Your questions answered!
As an experienced interior designer, I realise that the design process and your project development can often seem overwhelming, so we hope this Q & A will help you to understand the process and the benefits of sustainability. We look forward to solving your design and wellness problems to create a healthy and happy home for you and your loved ones.
Please click on the links provided for a more in-depth explanation.
Q: What is an interior designer?
A: Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that is functional, attractive, and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture
Q: What should I expect from a professional designer?
A: An initial meeting face to face or online. Depending on what level of service you have required, we will provide you with a colour scheme, layouts, specification of the product, elevations, and even a 3D visual, if this is covered in your fees and your budget plus a breakdown of the cost and timescales.
Q: How much does an interior designer cost?
A: There are several ways to price a project and each designer uses their own fee structure.
Q: Do I need a contract?
A: Yes, this a very important document to ensure smooth delivery of the service. The contract is to safeguard both the client and the designer. Your contract with your designer should outline the following:
1. The designer's fees and how much you will pay along with the payment terms.
2. What you should expect for the fees.
4. Procurement and liabilities
5. Amendments and addendums
Q: What is a design brief?
A: you need to be clear on what you would like to achieve. SVM Interiors provide a client questionnaire to help you formalise your ideas and to help us create your design style. Pinterest is one of the best ways to collate visuals on what you would like to create.
Q: What is a construction package?
A: A construction package includes technical drawings, the scope of works, and the specification of products. After the design and products have been agreed with the client, a construction package is then put together and sent out to nominated contractors to obtain a price that meets your budget.
Q: How should I purchase the products?
A: SVM Interiors offer trade pricing with an agreed fee to purchase and procure the product for you. Most designers will handle this for you as a client, with an option for the client to purchase if they wish.
Q: How do I find a good builder?
A: Hiring a contractor based on references, seeing examples of their work and their overall professionalism is essential.
Q: Do I need a project manager?
A: The project manager is often the designer. Having a professional to 'police' the work is very important to monitor and ensure the work being carried out by the builder is of an acceptable standard and the project remains on target for it's agreed to the completion date. Any variations to the original contract will need to be documented and all parties made aware.
Q: When is my project completed?
A: If part of the contract, a Practical Completion certificate will be issued, just after the final works have finished. This allows the builder to be paid, as long as the contract administrator, the principal designer, and the client is happy.
Q: What are the 5 Benefits of a Sustainable Home?
Many of us don't realise that a great deal of the standard products we use are manufactured with chemicals that give off VOC's or volatile organic compounds, in adhesives, paints, flooring, building plasterboards, and general building materials. It has been proven these chemicals can emit vapours for several years and cause respiratory problems.
A: Buying British
One of the obvious ways of buying sustainable products is to buy British. We have a vast talent of great British Designers and manufacturers, here in the UK, designing and making some really nice furniture, lighting, flooring, kitchens, hardware, the list is endless and in fact, covers all aspects of products for our interiors.
A: Kinder to the Planet
Buying products from companies that make sure their materials are sustainably sourced and their manufacturing processes are ethical and clean, protects our environment, making sure natural habitats and wildlife are protected and everyone in the supply chain is treated fairly.
A: Connection with Nature
Not all of us can uproot and move to the countryside, so the next best thing is to bring aspects of nature into the home, we can do this by using natural materials, such as stone, wood, linen, cotton, non-toxic paints, etc, all being sustainable. Having lots of plants and using earth tones all help to create a natural environment.
A: Return on investment
So, overall, it has shown adopting sustainable design principles and product can add between 5-8% on the value of your home!
Q: What does sustainable really mean?
A: Sustainable interior design is about creating homes with an emphasis on the health and wellness of families, individuals, and our planet, by using design principles, products, and materials that help reduce the use of chemicals, pollution, waste, and reduce energy consumption.
Q: What does Eco-friendly mean?
A: Eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment. This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water, and land pollution. Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic.
Q: What does Green mean?
A: Green is more or less the same as eco-friendly. The term Green has become more of a trendy word for people that are interested in helping the planet. Going green means improving the way we produce, buy, use, and throw away products. It means contributing less to air pollution and landfills. Going green means doing things in ways that are friendly to the environment.
Q: What does Ethical mean?
A: Ethical sourcing is the process of ensuring the products being sourced and selected are produced and obtained responsibly and sustainably, making sure the workers are safe and are not exploited.
Q: Can sustainability still be stylish?
A: Can I still have a home that is stylish and sustainable, green, and glamorous with a luxury look and feel? Yes, of course! it doesn't have to be all "hippie and hemp". The majority of interior designers will not offer this service because it's not easy to find this information; sometimes hundreds of different criteria need to be met to classify a product or material as sustainable or green. We do that incredibly time-consuming bit for our clients, saving them valuable time.
Please refer to the Blog link below where you can find more SVM news to help with your project: