FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Color & Decorating Consultation
Q. How much does a color consultation cost?
A. My rates are by the hour and a consultation varies by the extent of the project. I charge $65 an hour for color and decorating consulting. For a specialty finish painting commission, I charge by the project. I take into account such things as complexity of the design, the approximate time I expect it will take, if cost of materials is included or separate, if sample boards are developed to help with the decision making, and so on. For example, I spent 5 hours with one client, over two visits, developing a color palette which guided an afternoon of shopping to select a sofa, carpeting and flooring, kitchen cabinets, and light fixtures. Another client, who received the same assistance, also contracted to have two rooms painted with specialty finishes.
Q. How long does it take?
A. The project defines the length of time – a basic consultation can be as few as 2 or 3 hours with follow up phone discussions. A more extensive project, may involve one to several days. For example, in a makeover of a dentist office suite, it took me several days – to consult on decisions, select furnishings and light fixtures, and paint unique furniture pieces for the waiting room.
Q. What if I’m afraid of color and making a wrong choice? How can you help?
A. Many years of experience has allowed me to see paint combinations in many homes and to be comfortable with a broad range of clients. Through meeting and discussing your goals, I can get a sense of your style and color preferences. Together we develop a color palette based on your tastes and the feeling you want to create. If painting is involved, once you have a pretty clear idea of what you want, I suggest painting a large sample on your walls and look at it in different light situations. By then you should feel fairly confident in your choices.
My style over the years – helping people move out of their discomfort into their excitement – has evolved to be intuitive and collaborative. I help people be comfortable with color and enjoy the process!
Q. Where do you start? What’s the process?
A. It starts with a meeting where we establish your goals, needs, style and tastes. I sometimes suggest you start with some home work -- looking at magazines collecting ideas and images – or we might start with a favorite piece of art, a furniture piece, or rug. Then I present my ideas and suggestions and we go from there. This can take a couple of hours in one meeting or a few hours over a couple of meetings.
For example, a client had a marble slab which was the starting point for building a color palette that guided decorative choices and faux finishes that I painted in several rooms. Another client wanted to create a Hacienda-style home. (See Oak Bay Private Home description on my PORTFOLIO page)
Q. What geographic area do you cover?
A. Most of my clients are in Western Massachusetts. On occasion, I can travel around the New England area if my schedule permits. To be successful, I need to meet in person and see your space.
Q. How long does a color consultation take?
A. A basic color consultation is usually about 2 hours. Adding in decorating ideas may take an additional 2 hours or more depending on the extent of your makeover or renovation.
Q. What kind of paints do you recommend?
A. I work with quality national brands that are readily available. I also have experience more health-conscious, natural and low-VOC and no-VOC paints.
Q. What are low-VOC paints?
A. Paints and other finish materials release low level toxic emissions into the air, sometimes for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variety of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds). Until recently, these were essential to the performance of the paint. New environmental regulations and consumer demand have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Most paint manufacturers now produce one or more lines of non-VOC paints. These new paints are durable, cost-effective, and less harmful to human and environmental health. For chemically sensitive individuals, low-VOC paints are a must.
Q. What types of faux finishes do you do?
A. I have simulated such finishes as marble, suede, metallics, color washes, stone/granite/slate, and other textures. See examples of different finishes on my PORTFOLIO page.
Q. How do I know if a faux finish or specialty painting is right for me?
A. I have a portfolio with photos of projects I’ve done on walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and also murals. I also have a collection of books that illustrate many ideas to excite the imagination.
Q. Will you paint my furniture?
A. I work on both new unfinished and old damaged pieces. Please call for a consultation on bringing new life to an old piece of furniture or a newly designed piece with a decorative finish. I have created a wide variety of decorative finishes and styles. For examples of finishes and furniture pieces please visit my PORTFOLIO page.