Can you do different styles?

Of course! We are trained and experienced in all the major interior design styles. We are often asked to describe our style. To a certain extent, it is not relevant because we are not designing our space, but our clients’ space. There are as many styles as there are people. We have a design philosophy and an approach to design, but when it comes to style, it is for our clients that we design, not for us.

We want your décor to reflect your style and your living space to tell a story about you. A consultation involves asking questions to get to know you, your lifestyle, your physical preferences, your passions, and your creative interests.

What is your design philosophy and approach?

Without writing a position paper, we can summarize our philosophy and approach in a few key quotes:

Simple Design: “Less is more.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Functional Design: “Form ever follows function.” – Louis Sullivan

Eclectic Design: “A highly cultivated taste, a taste that is knowledgeable and eclectic, is likely to be exciting and provocative, a personal taste at its highest level.”  
– Eleanor Stockstrom McMillen Brown

Natural Design: “Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Inspiring Design: “We shape our homes and then our homes shape us.” – Winston Churchill

How much should we budget for your work?

After having met with you we will be in a better position to do a design cost estimate. Our rate varies depending on the tasks performed. For more detail, please contact us. Architects, engineers, landscape designers, workrooms, upholsterers, artists, artisans, and trades have their own rates and are budgeted separately. The design costs estimate might fluctuate if more work is requested than is customary for a project of the same scope, or if the clients add to the scope of the project during production.

It is customary in our industry to invoice clients upon the initial consultation even if the firm or the proposal is not retained. On most projects we ask the clients to sign a Letter of Engagement outlining the work required, fees, etc. A retainer is required at that time.

We will account for our billable hours of work, which includes amongst other things, consulting time, research, budget, design, draft, sourcing products and trades, and management of the project to its completion. Disbursements are charged separately. Prior to making a purchase we provide clients with an estimate and require a written approval and deposit.

Building a relationship of trust is important to the success of the project. The only way we can effectively establish the parameter of the job at hand is by being open about what your expectations and budget are.

How long will it take?

A complete room redecorating project, kitchen/bath or complete residential/corporate redesign will take several months and sometimes a full year. Besides the time required to research and design, you have to consider that fabrics, furniture, workroom orders, custom cabinetry, etc. take anywhere from 4 to 16 weeks to be completed depending on the time of the year and the scope of the project. Trades are generally booked a few months in advance. We do our best to minimize the time it takes to do a project, but unrealistic expectations lead to disappointments. If you have a set idea of when you would like a project completed, it is best to contact us several months in advance so we can start working on your project as quickly as possible.

What is the process?

The process varies somewhat from one project to another, depending on the clients and the scope. In most cases, the following process is followed:


Depending on the complexity of the project, we might need to meet our clients once (e.g., colour consultation) or several times to make proposals and seek approvals to revisions. These meetings are vital to the success of the project and we require all deciding members of the family or company be present for us to hear first-hand what our clients’ desires, needs, and requirements are. The first meeting is particularly important as we try to determine taste, lifestyle and space usage. We also discuss scope, goals, and budget.


A Letter of Engagement detailing the work required and each party’s responsibilities is drafted and a retainer obtained. From then on a representative for the clients is assigned for us to follow up with and seek approvals from. We generally take preliminary working measurements, colour checks, furniture inventory, and photographs during the first meeting to help us prepare the scheduling and preliminary costs estimate.

Scheduling & Preliminary Costing

During this phase we review the information we gathered from our meeting(s) with the clients and do a summary research. We contact the various trades, suppliers and specialists that we might need to complete your project. From our research and discussions with the experts, we determine the most probable time schedule and draw a preliminary cost estimate. (The preliminary cost estimate is revised once the selected trades provide us with their quotes and once the clients have confirmed their selection of hardware, finishes and furnishings.)

Concept (R&D)

The next step is for us to go to the drawing board, come up with a few conceptual ideas, and preliminary floor plans. Research is done to find solutions for the required applications. At the end of this stage we like to meet with our clients to review the schedule, costs estimates, conceptual ideas, and floor plans. Before we go too far with our designs, we want to make sure that the direction we are taking is in line with our clients’ wishes.

Design Scheme

This stage is research intensive and requires the most design time. Once we are of the same mind on the conceptual ideas and floor plans, we come up with a colour scheme and start selecting fabrics, finishes, furnishings, hardware, etc. Samples and pictures are gathered. Relevant quotes and prices are researched. In most cases we produce more than one complementary selection for our clients to choose. At this point, we also start designing furniture, built-ins, cabinets, and mantels. The various plans and elevations are drawn. As required, perspective drawings are rendered. This stage of the process is generally fluid and several exchanges of emails, phone conversations, and meetings might be required to confirm plans and selections. We advise not to delay in approving the design scheme as items might become unavailable and pricing might change.

Once the design scheme is approved, we gather all these elements into a Design Book — including all selections, schedules and plans — that becomes the document from which the designing team and trades work. We then obtain final quotes from trades and suppliers and create a budget.

Trades Contracting & Procurement

The next step is to contract with the trades retained and order the supplies selected. Our clients receive the various contracts and deposits are made for the work to start. A Purchase Agreement listing the items with price will be provided for the clients to sign. A deposit is required to complete the order, the balance of which will be paid at delivery. Unknown costs, such as delivery, are generally billed later. Art, accessories, antiques, as well as some custom items must be paid in full when ordered.

Production & Coordination

We oversee the construction and production phase of custom items to ensure it is done to our specifications and is of the utmost quality. At the end of the construction process we review the area, note any deficiencies, and request corrections. At the same time we coordinate the deliveries of the many items purchased.

Installation & Styling

Once construction and production is finished, we schedule the delivery of furnishings and install the items in the rooms. Depending on the scope of the project (larger projects take longer) and availabilities, we endeavour to have everything done in a day. Finally, we style and accessorize the rooms to maximize visual impact.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information.

(705) 435-6309
© 2008 Chantale & Co.