of lasting quality. In contrast, ready-made furniture is often made using pressboard or plywood and will not have the same quality and durability as a custom piece. However, consider whether the furniture will be in an area of high traffic or have children or animals using it; in this instance, investing in something easily replaceable might be the best option. By its very design, ready-made furniture is also more lightweight and therefore easier to move.


Generally speaking, factory-produced, ready-made furniture will be available much more quickly, with wait times ranging from none to a couple of weeks, if you have selected a color or style not immediately in stock. Conversely, a custom-made item could take months or years depending on the popularity and schedules of the designer and carpenter. If your need is immediate, it’s clear that you cannot opt to wait for something to be custom-made. However, if you have the luxury of time, it’s worth evaluating whether purchasing something less expensive, but that may wear out and need replacing, truly saves more money in the long run.


When it comes to price, ready-made furniture will have more easily available replacement parts and typically cost less than having something made; although, not necessarily by as much as you might think. Built into the cost of ready-made furniture are the overheads of the cost of materials, running the factories, transportation, and profits made by the middlemen. Taking these things into account, you may find that having a custom-designed piece of furniture, of higher durability and quality, is not that much more expensive after all. Also, while ready-made furniture will only depreciate with time, a quality custom piece may turn out to be an investment that increases in value.

No matter your budget or furnishing needs, please contact us so that our team of experts can help you create the perfect balance between beauty and functionality.

Why Does a Good Restaurant Designer Cost So Much?

Why does a good restaurant designer cost so much? Why should you have to pay an architect or interior designer just for a consultation? After all, isn’t interior design simply a matter of picking color palettes and furniture that you like, putting it all together in one place and calling it a day?

Not exactly.

There’s a great deal more involved with interior design, and it can have far-reaching effects on your business. A study conducted in 2014 found that the interior design of a restaurant is one of the most important factors influencing customer satisfaction.

Your restaurant’s look and feel is a part of your brand, and you want to make sure that your restaurant’s atmosphere conveys exactly what you intend. You’ve probably noticed that different types of restaurants give you a different sort of feeling when you walk inside. Family establishments are typically large, open and noisy while more intimate establishments surround their patrons with softer, somber, quieter environs.

All of these factors, and more, are well within the realm of expertise for a good interior designer. It’s their job to listen to their clients’ wants and needs while providing them with the finest design that their space allows. They’ll consider the business’ theme, maximum occupancy, and ease of operation and put it all together to provide something both functionally effective and aesthetically pleasing to everyone involved. The benefit of a good designer is that your customers will not only be satisfied, but will keep coming back.

If you’d like additional information regarding designer cost or a consultation, please feel free to contact us any time!

Design Fees: Why are Interior Designers So Expensive?

While the titles Interior Decorator and Interior Designer are sometimes used interchangeably, they are distinctly different.

Interior Decorators use furniture, draperies, paint, and accessories to create an aesthetically pleasing space within an existing area. Interior Decorators do not structurally change the layout of a space, they embellish what is already there. They are often brought in after the Designer to finish the newly created space.

Interior Designers work with architects to solve structural layout difficulties to enhance the quality and functionality of a space. Oftentimes, this requires removing or adding walls, reconfiguring layouts, or completely restructuring a space.

Designers are skilled professionals who have completed many years and levels of schooling, training, internships, and testing. Most interior designers hold multiple degrees including interior design, business management, and construction management. They’ve completed courses in communications, architecture, building codes, construction, fabrics and textiles, and even advertising. They have passed countless exams and hold licenses and certifications.

While an Interior Decorator may choose to attend classes or obtain a certificate, they are not required to have formal training, licenses, or certifications.

In addition to being the creative vision behind the project, an interior designer must wear many other hats. Like the contractor on a building project, an interior designer is responsible for the planning, scheduling, execution, and progress of your project as well as ensuring that it stays within budget. Your designer must foresee and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. They must coordinate sub-tradesmen, ordering, deliveries, and inspections. They are responsible for obtaining permits, knowing building codes, and ensuring that all work is being done safely and legally.

Your interior designer is far more than a creative genius. Like any skilled professional, they have worked hard and long, sacrificing much, to become what they are. Like any skilled professional, doctor, lawyer, or executive, they are masters in every area of their field and deserving of the rates they charge.

If you are planning a renovation and are considering hiring an interior designer, contact us. Our highly skilled, professional interior designers will handle every aspect of your project, put your mind at ease, and make your dream a reality.

Renovation Tips: Preparing For Your First Meeting With An Interior Designer

You’ve made the decision to renovate. You’ve decided to hire an interior designer. How should you prepare for the first consultation?

Determine the scope of your project

This is where you have an idea in mind of what the project will entail. What room or rooms? What stays, what goes? What you like about the space, what you most want to change. Color palettes, must haves, styles you like, etc. What is your vision? This will give your designer the ability to begin calculating ideas, costs, and timeline.

Determine your budget

Before even beginning, your designer has to know how much money you are willing to spend. Costs on a project vary greatly depending on the size, materials used, how elaborate the design, and how long it will take.

Be prepared to talk

Interior designers are ‘creative listeners’. They get many ideas by listening to you. Tell them of your dream space, favorite things, favorite places, etc. They learn much about you and your personal style and tastes just by listening.

Be prepared to listen

Don’t be too stuck on something specific. You hired a designer, let them do their job. If you know exactly what you want and how you want it, you don’t need a designer. Give them room to be creative. They may have ideas you never thought of. Remember, it’s their job to create a unique space just for you. Trust their knowledge, creativity, expertise, and experience.

Your interior designer is there to assist you in accomplishing the goals you’ve set for your space. Whether it’s making some simple changes, or creating an entirely different space, an interior designer has the vision to make it happen.

For information on how an interior designer can help you transform your space, contact us.

Investing in a Designer: Why Paying a Design Fee Seems Costly

We have all slid our precious credit cards to pay doctors we trust to help keep our bodies healthy. Some of us have had to use the services of a lawyer. We have even seen commercials advertising free consult appointments. You get to talk with this professional, tell your story and maybe get some feedback for free. That sounds like a good deal. It is like going to a store to look without having to purchase. That is how we like to shop for things we need. So, why when shopping for an interior designer, do we have to pay a design fee?

The designer you hire is helping you achieve the look you present to your customers. Think of the design fee this way. A designer will meet with you, talk about your ideas and needs, much like a lawyer will meet with a potential client to hear their story. The lawyer may disclose some information regarding the situation as far as set-in-stone laws go. The lawyer will not offer advice and start working on your case though. You will have to sign agreements for payment and usually pay an amount to get that process started. A designer will meet with you, put all your ideas on paper, and come up with a design, which entails a substantial amount of work and time. Most designers will charge a fee which covers the first presentation of their work and your ideas mashed together to get the ambience and look you desire. So, in the long run, the designer is charging a fee based on the work that has been done already and will be done.

The budget is, a lot of times, the basis for the design fee, which can be upwards 25% of the total budget. The designer is charging for their time, expertise, experience and reputation. Much like a lawyer or doctor, a designer is a professional who is spending a lot of time and resources working to get you the best result. You can shop around for a designer who will go above and beyond your expectations. The design fee is a way to make sure the designer gets paid for their expertise and time because the total budget often gets solely spent on  labor and materials.

Contact us to learn more.

The Prepared Client. The Inspired Designer.

You finally bought that restaurant or signed the lease on the retail space to launch your successful online enterprise into a brick and mortar establishment. Congratulations! The next step of designing your retail space to fully express your brand is crucial. You can try to do it alone, but hiring an interior designer will make your space pop with a unique and professional look while also saving you money. However, as with any consultation it is good to come prepared so you don’t fumble in the dark indecisively. Your interior designer can work the best for you when you know what you want, transforming your ideas into refined perfection.


Do not underestimate the inspirational power of design magazines in print. There is power in feeling the paper between your fingers as you peruse the different concepts presented. Dog-ear the pages with the color schemes that you adore, or combine two environments that you believe would go harmoniously together. Something as accessible as Better Homes and Gardens is easy to grab on your way out of the grocery store and can give you some ‘food for thought’ beyond what you bought for dinner that night. Or, check out some fine examples of luxury design at LuxeSource to get your imagination going. Magazines are excellent materials to bring to a consultation with your designer because they require no log-in to access and are readily accessible.


Pinterest reigns as queen of digital inspiration, hosting ideas from seasoned designers and novices with natural talent. You are going to get a wider variety of designs due to the unpredictable level of expertise abound. This factor however makes Pinterest designs part grass-roots with a hungry creative edge that is unique to the online community. The unfiltered creativity of Pinterest’s ideas makes sifting through countless images an adventure. Finding that one design that pops out at you is worth the search: pin it and bring it to your future consultation!

Tour successful retail spaces

Sometimes it is a good idea to stretch your legs and tour some successful retail spaces to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Take a short drive to the mall or dine at a trendy restaurant. Ask yourself, “What do I like about this place? What works?” Jot down the notes and bring them to your designer. Do you like the bright lights of Forever21 and the bold displays of hot items that lure you in to the front of the store? Or, does the perfume-filled air and shadowy ambiance of Hollister immerse you in another world? Does theApple Store’s simplicity and basic layout appeal to the kind of product you want to showcase, or do you prefer the retail hiking trail IKEA takes its customers on that finishes with the reward of Swedish meatballs? Bring all your thoughts and likes to your designer’s table and he or she can professionally integrate your preferences into your personal brand.

For whatever concepts you want to apply to your future business, you can be confident that a professional interior designer will be able to take your ideas and breathe life into them. Remember that a designer can work much more efficiently with clients who are prepared with even a few ideas. Ready to start you own design journey? Contact us to partner with us today and we can take you through the whole design process.

Renovation Tips for Your Next Business Renovation: Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer?

When people think of the word “interior designer,” they think of a designer for their home renovation. However, did you know that you should hire an interior designer for your next business renovation? In this blog post, we’re going to discuss why this is so, and also give you some renovation tips and tricks for your next business renovation!

  • Interior designers save you money. Yes, you’ll have to expend money on the interior designer in the first place in order to do the job, but in the long run, hiring an interior designer for your next renovation project will save you money because s/he will get the job done right, the first time, on time and on/under budget.
  • Interior designers work with a series of different vendors, so that they can save you additional money in the long run. Because an interior designer has a trusted network of professionals who provide a wide variety of services for a fraction of the price of more traditional vendors, interior designers will be able to pass the savings onto you!
  • Finally, but certainly no less importantly, interior designers are able to bring a professional touch to your store that you, as a non-professional, won’t be able to do. Wouldn’t you want your store to look its absolute best, so you can attract many first-time and returning customers?

We provide a wide variety of design services for business and commercial clients. For more information about us and our services, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Home Sweet Office: 3 Office Design Trends to Transform Your Space

Your office is so much more than bare bones and cubicles. It is a blank canvas meant to be painted upon with vivid colors, exciting trends and bold beauty that speaks to who you are as a company. In fact, studies have shown that an esthetically curated office can boost creativity, skyrocket performance and keep your employees better focused on the job at hand. From gentle greys combined with bold hues to unexpected elements of home, let these 3 office design trends inspire you to get off that conference call and get on your way to a bright, new beautiful office space…

Gorgeous Grayscale

Muted greys are catching fire across the office scene when combined with unexpected pops of color like sunny mustard yellows, look-at-me teals and deep, delightful plums. Grey is a great choice for an office space because you can completely re-make it again in a couple of years without having to completely rethink your color scheme. Grey is a favorite among offices for this very reason. Neutral and inviting, grey lends itself well to entryways perfect for welcoming clients into an atmosphere that is both professional and on-trend. This simple but statement-making design is perfectly suited for an office lobby.

Eclectic Chic

You don’t need to make everything perfectly matched to make your office and design a match made in heaven. Eclectic is bigger than ever this year and a great way to welcome this trend into your office is to mix and match pretty chairs to help personalize desk stations and make your color scheme pop off the page. Other eclectic ideas? Go for bold, bright framing of licensures and creatively posed company portraits. A great example of an eclectic office? This Google set-up with has a fresh and current vibe that is exactly what you would expect from this innovative technology giant.


Homey Ambiance

You just may be selling yourself short if you are failing to see your office for nothing more than an office. If your employees commute, they likely spend more time at the office than they do at their own homes. Creating a homey atmosphere in the office can work if you mix these down-home additions with professional musts. Think unexpected fireplaces in your waiting area mixed with perfect storage space that keeps everything you need handy and organized but still thoughtfully well-hidden. Consider a “family wall” where each employee can display a family photo. This beautiful business space shows home-esque design done right.


Your office is your home away from home and your client’s first impression of who you are and what you do. Whether you are new to office design or a seasoned pro looking for something current and on trend for your space, contact us today to find out how we can help you rethink your office space, transforming it into a place where creativity is fostered.

Renovation Tips: 5 Questions to Ask your Designer Before You Get Started

Renovating your home or business is a huge undertaking. Not only is it time-consuming but it is expensive as well. For this reason, there are some questions you will definitely want the answers to before your interior designer gets started.

What Happens if There is a Problem?

Issues are almost guaranteed to occur during the course of your renovation. For example, you may find that a particular wall can’t be moved as expected or the tile you chose is no longer an option. Understanding how these issues will be addressed is important.

How Close to Budget do you Expect Us to Be?

You should always have a little room in your budget for surprises that may surface throughout the renovation. Knowing where you stand at the beginning will help you determine how close you can expect to be when everything is said and done.

What Do You See as the Biggest Challenge?

Knowing where your designer sees the most potential for issues can help prompt you to think about any changes you may need to make. In the end, this will help you anticipate certain issues and have a plan in place to attack the problem head-on.

What Does the Schedule Look Like?

Scheduling is an important part of getting the project finished on time. When you understand the schedule, you will be able to know when to expect completion as well as whether the project has fallen behind.

What if there are Questions?

Communication is always important and you will want to know how to contact your designer when you have questions. On the flip side, they will also need to know how to contact you if they have questions for you to answer.

These are a few of the questions you should ask before you get started with your renovation. Learning their answers will help give you peace of mind that your project is running smoothly and on schedule. To learn more about the renovation process, contact us today.