What To Expect

What is the process like if I hire you for a project?

We will plan a time to meet so we can get to know each other and discuss the project to ensure we’re a good fit for each other. At or after our initial meeting, we will plan a start date and a plan of action. Every person and project is different, so the plan will depend on what you need. Once we begin the work, you can expect lots of communication and collaborative decision making.
At first, I’ll be asking lots of questions and working hard to get to know you really well. Once I have a good understanding of your style, preference and priorities, I’ll be able to narrow down options more easily. At this point, usually we settle into a really nice, natural flow and things progress pretty smoothly from there!

Do I need to book ahead of time?

Yes! I am often booking 3-6 months out for medium or larger projects. I try to leave room in my schedule for returning clients and time sensitive staging jobs, though my schedule is often incredibly full.
If you are interested in working together, it’s always worth reaching out. I may be able to begin quickly, or to help with a small number of urgent decisions (such as paint colour) before beginning the rest of the project.

If I book with you, will you be the only designer working on the project?

It depends! I have a team that includes junior designers, assistants and all kinds of great contractors. I also know some other talented designers with different areas of expertise and may ask if they’re interested in collaborating.
Generally, I am the main contact and work directly with every client. Sometimes, on projects with tight budgets or timelines I’m not able to accommodate, I’ll offer the options of having a junior designer take the lead on a project while I oversee it. You’ll always know who’s working on your project, and be a part of creating the plan.

Can you help with _______ ?

Can you help me with renovations or selecting finishes?

Yes. If you need help with choosing things like flooring, kitchen cabinets or a paint colour, I can help. I have experience with renovations of all different sizes and types and know some really great contractors.

I have an idea of what I want but I loathe shopping, will you do it for me?

Absolutely! You can be as involved (or not!) as you prefer.

I don’t have time to decorate. Can I just tell you my ideas and leave you to it? 

Yes. I’ll work with you to ensure I understand your budget, preferences and priorities and then am happy to run with things on my own. You can have final approval if you want, or I can give you a surprise makeover with a big reveal. Whatever suits you best.

I don’t really know what I want, will you be able to help me?

I regularly help clients create or refine their style and design direction. One of the best, most enjoyable parts of my work is getting to understand my clients really well. Sometimes they say I know them so well it’s like I’m in in their head!
There are lots of different ways to approach this, but generally I’ll ask lots of questions and we will review inspiration photos together to help narrow things down. Sometimes I’ll create a digital mood board or a mock-up of a room design to help with visualizing the end product.

I’m not brave enough to let someone else decide how my home should look, but I really need help. What are my options?

I’m not brave enough for that either! My top priority is always my clients’ happiness. I will never insist on what I prefer, or make decisions without you. I’m always happy to work closely with my clients and collaborate to create a space that they love.

Do you do only residential work?

I mainly do residential work, but not exclusively. I’ve worked on downtown office spaces, trade fair booths and a kindergarten classroom, for example. If you have a project in mind, let’s chat!

General Questions

What is your design style?

If I had to sum up Freya Home’s overarching style and aesthetic, I would say: light, bright, and highly personalized.
My goal is always to create beautiful, well designed spaces spaces that reflect each individual client, rather that bringing my own personal style to each project. Of course, my preferences sneak in here and there, but I generally try to note when something is my own preference. I also tend to choose classic and timeless options when it suits my clients to ensure longevity of the design, at least generally.

Do I need to get my whole house decorated at once?

There are definitely advantages to renovating or redecorating a whole house at the same time, but it’s certainly not necessary. I work on projects of all sizes – even if it’s just styling a bookcase or creating a reading nook.

What hours and days do you work?

I have a full but flexible work schedule and can almost certainly work with your schedule.

My house is a mess! Should I tidy before you come?

There is no need! I work in construction sites, regular, busy family homes, with people are moving in and out of houses and with people who are in over their heads and overwhelmed with too much stuff.
Seeing your home in its usual state is helpful to my process. If it’s normally tidy, go ahead and clean up if you prefer, but if it’s been a busy week or if messy is your normal, leave it! Part of good design is solving issues of clutter, and purging unneeded or unloved items. You can always count on zero judgement and absolute confidentiality from me. It’s your home, and I’m honored to be invited in.

What if I don’t like what you do?

This is an understandable fear! Hopefully it will be comforting to hear that I have never finished a project and had a client unhappy with how it looked. I work collaboratively, communicate extensively and prioritize my client’s preferences to ensure this doesn’t happen. If you are concerned about this, please let me know, and we can work closely together slowly so you feel comfortable.
You can read my reviews on Google, too.

Billing Questions

How does billing work?

I invoice monthly, or as-needed (eg. after making multiple large furniture orders). If you’d like receipts I can either drop them off or mail them to you.

Email money transfer is my preferred method of payment, and both cheque or cash are fine as well. I do accept credit card as well, with an added 3.5% fee to cover the processing fee

Can I set a budget for your services?

Yes! I am always happy to work within your budget, and I can help with creating a budget, too.

I’m thinking about redoing my living room, how many hours does that take?

Redecorating a medium sized living room, frequently takes in the range of 10-35 hours, though it can vary widely outside the average depending each client’s needs. Some factors that will influence billable hours are: 

Budget – Budgets that are very small, or quite large, generally take a little more time

Client Involvement – The more involved you’d like to be in decision making, or if you’d like to explore various options or shop together, the longer it will take. Conversely, if you’re happy to do the legwork such as picking up items, assembling furniture, or installing shelves or art, the fewer billable hours there will be

Shopping – Sourcing used, vintage or antique goods may take extra time, however it’s sometimes balanced out by lower cost per item. If we’re looking for high end, one of a kind or custom pieces, that will take longer, too

How many things need to be purchased. Do you have an empty room, or do you already have all your furniture and just need some help with layout and decor?

Assistant hours – when possible, I delegate tasks to my assistants. This saves you money and increases efficiency

There are lots of factors that affect how many hours a project takes. If you need more information, just ask!

Can you give me an exact quote up front?

I do not offer flat rate quotes, except for DIY consultations. I can help you estimate how many hours a project will take and give you a  ballpark number and we can discuss the cost of similar projects. I will always respect your budget. A flat rate quote will have contingencies built in, which may or may not be needed. Charging you hourly allows me to split shopping time amongst clients when possible, to delegate to my assistants and more. For example, if multiple clients need something from the hardware store, I combine it into one trip and split the billing, making it more cost effective for you. So, while we can certainly set a budget, and I can give you an idea of what numbers to expect, I do not offer precise and final numbers up front.

Do you make the purchases, or do I?

Generally, it makes the most sense for me to make the purchases and add them to the monthly invoice. I have access to various discounts and trade programs and can organize and track orders on a shared spreadsheet for you. If you prefer to make orders yourself, that’s okay, too! I’ll ask before we start making purchases.

Do you mark up furniture or other items?

No. Although markups are a commonly accepted practice in the industry, it’s not how I work. If I receive a designer discount, I pass it onto you. If I find an amazing deal, I pass it onto you. You are welcome to any receipts or purchase orders at any time. I highly value giving my clients the best possible deals, no matter their budget.

About Real Estate Staging

I’m planning to sell my house. Does staging really make a difference?

Absolutely! First impressions matter — most potential buyers make a judgement about a property within just a few seconds! A well staged home helps potential buyers envision how they’ll use the space and shows that the home has been well cared for. If you’d like to read some incredible stats on staging, click HERE for a great infographic round-up.

Do you rent furniture?

I do not offer furniture rentals. I specialize in using what you already have, and will make recommendations for purchases or rentals if it makes financial sense.

What’s the turnaround time for staging?

I understand that my staging clients are usually under time pressure and I try to leave room in my schedule for last minute staging consults. Unless otherwise discussed, I will have your staging report to you within 48 hours after our in person meeting.