Here we answer some of our most frequently asked questions.
What’s the first step?
We have an initial discussion about your colour or decorating needs. Is it for the interior, exterior or both? What’s the style of the house or building? Is it a period property or does have a heritage order on it? Why are you updating the colour scheme – new build, renovation, sprucing to sell, or updating because it needs it? I ask about the look you want to achieve, and it’s great if you can send me some photos. For colour consulting this is usually enough information to give you an indication of pricing and book in a consultation. For interior decorating, I may need to arrange an initial visit.
How does a colour consultation work?
The initial discussion steers us towards what ranges to bring along to the consultation. For exterior schemes (particularly period or heritage) we may prepare some sample palettes as a starting point, both to find out what you like and eliminate looks that you don’t like. We then go through a variety of samples and view them in the space considering the aspect, lighting, surrounding environment, and any other factors.
How many sessions will it take?
With paint colours we may arrive at the selected palette in one visit, especially for exteriors or neutral palettes. Otherwise we aim to narrow it down to one or two choices, and if this is the case we will leave the samples with you so you can “sit with them” before making the final decision. It’s a good idea to view the colours in different lights and at different times of day before making the final choice.
For palettes using specific colours we may need to order alternative samples and so it may take several visits to arrive at the final choices. This is often the case when selecting bolder palettes or for heritage schemes.
Who should attend the sessions?
We suggest that all ‘interested parties’ be present. This may be just one person, or include your partner, or a wider family representation. Bear in mind the more people involved the harder coming to a decision can be and the more time it may take! If multiple people are involved we suggest you determine how you will arrive at the final decision before the session.
When can you do a consultation?
You may work, only have time when kids are at school, or be retired, so we are flexible with what days we can meet for a consultation. During the week we suggest between 10am and 3pm and many of our consultations take place at the weekend. It’s optimal to select colours in the best possible daylight, and we recommend finishing at least an hour or so before dusk.
How do we set up a consultation?
We can start with an initial discussion over the phone. You can see the contact details here if you want to call or if you send an email please include a phone number (and the best time for us to speak) and I will give you a call back.
How do you charge?
We use an hourly rate as the basis for our pricing and will estimate the number of follow-up sessions required as part of the quoting process. Estimates are made based on the time taken to complete similar projects.
At what stages of a project or build can you help with colour selections?
We can help you in all sorts of scenarios – a new build, major renovation, updating a tired or outdated look, sprucing up before selling, or any other reason you have for renewing colour schemes.
Occasionally clients call us when their builder says (usually at the end of the previous week), “The painter is starting on Monday so we need colours by then.” We can certainly help you at short notice, but advise thinking about the colour scheme as early as possible in the process. But we can assist you in selecting your colour palette at any stage.
Do you have painters and trades you recommend?
If you have a painter already it’s good to know if they have a preferred paint brand they like to use. We also have several painters we have worked with previously and are happy to recommend. After that you engage the painter directly, and they invoice you directly for deposits and work completed. This means their insurance directly covers your property. We like to make at least one site visit to meet the painter and we are happy to liaise with them directly for questions and clarifications.
What kind of documentation do you provide?
The standard documentation for a colour consultation consists firstly of a summary letter, which outlines the background and any other factors that contributed to the final colour choices, plus any other relevant information.
It also contains a specification sheet that provides details on all selected colours and placement for each, along with annotated photos that indicate colour placement. We also provide a laminated copy of the colour specification sheet for your painter.
For exterior schemes clients sometimes find it useful to see a rendered drawing after the initial colours have been selected. These are hand coloured and show a representation of the colours selected along with their placement. They can be useful to show the difference between two schemes or in conjunction with the colour brush-outs, help clients visualise the final look. For larger projects we can provide this on a board if it needs to be presented to a wider group, for example this proposed new scheme was presented to the congregation of a heritage listed church.
Interior decorating schedules include detailed lists of all products selected along with prices of items.
What trade discounts can you offer?
Where we have access to trade pricing (mostly applies to furniture, accessories and fabrics) we share the discounts with clients. Trade discounts vary between suppliers, depending on their size and margins.
What are your payment terms?
We ask that all invoices for our consulting services be paid within 7 days of issue.
Payment terms for furniture and fixtures are set by the supplier. For furniture, it is common to pay a 50% deposit upon ordering and the balance due before delivery. Fabrics are paid on a pro forma basis, so payment is required at the time we place the order.