FAQs

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. Keep in mind that each project is unique, and that we can address your specific needs and concerns in more detail. 

 

Have a question that isn't addressed below or want to know more specifics? Please get in touch

What’s the difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer?

Interior decorators help with the overall aesthetic of your home. We add beauty and warmth, and help make a home feel complete. Interior decorators assist with space planning, furniture selection, art selection, and accessorizing. We also provide input and direction on your renovation (like selecting finishes, providing design direction for built-in cabinetry or fireplaces, etc).

Interior designers create detailed designs and renderings for renovations and remodels. They will redesign your space from the ground up, and oversee all of the coordination and details involved with working with contractors. Some interior designers also offer interior decorating services.

Should I hire an interior decorator or a designer?

That depends. Do you want to rip down walls and reconfigure your home’s layout? Then you will want to work with an interior designer. Do you need help with changing the overall vibe of your space, including selecting new furniture, rugs, window treatments, art, and accessories? Then an interior decorator (like us!) can help you out.

Do you coordinate sub-contractors?

At the moment, as part of our FULL-SERVICE DECORATING Package, we will coordinate subcontractors associated with interior decoration (such as wallpaper installers, painters, and seamstresses for custom drapery and pillows). You will, however, pay them directly. We do not currently coordinate subcontractors associated with remodeling (such as builders and tile installers).

What is e-design?

Live far from Portland but still want to work with us? We offer long-distance e-design services that are done entirely online. After you provide us with measurements and photos of your space, we get to work creating a beautiful, detailed plan for you to implement. We also provide you with a shopping list. 

Can I use some of my existing furniture and decor?

Definitely! Your home and your belongings are sentimental and tell your story. We will do our best to work them into the new design, but we have to be honest and say that some of your furniture and decor just might not work with the new look you are trying to achieve. In this case, we may suggest that you move some pieces to different rooms in your home, or (if you’re not attached to them) donate them to a local nonprofit (we recommend The Community Warehouse in Portland, a nonprofit that gives used furniture and household goods directly to those in need).

Will you work within my budget?

This honestly might be the most difficult question to answer! Also, we prefer the word “investment” to “budget.” Why? Because making your home lovely is an investment in your happiness and well-being. We find that, in the beginning, most clients don’t have a clear understanding of how much they should invest into their space to achieve their design goals (often under-guessing the overall investment). It’s our job to help educate you about this so that you understand what is realistic within your budget. We do our best to work within your budget, but sometimes clients’ initial budgets simply cannot accomplish their design goals.

 

When trying to come up with an initial budget, we suggest taking a look around your home and mentally adding up how much you spent on each piece in a room. In the case of a living room, for example, how much did your sofa cost? Perhaps around $3,000? Then, if you’re wanting all new furniture and accessories for your living room -- a sofa or two, accent chairs, accent tables, a console table, coffee table, rug, lighting, artwork, throw pillows, etc. -- a budget of $10,000 would not be realistic. Perhaps you want built-in cabinetry and professional painting as well. As you can see, it all adds up quickly.

 

We just considered the cost of furniture and accessories, which is separate from our design fee. Keep in mind that you aren’t just paying for furniture and “things”; you are investing into a professionally-curated, thoroughly-considered, and well-designed space.

Why do accessories matter?

Accessories are those finishing touches that add warmth, style, interest, and personality to a room. Without them, you essentially just have a room with furniture. Accessorizing is imperative if you want a complete and harmonious space. From our experience, when clients are hesitant to invest into accessories (or want to buy them on their own), they later express that a room doesn’t “feel finished.” That’s because it’s not! Accessories and art are SO important for completing a space. Trust us on this one!

What is the best advice you can give clients just starting?

  • Plan early! We are often booked months out, and it can take several weeks for key furniture pieces to arrive from vendors.

  • Make time for this project. Sure, we will be doing most of the work, but this process will take time and commitment from you, too. We can’t move forward through each step without your go-ahead.

  • Trust us! You hired us for a reason. We are qualified professionals who sincerely want you to love your home. We are invested in your happiness.

How involved do I need to be in the design process?

That’s up to you! Some clients prefer to be more involved than others. Some like weekly updates, while others only want to be involved in the very beginning, and then again after the final installation. In any case, our goal is to make the process as fun and painless as possible.

Can you do interior design and interior decoration?

We currently focus on interior decoration, but are happy to discuss larger scope interior design and remodeling projects, too.

Why should I hire an interior decorator?

  • You’re busy! You simply don’t have the time to plan, design, and furnish your space.

  • You’re … mmm... indecisive. You have Pinterest Paralysis and can’t make up your mind about a design direction for your home.

  • You’re not into it. You want a beautiful home, but you’re just not that into planning it. You’d rather spend your time doing something different.

  • We have mad skills! We are trained for this. We know how to maximize your investment while creating a beautiful space.

  • We over-think (in a good way). We don’t just pick out “cute stuff,” we consider alllllll those little details -- scale and size of pieces, color continuity, pattern mixing, fabric performance, etc. -- that contribute to the creation of a harmonious and intentionally-designed space.

What does your process look like?

We start each project with an online questionnaire so that we can get to know a little about you, your space, your lifestyle, personal style, and project goals. Then we follow up with a free 1-hour consultation at your space (or via FaceTime) to discuss more details. After a contract has been signed, we get to work planning and designing! To learn more about our general process for full-service interior decorating, visit our Process page. Our Services page also explains our processes for our various services.

Can you redecorate my whole house at once?

We recommend designing your home in phases (1-2 rooms at a time). Life is crazy enough, and a total overhaul of every room at the same time would be quite chaotic if you’re living in your space!

How long will the process take?

The overall length of a project varies depending on the size and scope. The average project length is between 4-6 months. We can provide a more specific timeframe once furniture pieces are ordered and lead times are provided by the vendors.


Also, keep in mind that the quicker you move forward, the quicker we can move forward! When you respond to emails quickly, sign off on documents quickly, and make creative decisions quickly, the overall process is shorter.

What are your design fees?

Every project is unique, and therefore every projected investment fee is as well. To help us understand the scope and goals of your project, we begin the process with a design questionnaire and a free 1-hour consultation in your home (or via FaceTime). Following the consultation, we can provide you with an estimated budget for your project. We’re not trying to be vague; there are just so many factors -- square footage, how many pieces of furniture you need to purchase, if any of those pieces are custom-made, the involvement of subcontractors (such as painters), etc. --  that need to be considered before we can give you a project quote.

Some of our packages do have set fees. For example, our DESIGN PLAN Package is $600/per room. See our Services page for more information.

What type of client do you enjoy working with?

We love working with people from all backgrounds! We are looking for clients who respect and understand the value of hiring creative professionals. Trust, honesty, decisiveness, and good communication (from us and from you) are all key components for a successful project.

Do you do work outside of Portland?

Yes! We love to travel and are inspired by new places. We travel up to 20 minutes outside of Portland, and for anything outside of that, additional travel fees may apply.

What style do you like to work with?

We enjoy creating spaces in a variety of interior styles, and especially love working with clients who aren’t afraid to make some bold choices (Hello, emerald green velvet sofa! Hello, wallpapered accent wall!). See some of our projects and visit our Instagram for examples of our work. We especially love to create spaces that stand out from the crowd with a dash of quirk and a whole lot of interest and personality. If that’s what you want, too, then get in touch

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© 2020 by PARLOUR & PALM Interior Design Collective - Portland, OR

parlourandpalm@gmail.com