Urbane Design FAQ’s

What sets Urbane Design apart from other interior design companies?

We take a simple approach to design, first and foremost focusing on functionality as well as aesthetics. We work with you to design the space of your dreams, within your budget and your time frame, and to suit all of your lifestyle needs. Whether you are looking to reconfigure the layout of your entire home, convert an unused bedroom into a theater room or select furniture and accessories we can help you reach the optimal potential of your home. Urbane Design offers a unique pay-as-you-go service, which allows you to use the services of an interior designer as much or as little as you need them throughout your project, ensuring that you receive a professional, cost effective service. Finally, our extensive portfolio displays a broad range of lush, sophisticated and dramatic interiors that are all unique to the individual who hired us. See what others have to say about Urbane Design.

Why hire an interior designer?

For the same reason you would hire skilled professionals in other areas of your life (i.e. insurance, finance, attorney, health, etc.) We are experts in our field and your investment in your home is too valuable not to turn out exactly as you have dreamed. We will advise you on the best use of your design budget, guide you through the design process for a higher standard of living and longer lasting design, assure you through our skilled space planning that your choices will be scaled appropriately for each room, and most importantly design a home that is unique to your lifestyle! Mistakes and poor time management are costly, rely on our expertise and call for your consultation today!

What is the difference between an interior designer and a decorator?
In a nutshell: education and experience.

A decorator is someone who primarily deals with colors, finishes and furniture and typically stays within the residential boundary of interiors. Most decorators’ work individually and without a contract. Furniture mark-ups and hourly fees vary widely among decorators.

An interior designer has the necessary education, experience and is often affiliated with professional organizations such as ASID. They are knowledgeable in building codes, building departments and licensed contractors. Interior designers can complete residential and commercial projects from start to finish, read architectural plans and prepare construction documents for subcontractors. Generally a contract or letter of agreement is standard and spells out the projected fees and the specific services they will provide for a project.

When to hire an interior designer vs. an architect?

In most cases an interior designer will concentrate on the internal configuration and decoration of your home. Any external additions such as loft conversion or a side extension usually require the expertise of an architect. Urbane Design can advise you on the required services for your project!

What is the cost and what do I get for my money?

We base our expertise on an hourly fee as most skilled professionals do; an invoice lists everything achieved during an appointment. An hour may be spent either in consultation with the client, designing the project, ordering items the client has agreed to, one-way driving and supervising any construction as well as the final installation of the project. An hour of design time is agreed upon before it is charged; there are no surprises when the invoice is issued. A client will also receive substantial savings off retail pricing and access to trade only stores.

What if I do not want all new furniture, but want a new look?

We welcome projects of all sizes and budgets!  Our specialty is reviving interior spaces!  Many clients want to keep heirloom pieces or simply reupholster a perfectly functional piece of furniture in a new fabric. We will guide you in space planning to change the focal point in your rooms to showcase your most dramatic piece, or alter the wall and trim colors for a fresher, brighter ambiance. It is possible to get a new look with items you already have. We are full of creative ideas and have the ability to give you the look you desire!

What if I am a DIY-er and just need a little help getting started?

We are enthusiastically prepared to assist you in any way on an hourly consultation fee. We have been in the design industry long enough to have established many resource lists for any sub-contracting task you may require.

What if my spouse and I have completely different tastes?

This is expected and there are many ways we can assist you both in creating a look that either blends the two styles for an overall subtle, coordinated and professional result or design multiple areas using one preference as the dominating style depending on the function of the room (i.e. a gentleman’s room or game room may reflect one partner’s taste, while the master bedroom may sway more with the other partner’s taste).

How long does the design process take?

Typically a project includes an extensive interview of your wishes, needs, design style and budget. Follow up visits are necessary to space plan, customize furniture, fabrics and trim, create any window treatments and bedding, etc. Custom furniture may take 12-16 weeks from the order date. Once a design job is assessed an estimated time line will be given to the client.

Do you charge for the initial consultation?

Yes we do, as the initial consultation is extremely productive and informative.  During the initial consultation we will discuss design goals, needs and budget.  An in-home visit is needed to accurately develop a design direction for the project.

We do understand that some clients may wish to interview a multitude of designers when working on large design projects.  With this in mind, we do offer a free of charge “meet and greet” at our conveniently located Northwest Austin office so we can get to know one another before moving forward with the initial in-home consultation.

When is payment for interior design service due?

For in-home consultations payment is due at the end of the design consultation. Larger design projects will require a Design Agreement that will be electronically submitted shortly after the initial consultation.  We are typically able to quote the number of hours that we expect to complete a design project and we will collect a retainer for half of the quoted amount of design time, said payment is due with the Design Agreement.

Is there a minimum?

Urbane Design can be retained at an hourly rate, though for convenience we have simplified the design process by creating affordable and time saving design packages, while still offering innovative design solutions targeting for your specific lifestyle needs.  Customized design packages can be estimated on individual prerequisites. Initial in-home consultations for larger projects require a minimum of one hour. Specific charges can be referenced in our Design Agreement.  Smaller projects and color consultations requiring an in-home consultations require a minimum of two hours.

Are gift certificates available?

They sure are!  Gift certificates are available for purchase by the hour and are the perfect gift for newlyweds, new homeowners or just to show a friend or a loved one you care.  Contact us today and give the gift of design to those who mean most to you.