Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I hire Transcending Design?
A: By hiring Transcending Design, you are assured creativity, versatility, integrity, and punctuality. We tailor our services to meet your design needs. As a professional member of several interior design associations, we agree to abide by a code of ethics and professional conduct. We also receive the most current information on appropriate materials, technology, building codes, government regulations, health and safety standards, design psychology and product performance.

Q: Tell me why your firm can be an advantage to me?
A: Our firm is an advantage to you in many ways. We are credentialed and certified through education, experience and successful completion of designated examinations. Our passion about ensuring every aspect of an interior is taken into consideration and handled with precision are key to our success. Our extensive resource library as well as access to trade-only showrooms allows our clients to touch and feel every imaginable fabric, flooring, hardware fixture, trim pieces, etc. A one to one relationship with our clients ensures there is always someone aware of every aspect of your project. Our goal is to please the client by exceeding their expectations.

Q: How does it benefit me to hire a Certified Interior Designer?
A: Qualifications are important for any profession. Anyone can use the title “Interior Designer.” It doesn’t mean they are any more qualified than an “Interior Decorator”, or anyone who chooses to use either title irrespective of their qualifications or experience, which may be none at all. The only guarantee that the person you are hiring is qualified in some way or another is to hire someone who is a “Certified Interior Designer”, a title that is written in to the California Business and Professions Code and protected by law to prevent anyone using the title that has not complied with the law.

In California, only those designers certified by the CCIDC (California Council for Interior Design Certification), approved by the California Legislature as a certifying organization, have the legal right to use the professional title “CID”. All interior designers certified by CCIDC must prove they have the required education and experience, and satisfactorily pass required examinations (California Codes and Regulations Exam and NCIDQ exam), in accordance with California law (Section 5800 et seq of the California Civil Code) in order to be certified by CCIDC. A Certified Interior Designer who is certified by CCIDC is also required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.

Q: What does “professional member” of ASID or IIDA mean?
A: Professional membership in ASID and IIDA recognizes an interior designer as having completed a degree or certification in accredited education and work experience in interior design and successfully completed the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) examination. These members have achieved the highest levels of accomplishment and knowledge in their field. The consumer, the public, other designers and affiliated professionals acknowledge these appellations after an interior designer’s name as the hallmark of professionalism. Note that FASID or FIIDA is a fellow of the respective associations.

Q: How do you charge for an interior design job?
A: Interior designers employ many scenarios of charging for various services. Some designers charge a fixed fee, some charge a percentage of the overall job cost, some charge hourly with a merchandise percentage and various other methods. We can tailor our fee structure to meet your individual design needs.

Typically, we charge an hourly fee for design related consultation. Administrative tasks charge out at a lower hourly fee. Monthly billing of the fee is subtracted from the retainer held in trust by the firm. The retainer is based on the size of the project. The hourly fee is for consultation, creation of proposals, expediting merchandise, and project management through to completion. It does not apply to the purchasing process. All merchandise sold is billed out at cost (design trade net pricing) of the item plus a profit percentage, which is below retail even for items not available to the general public. All tax, installation and shipping are additional and billed separately. Contractor and sub-contractor’s services are billed directly by the contractor to the client.

Q: How much is this going to cost?
A: It depends on what you want. There are many variables including the size of the project, quality of products selected, and the timeframe in which the project needs to be completed. Developing the budget is a partnership between you and Transcending Design. As the client, you should have an active role in developing the budget. If you're unsure about costs, Transcending Design can help. Be honest about your budget and realistic about pricing and value. We can assess your needs and help you determine where to spend and where to save, prioritizing expenses while creating an interior that is within your budget. Also, remember that not everything has to be completed at once. Transcending Design can develop a long-range plan, consult with you to establish a list of priorities and determine a time line for accomplishing your project.

Q: Are letters of agreement/contracts important?
A: A Letter of Agreement is very important because it allows both you and the designer to define the scope of your project, the design process, services rendered, design fees and deposits required to begin the relationship. It is in the client’s best interest to have a signed agreement before any work begins or any money is exchanged.

Q: Who will be my contact?
A: Your primary contact will be a Principal of the firm. By overseeing each project herself, Carol is assured that the envisioned design is carried out thoroughly and shows her genuine commitment to creating an environment to fit her client’s lifestyle and personal needs or for our commercial clients, their corporate culture and business needs.

Q: How will we communicate throughout the process?
A: Phone, email, fax, express mail, overnight mail, in person – whatever it takes to let you know how the job is progressing.

Q: How involved do I have to be?
A: Typically, we meet at the client’s yacht/home/jobsite during the very beginning of the process. After our initial meeting, it really depends on how much time you can and want to devote. Some clients are more involved than others. If you don’t have the time, we keep you informed of all design decisions we make. If you have the time and interest to stay involved, we will use our many resources to include you in the decision-making process. This can be accomplished in person, by mail or by email. Our policy is that we will work with you as much or as little as you prefer. We are also available to meet with you, your architect and/or builder at the jobsite.

Q: Do you have a signature style?
A: We listen closely to our clients so we can produce unique, personalized spaces that reflect you, not the designer. It’s all about lifestyle driven design or for commercial clients, corporate culture driven design. By meeting in your surroundings initially, we get an idea of who you are and what you want as well as what is right for you.

Q: Will you incorporate my furnishings?
A: We will work in pieces with sentimental or practical value. Old items can get in the way of new design goals, so be willing to let go – or at least to update them with new fabrics, finishes or hardware.

Q: What if I don’t know what look or style I want?
A: Our designers are highly trained to assess your needs and desires right from the first meeting. You will spend a lot of time with us looking at photos in our portfolio, concept book and design trade showrooms. For homeowners, we also ask you that you look through major and regional magazines like Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, LUXE, Traditional Home, Veranda, etc. Through this process, your likes and dislikes become apparent. It is wise to have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish as well as similar examples of what you are looking for in advance. See the Client’s Role section under the Process tab for a more detailed explanation.

Q: As a residential client, what should I bring to our first meeting?
A: A scrapbook with clips of pictures, rooms you like, with a few words describing what appeals to you in each. Try to come up with a color palette using anything that inspires you, from paint and fabric swatches to a crayon, blouse or flower.

Q: How can I make the design process go more smoothly?
A: It’s essential there is a good flow between the designer and the client. It’s like a marriage where interchanges of ideas and feelings are critical to the relationship. Trust your designer and the decisions we make together. Suggestions from friends and family will not be coming from the same vested interest or experience.

Sharing your ideas, vision and opinions as well as providing a list of your requirements is vital to the success of your project. Making decisions efficiently and sticking to them is fundamental. Chronic indecision or reverse of decisions can bring a project to a halt. Appointing a decision maker versus every party signing off on each decision will keep the momentum of the project going strong.

Be honest. It's better to say, "I don't think I like that" in the beginning than to change your mind later in the process. This only causes more delays. Be realistic with your budget as well as expectations on how long a project will take.

     Lastly, enjoy the process of transforming your dreams into reality!
Frequently Asked Questions