FAQ: How much will this window treatment design project cost?

There are many factors that go into a custom Interior design project and for that reason there is no generalized or standard ballpark price. Why, you ask? Custom is just what it sounds like, items made just for you the way you want them to be made. For most projects, requires your input in a big way! 

To tell you how much your project will cost requires us to ask a lot of questions and factor in many moving parts. Starting with the breadth of your project; is it the whole house, one room or just one item? Then we have to factor in the design fee; an in-home consultation with an Interior Designer, cost of materials, shipping fees and vendor costs, fabrication/labor cost, and installation.  

 What we hope to do in this article is break down what goes into your custom project, so you have a clear understanding of the costs involved

One of the first questions we ask is, what’s your budget; how much do you want to spend on this project? “Window treatments for example are not the least expensive thing to do in your room, but there are ways to save money,” says April Elaine Powell, Interior Designer in Portland Maine. “A consultation with a window treatment expert may well be worth the cost, averaging ($125-$145 per hour in Maine) if it helps you avoid mistakes,” April says. Be realistic about what you can afford, it keeps the costs down.

Budgets are not just a good practice, they help a designer lead you down the right path on fabric or product choices. 

If you were hoping to spend $100 or $200 a window, then “custom” may not be the right fit. Basic blinds or ready-made treatments are really the only products in today’s market place that will fit within that price range. The next questions we will ask are, what style are you going with, how do you live, what do you do, how much time do you spend in the room? How much time do you have to spend on choosing your fabrics and or products?  

 Once you have made some decisions we will look into availability and vendor pricing, including hardware, as well as any shipping costs that are involved. Next is the fabrication cost and the time and cost of the installation. 

 After putting all of these factors together we spend time putting together an estimate for you. It usually takes a minimum of 72 hours once you have made your final decisions until the time we have a proposal for you. 

 The following are some suggestions and what you can expect when working on a custom project with SoulBrand Design Group, LLC.

 

Set Priorities What rooms are the most important for you to complete? At SoulBrand Design Group, LLC we suggest you do the rooms you really live in first, such as the bedrooms and the family room. Setup a project schedule for doing other rooms, so you don’t end up six years down the road with the same inexpensive aluminum blinds on the windows that you first threw up there for privacy’s sake. 

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 How Do You Live? Do you have kids or pets? Do you entertain a lot? If your window treatments will go in a high traffic area such as by a sliding glass door, opt for durable, washable materials (nylon, acetate, acrylic, cotton) and save the silk for another window. Similarly, if you cook a lot you don’t want delicate fabrics in the kitchen, where they’ll absorb splatters. 

 Next, “think hard about function,” says April Elaine Powell, Interior Designer for SoulBrand Design Group, LLC “Do you want your window treatments to provide privacy? Control the light coming in? Frame a beautiful view? Insulate against cold and noise?” 

Some basic guidelines: For light control, blinds, roller shades and shutters offer the most options, since you can choose your opacity, tilt slats or louvers to allow in just the amount of light you want. If it’s a bedroom that needs to be totally dark at times, opt for blackout shades or blackout lining for draperies. For energy efficiency, honeycomb blinds trap hot or cold air in cells, keeping the room cooler or warmer with the season. 

 To block noise, "the more fabric you put up, the quieter it is," says Powell. Consider layering window treatments such as a shade, then sheers, then lined floor length draperies (add a fabric-covered cornice at the top). 

Find Your Style: “There are no hard and fast rules in choosing a style,” says Powell. Currently, there’s a trend toward cleaner, urban looks – less fussy. That translates into natural woven wood shades, roman shades, roller shades and new flat panels that run on a track inspired by Japanese shoji screens.  

April suggests clipping inspirations from magazines, your favorite online portal or books. "If you can’t make up your mind, then narrow the focus and just pull things you don't like," she says. "If you show me a pile of tailored cornices and roman shades that you hate, that’s one product category we can eliminate." 

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Think about the feeling you want in any given room. "If it’s a family room and you’re only in it at night and you want a cozy, comfortable feeling then you need some layers and softness at the window, not just blinds," says April. Window treatments can reflect both your home’s architecture and your personal style. This means that maybe my minimalist approach to our living and dining rooms (white solar shades) may be just fine — they’re simple, uncluttered rooms with clean lines. 

 Measure Properly: Measure twice and install once, have a professional make sure you cover all your bases. Even we have our installer double check our measurements before ordering. Install Them Correctly

To summarize; because we are making something custom for you, your project is not something we can just look up in a catalog and tell you the cost. So be prepared when you call us and ask, "What will it cost to do, XYZ" that it will take some time to get that answered for you just right. 

 Tips: 

  • Do a little homework in stores to get an idea of fabric types, or ready-made products and their costs to see which direction seems like the right fit for you. 

  • Find professionals through trusted friends who have experienced custom work, quality furniture companies and designer fabric experts and learn about fabric types required for your type of windows or upholstery project.  



How important is lighting in your design project?

The importance of lighting within interior design

In this installment we will be taking a look at the various forms of lighting techniques that ensure the mood and theme of your room or rooms is appropriate and complimentary for the environment.

There are three basic types of lighting that work together in your home or office:

·      Ambient (general lighting)

·      Task

·      Accent

Interior lighting is one of the most important aspects of any living space; it has the ability to change our moods when we experience a room just as it does our perception of the size of a room.

Utilizing the right type of lighting and ensuring the correct placement can be a challenging task, but it’s crucial to not only the design, but to the function of the space. It is very important that it works in conjunction with all areas of interior design, such as, color selections, room size, layout, fabric choices and furniture selection. It is only when these elements come together that a room benefits from harmony and effortless fluidity of design.

Fundamentally, the illusion of space can be defined by light reflecting off of wall surfaces. Certain types of lighting enhance this illusion by further illuminating the walls. For instance, wall lighting. However a good lighting plan combines all three forms of lighting to illuminate an area according to function and style.

For example a chandelier, table lamp and floor lamp provide layers of light in a living room. Lighting is an important piece of the interior design puzzle. Lighting design plays a very big role in how you experience a space. A successfully-designed room needs a mix of these three basic types of lighting — ambient, task and accent.

Accent lighting

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Lighting for Drama

Accent and task lighting are being used in the photo.

Accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to draw the eye to house-plants, paintings, sculptures and other prized possessions. It can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall, window treatments or outdoor landscaping.

To be effective, accent lighting requires as least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights. Using this plan will create an atmosphere that is perfect for any room and more importantly serve to provide functionality and practicality for the space and activities one undertakes in it.

Ambient lighting

Firstly, Ambient lighting provides an area with overall illumination. Also known as general lighting, it radiates a comfortable level of brightness without glare and allows you to see and walk about safely. In some spaces such as laundry rooms, the ambient lighting also serves as the primary source of task lighting. It can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, recessed or track lights and with lanterns mounted on the outside of the home. Having a central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.

 Task lighting

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light to work

Ambient lighting and task lighting are both important for safety and for completing a tasks.

Secondly, Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, grooming, preparing and cooking food, doing homework, working on hobbies, playing games and balancing your checkbook. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and under cabinet lighting, as well as by portable floor and desk lamps.  Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eye strain.

I think everyone reading this has a memory of being in a space were the lighting was off and how it affected or altered the ability to truly appreciate the space, the experience or the task you were trying to complete. It’s always a good idea to consult a lighting specialist or at the very least someone who is trained in interior lighting for your projects, it will in the end save you not only money, but also give you many years of enjoyment in your space.

Building a Brand: Taproom or Brewery Design

Having grown up in the world of hospitality it just seems natural that I gravitate towards wellness, restaurant and hospitality in my design work. Pair that with my love of competitive sports, healthy foods, artisan cocktails and craft beers and you end up with a designer who is passionate about helping brewers build their brand and dream brewpub. Today It seemed like the perfect subject for my inaugural blog for my new website. So let’s get started.

Your Design and Brand

Before decisions are made on any definite ideas about how the space should look and function, the planning begins by defining an overarching vision for the project. Have your team talk about the building and it’s use. Is it a facility that would be a gathering place for the community, with distinct yet visually connected spaces? Where do you want the brewery to be located in town? 
Areas to think about, is it near lodging and with access to multiple modes of transportation, including light rail, bus routes, and bike paths. 

The purpose, is it in an area that will help connect people with the brewing process and the brand, but also with one another? On the brewing side, will you be able to maintain the consistency and quality of the beer while increasing production and efficiency should also be paramount.

Although the location is the highest priority, the process of first establishing a clear vision for the project will help all involved to see a site’s potential.

Seek advice from those who know

When planning a new facility talk to as many brewers and brewpub owners as you can. One thing about the industry is most people are pretty eager to help and tell you about their experiences—both good and bad.

Rather than focus primarily on equipment and technical specifications, however, there is nothing better than the kind of practical advice that’s only gained by doing. What have other brewers and owners learned from the process? What, if anything, would they have done differently? What didn’t go as expected and how did they recover?

Allow for some give and take

Budget allocating can be a deciding factor in a new project. We recommend tight control of your financial budget, yet there are some necessary compromises to be made during the process to keep project costs from ballooning.

For example, the cost of restoring a site to a state that could safely support the your building and its infrastructure can be substantial, even with the help of public grants. And don’t forget about the hidden costs and inevitable delays that come with any construction project.As costs can escalate be prepared to react quickly and,revisit some things that might need to change. As long as the end result still get you to where you need to be, yet maybe without everything being in place immediately.

Some of those decisions may include dedicating more space for the public areas at the expense of building more offices right away. Or maybe your plan to outfit a two-acre outdoor garden with furniture and plantings can also get scaled back and purchases spread out over time.

If you have skills on your team to install or fabricate, do as much of this yourself as you can. It will allow you to invest in higher quality tanks and other equipment.

The more bobbing and weaving you do throughout the process the better.

Strive for design that personifies your brand

When it comes to the design itself, planners should keep in mind that they need distinct separation between the public and manufacturing areas, but also you want to visually connect the two with strong moments of transparency. Your visitors will love seeing the how and where of the production and manufacturing.

Think about how your visitors will arrive either, by bike, bus, train, car, or on foot. The visitors approach should taken into consideration and lend a touch that’s also consistent with the brand. Will you have views from the main entrance into the fermentation cellar? Is a retail store possible and where will the restrooms be located, we recommend near the entrance. These are just a few of the items to think about as you set about planning your design.

Choosing colors and textures, and when do we introduce them—whether it’s red in the restaurant or wheat in the event center or stainless steel in the brew-house and other places—those elements pop and create an overall ambiance that needs to be consistent with the brewery’s brand.

The entire experience needs to be choreographed to immerse visitors in what we at SoulBrand Design Group call “ Your Brand Destination Experience,” with lots of social interaction and energy throughout. You set the mood and orchestrate the experience from the beginning.

Plan for future growth

The planning and foresight that went into building the current build needs to let you comfortably and sustainable grow its footprint for years to come without overextending its reach in order to recoup costs. What you have created should keep your team busy making the most of the new facility and entertaining visitors for years to come.

Bring it all together will take dedication of you, your time, your resources and more time. If your ready for the deep dive give me a call. I will help you sort out the details and get the design ball rolling.