If you’ve ever wished for high-end design on a low-end budget, a new trend emerging among area interior designers may make the price just right.
Ala carte interior design, in which designers offer their services in package deals, is a new affordable way to decorate your home in high style.
“We want to make design more affordable,” said Jessica Centella, one of three designers behind the Arlington-based r:u, residents:understood. The other designers who make up r:u include James Wall and Kiera Kuschalm, who lives in Clarendon. The three met while they were all interior design graduate students at the University of Florida. Wall and Kuschalm moved to the Washington D.C. area and worked for other designers before deciding they wanted to start a firm of their own. That’s when they asked Centella, a Florida native, to join them.
Their aim is to take the anxiety out of great interior design, especially for urban dwellers like those found in the Clarendon area. “We are targeting a younger demographic,” said Centella.
They recently launched a blog detailing their “personality-driven design solutions”. Centella said their aim is to focus on lifestyle versus decorating style.
The recently redid a project in the Courthouse area. They are putting in the finishing touches and the dramatic transformation will be detailed here next week.
Even long-established full service design houses, are starting to offer ala carte services. Whittington Design Studio, based in Yorktown, last year launched Room Service, a room by room alternative to full service residential interior desgin. Owner Melanie Whittington said after the economy tanked, she noticed more of her clients wanting to scale-back services.
They retained their taste, just not the budget for wholesale changes. Whittington said she was inspired by the pricing at spas.
Similar to spa packages, Room Service Creations has flat rates tailored to any budget. Services start as low as under $300 for hourly renovation consultation. The top package “Help this Room”, is a comprehensive design package that will incorporate your individual style into a detailed, floor‐to‐ceiling custom design that is perfect for your space for $850. The package includes a 2 Hour In‐Home Consultation, which includes taking measurements. You also get time in Whittington’s studio, up to 18 hours over three to four weeks. A team of designers will work with you to customize your design and offer access to “trade only” furnishings and fabrics.
You receive a presentation that includes a scaled rendering of your room with furniture placement; a “materials board” complete with furniture images, fabric, finish and paint samples; and, an itemized proposal for furniture, window treatments, flooring options, lighting solutions, art and accessories. You also get an 1 ½ hour follow up in the studio.
You can chose to have Whittington implement the design or based on the materials board you were given, acquire similar design pieces and finish the room yourself.
Other services include “Bedroom Makeovers”, in which designers incorporate themes and color schemes for a child’s room, master bedroom or guest room. You work within your budget in terms of acquiring furniture and accessories. The service costs $575.
Other services include “Finishing Touches”, which helps you enhance your interiors by adding art, pillows, accessories, lighting, window treatments and new paint. These services start under $200.