THE DESIGN PROCESS
How We Work
At DESIGN IN REAL LIFE, we work directly with all of our clients. It begins with getting to know you (or your company) through a methodology (the industry calls it programming) that lets us fully understand what solutions you really need. We then carefully develop preliminary plans and sketches, develop color palettes, source materials and furnishings, and collaborate with you and other stakeholders to produce a environment that will reflect your goals and needs, as well as your life perspective.
Whether it's designing a new kitchen or a corporate headquarters, we listen to each client in order to fully understand what they want and need -- comfort, aesthetics, functionality, or, in most cases, a combination of all three.
We provide full interior design and project management services and specialize in new construction and major renovations for both residential and commercial spaces. We are highly experienced professionals and our accreditation include: California certified interior designers (CID); sustainable building by USGBC as LEED AP BD+C (Building and Construction), and NCIDQ certification. In addition to our knowledge of furnishings, textiles, draperies, and wall and flooring materials, we understand the requirements of the CAL Green Building Code and Title 24, and also are ADA specialists.
The Answers You’ve Been Looking For
ASK US ANYTHING
CAN DESIGN IN REAL LIFE HELP US WITH FURNITURE SHOPPING AS WELL?
Definitely! Purchasing is the result of sourcing. Sourcing furniture and accessories involves initially setting the parameter of what we are looking for -- dimensions, style, functions. We will supply you with recommendations for particular pieces. That said, many clients will want to see what's out there in person. We are happy to accompany you and introduce you to trade-only manufacturers' showrooms where you can "test drive" some of the pieces. As you know, not everything is available in a store or on a showroom floor. However, we can supply you with samples and photographs as well to supplement the personal shopping experience. Trade discounts with retail vendors (Crate and Barrel, West Elm, CB2, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, etc.) will be extended to you without surcharges. All fabric, wallpaper, rug, and furniture that are available only through trade account and are purchased directly through Design In Real Life will be made available to you at our cost plus an administrative fee.
WHAT IS THE IDEATION AND DESIGN PROCESS LIKE AT DESIGN IN REAL LIFE?
It begins with getting to know you and understand your ideas and intentions for your project. We'll collect some photos and materials for you to "react to" during our first working session. We take readings on your preferences. The first session is about documentation and fact-finding. We take measurements and photographs, match finish colors for the areas/furnishings you are not changing, discuss budget, and design direction. After that we go to work developing the Preliminary Design Plan. We usually develop a design approach with two or three variations. This preliminary plan can include rough layouts, material samples, furniture, flooring, lighting, and finish suggestions. We'll meet with you to review the ideas and follow up with a revised Design Plan.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
That depends on you and the scope of your project. A timetable for the project planning and implantation will be developed based on the extent of the project. We set boundaries on the number of options and ideas we present to you. As professionals, we know what is available and current; we are trained to "see" the finished environment and make judgements about how it will best function. We have had the experience of clients wanting to see everything available and then end up picking one of the initial options. As we say, design is a process. Our approach is to supply you with a design direction with some optional approaches and to involve you in the process to the degree you want. You will review the Design Plan at several points during the process and by the final presentation of the Design Plan, every major item of your particular project will be defined and identified -- floor plan, elevations, furniture, paint colors, lighting, etc..
WHAT EXACTLY DOES AN INTERIOR DESIGNER DO?
As designers accredited by the state of California who also hold NCIDQ and LEED AP BD+C certifications, we can:
• prepare plans for all residential construction including kitchens and bathrooms, and additions to a home (the structural elements will require an engineer which we can provide)
• prepare plans for all commercial interior construction, lighting, finishes, and furnishings
• advise on sustainable and efficient building and materials
• manage these projects for you.
In both the residential and commercial worlds, we offer:
• color planning and consultation (use color psychology to develop interior and exterior color palettes)
• cabinetry and furniture design and selection
• lighting design and plans
• space planning and styling, including the selection of art, furniture, window treatments, flooring, and lighting.