What services can Eastlight provide?
•• Eastlight is a full service design practice. So, anything you might need for your home or workplace is available – Interior Design, Furnishing, Lighting Design, Materials Specification, Color Consultation... The list is long!
Where are you located and where can you work?
••I'm located in the heart of Buckhead, but now that so much communication is done by email, the ability to send and receive files makes it possible to work virtually anywhere. There have been projects where the Client and I seldom need to meet face-to-face.
Do you have a showroom?
•• No – I have in years past, but find it less necessary because of all the wonderful showrooms at my disposal for everything imaginable – fabrics, flooring, cabinets, furniture, lighting, artwork – you name it – it's out there. So anything I need for a project, I can find somewhere. I maintain good resources and good relationships with vendors to assure that I can find what you'll want for your project. If I were to begin representing specific companies or manufacturers, I would open a showroom again.
How does Eastlight charge for its services?
•• Fees for your project are a bit like the design for your project would be – specific to you and your needs. Generally speaking, for whatever work that will need to be done – if it can be clearly defined in advance – it can often be covered by a Flat Fee – a single amount agreed to at the beginning of the project. This requires an inclusive Scope of Services describing what will be covered. In virtually every project though, not everything can be foreseen upfront. So any work that isn't specifically covered in the Scope of Services is charged on an hourly basis. It's my practice, whenever reasonable in those circumstances, to give you an estimate of how much time I think something may take in advance. That gives you the option to decide whether or not you want to go ahead with whatever it is. The vast majority of projects call for a balanced combination of Flat & Hourly Fees under the same Agreement.
Do you do any design work with lighting?
•• Absolutely! In fact, if lighting design isn't part of your project, it will probably suffer as a result. Because so much of my work has been Retail Store Design, I'm particularly attuned to Lighting, where I have years of experience – sometimes in very difficult spaces requiring not just illumination, but mood and emotion as an essential component in the success of the design. In addition, I keep up with all the latest Lighting technology so I can provide you with the most efficient and effective selections to make your project shine.
I'm already working on a new home. Will you work with my Builder?
•• That depends on your Builder. Some are amenable to that kind of collaboration – others, not so much. So I don't have a perfect answer for the question – we'll need to have that conversation when it's appropriate. But what I can say, is that I am highly collaborative in my work style. If your Builder is of a similar mind, I'm open to it.
What do I need to have to start a project for my home?
•• What you need is anything that will tell me more about you and your family. Everything I do begins with as clear an understanding of your lifestyle as I can possibly assemble. What that means for you is information – likes, dislikes, daily patterns, social habits, work routines, and so on. A lot of this will come out of the conversations that we'll have. But where tastes are concerned, I always ask new Clients to make and keep clippings from magazines or web images of anything that "lights them up" – lighting, furniture, window treatments, fabrics, artwork, whatever. Even if it isn't something you might actually put in your project, it helps me know more about what you respond to. The more completely we become friends during this process, the more successful your project can be. But – every bit as important as what you like – keep clips of the things you DON'T like too! I need to know these things.
Why do you call Kitchen Design a Specialty?
•• No other room in your home has so many special requirements as your kitchen – storage, work space, appliances, social space, lighting, room to move around... and all of this needs to be carefully tailored differently for every family. Eastlight has very special experience solving these kinds of problems for people and we know what to be attentive to.
Why do some of your projects say in collaboration with Barefoot Kitchens and who are they?
•• Barefoot Kitchens is a specialized Kitchen Design and Cabinetry business operated by my colleague of many years, Gary Tilson. Gary is an Architect whose interests have settled – after years of all kinds of design work – solidly on Kitchen Design and everything that can make it special. That has prompted a long dealership with Wellborn Cabinet Company of Ashland, Alabama. Gary and I have very compatible design approaches and have worked over the years on Residential, Commercial and Religious projects of all scopes and sizes. We intend to continue working together on select projects, assuring that even the most complex design problems will be no match for what we can do creatively.
Do you charge for Initial Visits?
•• Yes, I charge the equivalent of 2 hours regular time. On occasion, I'll waive that charge for special cases. If we do continue to work together on a project, I will credit that initial charge back into your overall fees for the work we do together.
How do you manage purchasing for a project?
•• I work hard to maintain deep resources for products of all sorts. I often get favorable pricing from them on any purchases I make. I pass this amount through to you along with a 20% Purchasing Fee. That fee covers the cost of processing the order, dealing with the shipping, and managing any claims. It also helps to defer the costs of my time spent in any research for items which ultimately may not get purchased.
Will I be able to use my old appliances?
•• It may be possible, but depends on several considerations. Sometimes the determining factor is simply the age and condition of your appliance. Other times it has to do with size – whether or not it will work well into what your Kitchen will eventually become. Cost is always an understandable concern, so we pay close attention to what you want to do and try our best to provide you with everything you will need to make informed choices.
If I do need new appliances, do I buy them through you or do I just find them on my own?
•• You can do either. But because your whole kitchen will depend on what, where and how your appliances will integrate with cabinets, lighting, plumbing, electrical and so on, you'll do well to keep Eastlight at least involved in the specification process. Then, if you prefer to go hunt them down in the great appliance jungle, have at it! Otherwise, we can handle the whole thing.
Are you an Architect?
•• No, I am not an Architect. It's sometimes a bit difficult to draw a definitive line between Architecture and Interior Design because of the tremendous overlap in the types of things we both do and the similarity of the ways in which we both work. Like Interior Design, Architecture is a specific discipline with special training and qualifications. Because of that, Architects understandably defend the use of the term specifically for those who have met all the requirements of the profession. That said, however, I'm capable of providing some of the same things an Architect might – very much in the same manner that one can often find Architects who will provide Interior Design services. The most important issue here is that when the requirements go more than a little way into the domain of Architecture, I will consult with an Architect. It's that simple!
What are your qualifications?
•• I have a degree from University of Florida School of Architecture in Interior Design. I am also NCIDQ Certified, a certification which requires the successful completion of a rigorous, 2-day exam on every aspect of Interior Design Practices, Life Safety, Sustainability, Ethics, Business and Practical Design skills. (Click HERE for more information on NCIDQ.) I've had my own private Design practice for many years and have successfully completed Residential, Commercial, Corporate, Retail, Transportation and Hospitality projects as well as many highly complex Architectural Signage and Way-finding projects. I am licensed as a Registered Interior Designer in Georgia.
How does working with an Interior Designer actually work?
•• It's a huge question because it can cover so much territory. We'll meet initially just to discuss what you'd like to accomplish. We'll talk about feasibility of your vision, possible range of costs, schedules, impact on your family's lives while work is being done and anything else that's relevant. Unless you've done this before, you'll likely have lots of questions. That's what the initial meeting is all about. After our meeting, I'll get a proposal back to you in a few days. If we agree on everything, we'll get started by developing some concepts for your project. If the results of that meet your approval, we'll go ahead with any drawings that need to be done and begin the process of researching materials, furnishing, trades people, and so on. When all those loose ends are tied down, then the physical work is about ready to start. During the actual work, if we've agreed to it in advance, I'll monitor the progress and quality of all the work that is being done. At some point everything will be done and your life will return to normal again!
Do you have a particular style for your design work?
•• Not really. My preferences are pretty general, leaving me able to fit comfortably with whatever my Client's tastes may be. But it's reasonable to say that I lean toward more contemporary styles overall. But, while I admire the crisp lines of European Contemporary design, it creates a very rigid environment that I'm convinced is difficult for most people to live in. So my work usually uses more natural materials and softer lines whether it's more Traditional or Contemporary. Mostly, I like eclectic spaces that balance the two with each other.
Do you have a favorite design period?
•• I certainly do. I grew up with Mid Century Modern, so it will always strike a chord with me emotionally. But intellectually, I love it for its honesty and clean presentation. I'm also particularly fond of the Arts and Crafts era (sometimes known as Craftsman or Bungalow Style) from which the Mid Century styles get their honesty and respect for materials. And – on the opposite end of the scale – I am completely taken with both Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles for their utter disregard for all good sense and complete abandon when it comes to excess. The fluidity of Art Nouveau particularly delights me. Touches of these various styles will show up regularly in my design work but are seldom the driving force for an entire project.
Do I need a Building Permit for my project?
•• It will depend on a number of things: the regulations differ somewhat from one municipality to another, but it also depends on the extent and particulars of the work we'll be doing. If you are required to have one though, it's essential.
Are you available on weekends or evenings?
•• I prefer to spend that time with my family, but I realize that sometimes a Client's schedule is unforgiving. I evaluate the needs as they arise and try to be flexible when it's critical.
Will you take my Credit Card for Fees and Purchases?
•• Of course – Eastlight accepts personal or business checks and all major Credit Cards.