Approach and Fee Structure

A stylish home doesn’t just happen – it is carefully researched, planned and assembled. Design mistakes are often expensive or, at the very least, embarrassing. Whether you are a new homeowner without much money to lavish on décor, or are about to launch into a major re-structuring of your home, we can be of assistance.

We can do as much, or as little, as you need. We can fully oversee your project from start to finish or we can write a full specification for you to pass to a local contractor. Whether you are looking for something completely new, or simply wishing to change your colour scheme and add defining touches to an existing interior, Dufour Designs can help create a unique living environment, tailored to your individual requirements and lifestyle. And often, it’s the smallest design details in a house that really turn it into a home…. We can create bespoke furniture tailor-made to your needs, or even commission individual art pieces.

When you choose to use an interior designer to help you transform your home, you probably have a fairly clear idea of how much money you’re happy to invest in the project – and a rather vaguer one of what you’d actually like to achieve.

You’ll want to tell us as much as possible about your design aspirations. And we’ll want to know all about them – so that we can turn them into a stunning reality that meets, or, better still exceeds your expectations. But, the chances are, you’ll feel less inclined to tell us about the budget? And we need to know about that too!

In order to create the home of your dreams, preferably without exceeding whatever budget you have in mind, we need to establish at the outset the maximum budget that you’ are able to allocate to the project, and what your priorities are. Not so that we can charge you accordingly, but just so that we make viable suggestions whilst making every effort to keep the total spend within your budget.

Similarly, it is important that we understand where your priorities lie. For example, there is no point in our proposing the perfect pair of £6,000 designer sofas, when you would accept ones at a third of that cost in order to then justify splurging out on the fabulous rug, fireplace or artwork that you’ve set your heart on!

The purpose of this document is:
A. Firstly, to explain the five optional phases available for interior design projects that we can undertake on your behalf.
B. And, finally, to help you think about your priorities in advance of our first meeting, so that we can approach your job with a clear brief (The clearer your instructions to us, the better value you will get from our service, as less time will be wasted exploring unsuitable ideas).
The process
Most projects have the following five stages.
Once each stage is complete the decision to
proceed to the next one is yours.
Each stage
1. Initial consultation
2. Preliminary ideas and design direction
3. Design development/ room concepts
4. Scope of work & working drawings for contractors
5. Project co-ordination and on-site attendance

One - Initial consultation

In general, this meeting should last no longer than 90 minutes. The initial consultation takes place in your home, within days of you first contacting us. This is your opportunity to show us the space, present us with your ideas and ask us any questions you have about how we work. From our discussion, your brief and requirements, we’ll follow up the meeting with a fee proposal for the envisaged project.

Two - Preliminary Ideas and Design Direction

The work here involves us undertaking a standard room survey and establishing the detail of your requirements. Exploring and planing a number of floor layout alternatives on small scale showing typical fittings and possible furniture scheme plan. Production of mood boards and concept direction. Basic research into possible furnishings and initial colour schemes, presenting suggestions and samples as appropriate, conducting whatever research is necessary in order to determine the general feel and direction of your design and what the key elements will be. We will also make initial approaches to contractors (if required) in order to be able to give you an idea of the cost of implementing your wishes.

You will be presented with new ideas and room scheme.
Suitable samples are collated and put together to give a clear idea of the finished room.
Design Boards. A series of design boards are presented to you to illustrate the look, style and feel of the rooms. You can start these off by providing cut outs of what you “love” and what you “hate”, we then do the rest!! Design boards can be bought individually for you to then carry out the work at £250+Vat each. The purchased boards will specifies the paint brands and colours and where to obtain each element of the design (Furniture, lighting, wallpapers, flooring etc).

Three - Design Development/Room Concepts

Once we have a clear idea of the style and the key elements of your space, we will work with you very closely at this stage; exchanging illustrations and ideas on concept and “look”. We will present you with plans, elevations, visuals and sketches as necessary to communicate our concept, plus swatches, sample boards for materials/finishes as well as supplier brochures to finalise the designed scheme with its internal finishes, colours and accessories. Detailed drawings of any bespoke cabinetwork can also be included if required. You will also receive a fully-costed retail price list of key items of furniture, fabrics, fittings (such as lighting) and accessories, all of which can be purchased through us.

Four - Scope of Work/Working Drawings

We will prepare the scope of work for your project including working drawings, services plans, detailed specifications and contractor’s information for plumbing, radiators, wiring, lighting scheme, IT points, telephone, audio-visual, specialist flooring, custom-made furniture, internal finishes and fixtures etc. (This is usually only necessary for large-scale projects and complete refurbishments).

Five - Project Co-ordination/On-site Attendance

We will instruct contractors, suppliers, organise the work and installation, hold site meetings and prepare minutes for you, as necessary, to keep you informed of progress. Liase with lighting professional or specialist contractors. Send drawings/specifications to suppliers for competitive costings and negotiate trade discounts when appropriate. Project Co-ordination
Completing a project can involve lots co-ordination between different trades, decorators, electricians, curtain fittings, upholstery, builders. One of the principal advantages of employing a designer is that we deal with these people on your behalf. Once we have agreed the design we co-ordinate everybody
involved in the project.

Make regular site visits (this may require us to be key-holders to assist in ease of access) to monitor progress, control quality and ensure that the work is being carried out in accordance with the specifications provided. Assist in problem solving – when unexpected variations to specifications occur due to conditions revealed once work is underway. Within reason, be available on the telephone during normal business hours, and certify contractors’ applications for interim and final payments. Quality control, Hand-over to client, snagging and organising 3 months defects meeting.

If your project calls for complex structural work, we will need to involve other professionals, such as structural engineers and architects to take you through other processes, such as applications for planning consent etc. In this instance we will provide you, as early as possible, with detailed quotations for additional professional services.
Contingency costs

It’s a sad fact of life, that when you start scratching beneath the surface of your existing décor, you may find that your home has some little ailments of which you were previously unaware. Dry rot, rising damp and other structural problems can cause delays – and increase costs. With this in mind, you may feel more comfortable in the knowledge that you have a ‘cash reserve’.

So, hopefully you’re now convinced that Dufour Designs is the one for your interior design and implementation needs and now you’d like to meet up with the Dufour team for an initial consultation.

So what should be your next step?

As you thumb through magazines collecting your ideas for the space in question, you may find it useful to identify some images to ‘illustrate’ your initial talk to us. Different terms mean different things to different people. So if you see something you like, be it a colour scheme, a window treatment, a piece of furniture, or even something totally unrelated to interiors that just happens to encapsulate an idea you have – cut it out!

When starting your brief, it would be beneficial if you could also spend just a few minutes thinking about and your requirements. Below are some suggested questions that may be of help for your project;
+ What is the orientation of the space? (south facing etc/ river view etc)

West facing. Sun mainly in the late afternoon

+ Do the proportions need some help? Or does the size need some adjustment?
Ceiling rather high, possibility of knocking through to the living room
+ What are the primary/secondary functions of the space?
Dining room and study
+ Who uses it, to do what?

Run business from this room in day, and entertain occasionally.

+ Does the space interact with other spaces? (dining room/ kitchen etc)

Kitchen for meals Hallway cupboard for filing.

+ How much time will you spend there?

Used most days, some evenings.

+ What is the style of the room/property?

Early Victorian.

+ Is maintaining the historical integrity important?

Apart from ceiling rose and cornicing, rest can be modern

+ What mood do you wish to create?

Orderly and functional.

+ Will the space be used most frequently during the day or night?

Run business from this room in day, and entertain occasionally.

+ What are the colours of the existing possessions you wish to accommodate? (e.g. How much of the furniture around you is essential - how much things that you’ve simply got used to having around?)

Dining suite – want to keep (rosewood) – but need modern drinks cabinet. Flooring is parquet – would like to update and invest in stunning rug and matching artwork for wall.

+ What about the doors and windows (position/ dimensions) Are they to remain the same?

Doors and windows wherever possible to remain the same

+ What storage do you want to accommodate?

Ideally would like to accommodate 50 lever arch files and best dining service

+ What kind of services need to be incorporated? (electricity/gas supply,radiators/-plumbing etc.)

No additional services needed

+ What about electronics? (HIFI Sound systems, plasma screens, lighting etc.)

Dimmer switch for lights and sound system to be extended from living room

Other notes might be….

What can we do with the unused fireplace?
Want dramatic focal point but don’t know
Window treatment – must get rid of blinds, curtains mustn’t be too fussy
Walls – need to lighten up – see magazine cuttings

There are, of course, other elements to consider when building works are involved, or when structural problems require remedial works, and we will discuss these with you. But, however complex the project, this prioritisation process enables us to allocate your budget – and to focus from the outset on what is most important to you and will give you most pleasure.

What you want to spend on your home is entirely up to you. As long as you tell us what your budget is, we can use our creative expertise, our experience and our contacts with specialist suppliers, both in the UK and overseas, to make sure that you get the very most out of it. So, perhaps our first piece of advice would be: never be afraid that the sum you can justify is too modest to name. Tell us straight what it is – and we’ll tell you straight what can be achieved.

We look forward to meeting you very soon……………………

Contact us now to arrange
a FREE no obligation consultation!

At Dufour Designs we offer a one-stop solution to all your Interior Design needs!


Call Dufour Design

London Office
Vincent Dufour
0845 373 1845

Surrey Office
Linda Shantry
01372 463316

7 Loseberry Road, Claygate,
Esher, Surrey, KT10 9DQ

Copyright by DUFOUR DESIGNS. All rights reserved.  | Website Design by: CHERRY PIT SOLUTIONS