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Why do I need and Interior Designer?

We all have a general understanding of the furniture pieces required to make a space functional and a basic idea of how big they should be, how to purchase them and where to put them. In addition to that, there are a myriad of resources available to homeowners including TV shows, social media sites and simply walking into your favorite furniture store where they usually have associates with some interior design background available to help you select all the pieces necessary to outfit any space. To visualize the difference between a brand-designed home and a custom designed home, think of the difference between purchasing a quality suit off the rack at a good department store and having it tailored to fit versus having a bespoke suit hand stitched of the finest fabrics by artisans who have dedicated their lives to their craft. The former is a perfectly viable option with pleasing results, the latter is a superlative experience. At MILL + FOUNDRY, we strive to deliver more than just design but an experience that you will remember and treasure.

My contractor or architectural firm says they can do the interior design on my project. How are our services different from theirs?

Many contractors and architects do have experienced interior designers on staff who can deliver beautiful results. If that is the case, then I say, ‘go for it!’ Outside of that scenario, consider this; a contractor is focused on managing materials and trades, budgets, and timelines. An architect is focused on the bones of the structure, paths of travel, fenestration, systems integration, and the aesthetic of the structure inside and out. An interior designer is focused on how the occupants interact with the space – where do you drop your keys? Where do the cousins sleep when they visit? How does the space envelope you when you are soaking in the tub ... and how do you reach the towels? The differences can be subtle, but they are important. Having your architect, contractor and interior designer work in unison creates the enviable results we see in the most beautiful homes around the country and around the world.

Do you have a signature style?

That's a hard question to answer. As dyed in the wool creatives and lovers of all things to do with interior design, we are passionate about all types of design from traditional to modern and everything in between. We relish the opportunity to puzzle through every challenge, to marry our client’s passions and space in a way that let’s their personality shine. We do have common threads in our aesthetic which include the use of the inherent characteristics of natural materials to bring interest and depth, juxtaposition of form and texture, and an edited eclectic use of unique surfaces and objects. At the end of the day, this is your home, and our job is to make it most representative of you and how you enjoy living.

What does your pricing entail?

As a luxury turnkey studio, we rely on a team of support staff to keep your project moving in the right direction. Our process requires many layers of expertise and documentation. From design and drafting to procurement and installation, our team has the background to deliver a professional experience from start to finish.  We’ve found that trying to tackle a large-scale project without the appropriate resources serves neither the client nor the designer. Our pricing reflects our team approach and years of experience.

Can you incorporate pieces I already own in to the new design?

We are happy to review your most cherished, high-quality heirlooms to consider how we can incorporate them into the new design. Some pieces are timeless and versatile and can blend seamlessly into any space. In some cases, quality furniture pieces can be re-furbished in a way that can make them feel completely different from what they were before. As long as we have a complete inventory of the pieces and can view them to record size, color, etc., prior to the conceptual design phase, we can work with existing pieces.

Can you work with me to incorporate pieces I find during the process?

As a turnkey interior design firm we approach your project in a holistic way. We carefully consider every detail from the overall flow of a space and how it might be used at different times, to the exact shade of grout color and how a fabric looks in relation to a particular paint. We pull from sources all over the country and around the world to find unique pieces that resonate together. Each element is a part of the greater whole, so switching one item out would have a ripple effect on the entire process. In addition to the labor of documenting the design and procuring the pieces, we are commissioned to bring our vision and our expertise in orchestrating the complexities associated with a whole-house project. We recommend expressing all of your preferences during the conceptual design phase to allow us to incorporate them into the overall design vision.

 Can I shop for better prices on the items in your design?

Purchasing all specified items is part of our business model. Each room is a composition of color, texture, form, and light. We provide procurement pricing per room (not per item) to avoid focusing on any one item in the composition. We carefully prepare the investment amount with consideration to our initial recommended budget and the overall design vision. We rely on our exclusive vendor relationships for the most competitive pricing and superior service. Most of the items we source are from wholesale vendors, and many are custom commissions specifically for your project. For our clients who prefer to be more involved, we offer an on-line design option (coming soon) in which we provide floor plans, images and a shopping list, and the homeowner does the purchasing on their own.

How does your process work?

We always start with a discovery call to determine if we are a good fit for the client and vice versa. From there we meet at the project site (if available) or at our offices to discuss the scope and the vision of the project. We then put together a service agreement including our design fee and a rough estimate of the over all investment.

Execution of the agreement triggers the conceptual design phase where we gather ideas and images to give direction to your project. We put together a rough floor plan to identify the required items and we gather products and materials that support the design vision. This culminates in a Conceptual Design Meeting where we review design direction and collect client feedback.

Once the conceptual design is approved we move into the design detail phase. Here we specify final selections, adjust the floor plan and relevant elevations to reflect those selections, document all materials specifications, and draft necessary illustrations to support the design vision. Then we host a Design Presentation Meeting to go over all of the final specifics of the project before handing off to the contractor.

Once the final design has been approved and implementation begins, we shift our focus to furnishings. We follow the same conceptual design process only this time with an emphasis on furniture, lighting, window coverings, and decorative accessories. Proposals are formulated by room and are presented to client for approval. Once approved and funded, the perching process begins.

The timing of this phase can vary greatly due to vendor lead times. We track each item and make adjustments as necessary. We stay in communication with each vendor so that we can keep the client and the contractor informed of any issues as they arise. Once everything has been received and inspected, our team installs the entire project at once. We style and photograph the space and then its time for the big reveal!

Every project includes a punch list of items to be addressed after install. We stay with you until the punch list has been completed and you are off and running in your new home.

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