This is the third project we've worked with Caroline on but the first since Covid and therefore our first experience of the remote design workflow. I suspect like many homeowners we fall into the category of knowing what style we like but not how to design a room in the right way to get there.
Our work with Caroline typically falls into three stages.
First, we discuss what we want the room / area to do and the Caroline comes up with a broad design plan. In this alone it's obvious to us the benefit of working with a professional. We invariably end up with a beautiful room design and avoid a lot of common mistakes.
Next, we talk in a bit more detail about budgets, colours and furnishings. For me, this is Caroline's area of expertise. She makes a real effort early on to learn about our tastes and then has the ability to design and style in that way. There are regularly ideas or suggestions that we would never have come up with ourselves but that are perfect for the space we're working on. Colour choices can be especially subjective but Caroline just knows what would work for us and what we're comfortable with.
Around about this stage Caroline sends us through samples (blinds/curtains, carpets, sofa coverings, tiling, etc.) and the main design document starts to take shape. For us, this is a multi-page PDF (20-30 pages) listing each design decision along with it's rationale and including pictures of various options. Essentially this tells us why we're doing it the way we are, why Carolines choices work for the room and what to consider should we want to change an item for another one.
The third phase is when we work towards a design plan and a specification document. As an engineer who appreciates a bill of materials this is an absolute joy! Each and every thing we might need to buy is provided in a document along with price and link to website. From the large item furnishings down to the smallest ornament or picture it's all there. We also get flooring choices and paint listings as well as tradesmen recommendations on request.
Finally, a word on the remote process. Private Pinterest boards are used for Caroline to show us concepts and discuss ideas. Both Donna and I found this quite useful and it also gave us plenty time to discuss ourselves and mark things we particularly liked. Face to face meetings became Zoom calls but pretty much everyone's an expert on Zoom now. We had 2 calls around an hour each in this project but in the past have had 3 or 4 meetings during project design. It's helpful that Caroline has already designed half the house!
In summary, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Working with Caroline has turned what can be a stressful upgrade into something really quite exciting and fun. Her ability to work to a budget and not obsess over particular brands is a big plus and we certainly feel that we get value for money in her design service. No doubt at all that we'll be using Storylines again as we move round the house.