Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to do it all at once?
No. We can design your whole house, one room, add a window treatment, update a few pieces, change paint colors, or simply rearrange what you already own. If you plan to purchase furnishings over a period of time, I strongly advise that you have a definitive plan in place prior to making purchases. A scaled floor plan will provide you with the exact shapes and dimensions needed for a well-designed, well-balanced room. This is where most people make costly mistakes. It is like building a home from a set of blueprints…it is important to purchase the correct pieces to build upon so it all fits together in the end.

How Long Will It Take?
Designing a home or a room can take days, weeks, months or years. I have designed and furnished model homes in a matter of weeks. Some people take months to make a decision about a chair fabric or a piece of artwork. Others select and purchase all the major pieces for a room in one store meeting, and then purchase all the lamps, artwork, and accessories after the furniture arrives. It really depends on your ability to make decisions.

How much is this going to cost?
It all depends on where you shop. Furniture is like clothing…there is a huge variance in pricing and quality depending on the store, the manufacturer, the fabric, and the piece. I can advise you where to shop based on your budget, and you may end up purchasing items from a variety of sources. It is important to realize that prices are not what they were if you last shopped for furniture 20 years ago, and a completed room contains many elements. A well-designed room typically includes a sofa (possibly loveseat) or sectional, 2-3 chairs, 1 cocktail table, 2-3 end tables, 3-4 lamps, 2-3 wall hangings (artwork/mirrors, etc), blinds, decorative window treatments (drapes or valances), flooring and other accessories such as picture frames, plants, candleholders, vases, overhead light fixtures, etc. If you browse through any magazine, you will notice that any well-designed contains most or all of these elements.

What if I don’t like your ideas?
You will be an integral part of this process. It is crucial to provide honest feedback at every step of the way. Open communication is the key. If there is something you don’t like, we can look for alternatives that are more appealing to you. Chances are you found me through a friend or relative and liked my work, or maybe you found me through my website. I strongly suggest reviewing my photo gallery, and if you like what you see, chances are good that you will be happy with the end results in your home! Many people know what they like when they see it, but cannot define their style or express what they like. I can generally identify your style, likes and dislikes very quickly. I often notice patterns, furniture styles, and color combinations that repeat themselves throughout your home, that you may not be aware of! Reviewing photos of rooms, furniture, and accessories together can help us to clarify what looks, styles, and colors you want to use.

Will I be able to see everything before I buy it? How can I order furniture from a catalog without seeing it and touching it?
Local furniture stores generally have access to numerous furniture lines, but are limited in what they can showcase due to space restrictions. Each manufacturer may offer 100 sofas and 100 chairs, but the store showcases only 5 sofas and 5 chairs from each line. If this is the sofa or chair you will be sitting on every night to watch TV, I strongly suggest choosing a frame you can sit on, and then customizing it with the fabric of your choice. I will often use catalog photos for guest chairs, occasional tables, dining sets, bedroom sets, lamps, mirrors, and artwork. While you may be unaccustomed to ordering these things from catalogs, this is how experienced designers access a wide selection of unique items to achieve “custom looks.” Finding the perfect lamp, artwork or mirror at a local store can be very challenging and time-consuming, and is probably not the perfect height, shape, color or design to perfectly suit your room as one we can select from a catalog of 500 lamps. I am very familiar with each manufacturer’s product line, and will guide you every step of the way. Fabrics, flooring, and other samples can be taken home to help you visualize.

What If I Just Can’t Picture It???
The most common phrase every decorator hears is, “I just can’t picture it,” which is precisely why people hire designers! As you will soon discover, there is more to creating a well-designed home than choosing a sofa at the store. The principles of balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity are the keys to a well-designed space. An experienced designer will apply these principles to maximize the visual and functional potential of any room, regardless of your style or color preferences! A good designer can envision the end results and transform any space, no matter how challenging, into something incredible! If you like what you have seen of his/her work, trust in his/her instincts. Even if you can’t picture it, your designer can! If you need to see the complete vision before diving in, you can opt to pay for a three-dimensional rendering. It may be worth the money if it gives you the confidence to make decisions and move forward.

How Can I Streamline the Process to Get the Most “Bang for my Buck?” 
It is always my goal to work efficiently and ensure that our time together is well-spent. While I waive consultation fees for time that is directly related to purchases, I must earn enough in commissions or profits to cover the time I spend on your project. Indecision leads to wasted time and unnecessary fees. Following are my suggestions for streamlining the process and avoid wasted time and money.

  • Establish clear objectives and realistic spending plans. Make sure your significant other is on board. Prioritize what you’d like to focus on first.
  • Firmly establish which items you’d like to keep, and which ones you’d like to replace. Make sure your significant other is in agreement.
  • Think about your likes and dislikes, and clearly communicate them to your designer. Pick something in your home that you love…it could be a vase, a picture, a chair, or anything that you are drawn to as a starting point. Start collecting internet or magazine photos to illustrate your preferences. “Houzz” and “Pinterest” are websites with thousands of interior design photos to browse for ideas.
  • Provide Vicki with samples of fabrics, flooring, countertops, or other elements that will remain in your home…they will be factored into the equation when making other decisions.
  • Determine who will be involved in the design process. If you and your significant other have different ideas, decide in advance how you plan to compromise, or whose opinion will prevail. Your spouse may have no interest in design, and forcing his/her involvement will cause frustration and confusion. Kids, neighbors, and friends mean well, but don’t ask their opinions unless you really trust their design judgment. If you ask for 10 opinions, you will receive 10 different answers.
  • Trust your designer’s instincts. They do this every single day, and what is difficult for you comes very naturally to them. An experienced designer can visualize the end result very early on…with all the furnishings, paint colors, window treatments and accessories already in place! I have made complete selections for model homes in a matter of weeks before they are even built! These are the projects that turn out the best….when all the selections are made together. It is not necessary to make each tiny decision one step at a time. If you have seen your decorator’s portfolio and have clearly described your preferences, trust in his/her knowledge and expertise. If you follow his/her lead, you will avoid frustration, confusion, unnecessary time, and wasted money.

Vicki can be reached anytime at 585-278-8320, or by contact form to schedule an in-home interior design consultation.

Serving the Rochester NY Area