What’s difference between an interior decorator and interior designer?
Interior decorators help the aesthetic of your home. This can include furnishing, accessorizing, providing input and aesthetic direction on your renovation (example, selecting finishes, providing direction designs for built-ins or fireplaces, etc). Our goal is create a space that is both beautiful and a reflection of your personality and lifestyle.
Interior designers help design and renovate interiors. They will redesign your space from the ground up, as well as navigating day-to-day details like working with contractors, some designers so also offer decorating services.
Should I hire a decorator or a designer?
If your project doesn’t include structural changes and you need help deciding on style, furniture placement, choosing furnishings, wallpaper, paint, window treatments, lighting and accessories, then working with an interior decorating firm, like Michelle Binette Design, is the best way to go. We can help you bring an entirely new look to your existing space.
If you’re working on a remodel and require guidance beyond aesthetics (structural changes such as removing a wall, moving plumbing around, or adding new windows or doors) then Michelle Binette Design may not be the best fit for your project. If you’re unsure please don’t hesitate to reach out and we can discuss your project to see if we’re a good fit. Click here to get that process started.
What type of client / projects do you work with?
We are looking for clients who value the processes and creativity that a only a professional can bring to a project. We work best with clients who are decisive, and ready to take action. Trust is an important element in any client/decorator relationship, you should not be afraid to let us make big decisions if needed.
The most successful projects are the ones where clients are honest, make time for the process and put the trust is us to deliver the result they are looking for.
What is the best advice you can give clients just starting?
- We are often booked weeks and sometimes months out, so early planning is key
- Allocate time in your schedule before the design process starts
- Inspiration boards (on Pinterest or Houzz) are super helpful in identifying style
- Trust in us and the process!
How do we make project decisions?
The Design Decision Triangle helps illustrate the combination of the three most common requests received, and while it’s not impossible to achieve all three it’s not likely.
- We can design something quickly and of high quality (good), but it won’t be cheap
- We can design something quickly and cheaply, but it’s not likely to be good
- We can design something of high quality (good) and low cost, but it won’t be fast
What does the process look like?
You’ll start by filling out this form, from there you’ll schedule a discovery call. We’ll talk about your project and goals, and you can ask us any questions you have. Then we’ll schedule a Consultation to get the process going. Click here to learn more about how we work.
How long does a typical project take?
The length of the project varies depending on the scope of work, but Phase 1 (Research, Design, Presentation) can take anywhere from six to eight weeks. Execution can vary from two months to six months depending on where furnishings are sourced and lead times associated. A clear timeframe will be determined once the furnishings are approved and lead times are provided by the vendors.
Will you work within my budget?
For the most part yes, but our job is to ensure you understand what is realistic within your budget. For smaller budgets, it often doesn’t make sense to work with a designer as the design fees may take up a large percentage of the overall budget. We will ensure you know what can be accomplished and guide you on where to best places spend your money. We often find that if a client has a number in mind, a good rule of thumb is to multiply that number by two or even three in order for it to align with their wish list. The beautiful projects on our website are the result of full-service, healthy budgets.
Can I use my existing furniture?
For sure! Many clients own furniture, art or accessories which hold sentimental value to them. Great design shows personality and tells a story, and the best way to do this is with pieces that have meaning. That being said, our role is also to create a beautiful, functional space, to ensure this happens, we’ll be honest and let you know what works and what doesn’t. It may mean that something needs to move to another room or space where it’ll be better suited.
Do you do work outside of Toronto?
Yes! We travel up to 45 minutes outside of Toronto, for anything outside of that, additional travel fees may apply.
How involved do I need to be in the design process?
This is completely up to you! We find that our clients generally fall into two categories; those who want to be a part of the process and those who don’t. That being said, it’s important that the space reflects your personality and style, in order to accomplish this there is some involvement we’ll need from you early in each phase. But we promise to make it as painless and fun as we can. 🙂
What are your design fees?
Every project is different, with this in mind we start every project with an in-home Consultation to really understand the goals and scope of the project. Consultations are $450 (includes HST) for up to two hours. Following the Consultation we will provide a service proposal which outlines the estimated hours for your project. 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.
What style do you like to work on most?
We learn towards a clean, bright aesthetic. Think white walls, textures, warm wood tones with a mix of high and low, old and new. We also put a heavy focus on art, whether it’s through the use of gallery walls or large statement pieces, we are gonna make those walls sing. That said, we work with our clients to create a space that reflects their personality, style and goals. Finding a designer or decorator with a portfolio that reflects your goals is always helpful and results in the most successful projects. Be sure to check out our projects or Instagram to ensure we’re a good fit aesthetically.