What is it like to work together?
I inventory your ideas, what your space needs, how you live and your budget, and I put these things together to design a space that reflects your personal style and is uniquely tailored to your needs and wants.
In order to do this, it works best to first create a full design plan for your space that we can then implement, rather than shopping piece by piece. We can design around pieces you have, or pieces you want, and we always leave room for things like that really cool vintage find that can make the space feel it was collected over time. While finding an amazing piece can be exhilarating (I know!), nothing beats having a design plan in hand to help you keep the big picture in mind. After the implementation of each design plan, it’s thrilling to see how your 8½ x 11 design board has come to life!
Why is it best to work from a design plan?
Each piece in a room relates to the others, and achieving a coherent design is much different from the experience of shopping for an individual piece. As you shop piece by piece, you are seeing items in a showroom or on their own without a frame of reference for how they will look in your space. Working within a design plan allows you to make informed decisions about what will actually work in the space.
When should I contact you?
You know what I’m going to say here – it’s best to contact us as soon as you are thinking about redecorating or renovating your space!
We get a lot of phone calls where a client is mid-renovation and all of the sudden they’ve realized they have to make paint color and lighting selections. At that point, you’ve already made a ton of decisions and may be reaching decision paralysis. It can also be hard to visualize what your space will look like and make an informed decision that considers how such details will relate to the rest of your decor.
We can help you make the best decision for your space with the information you have, but what is really helpful is for us to be involved at the pre-renovation stage, when you are talking with your architect and contractor. We can work together to create a furniture and fixtures plan that ensures your space will be renovated in a way that will work for how you want to use it and furnish it.
It’s heartbreaking to work with a client post-renovation on a furniture plan and realize that if the space were just a few feet wider, the sofa they love would have worked perfectly. Meeting as early as possible also helps you budget more realistically what it will cost to get the space to be beautiful and livable. After months of renovation work, you want it to be a space you can enjoy and not to have to think about shopping for and purchasing furniture.
How does your design process work?
If you are interested in working with us, please fill out our design inquiry form. The more information you can provide the better!
We then contact you to schedule either a short phone call – if we need more information about your project, especially as it relates to timing – or an initial in-home design consultation where we start the process of discussing ideas for your space.
After our initial in-home design consultation, we will prepare and send you a proposal for the scope of work we discussed. If you accept our proposal, we then sign a contract and get to work!
We take measurements and “before” photographs, and we get to work on a design plan that includes all of the exact details and furnishings that will go into your space.
After our presentation of the design plan, we let you take some time and make sure you like everything – testing out the sofa, the paint colors and living with the design plan. If there are pieces we need to tweak, then we do that before we start purchasing (unless something really needs to be purchased – if it’s on sale or going away!). We then start purchasing pieces once you have approved the full design plan.
Any painting or contractor work that needs to be done is done. Old furniture is sold and donated. Deliveries are scheduled and the room starts coming together. We don’t install the room all at once but over time: During this time it’s crucial for you to remain calm about the changes that are happening in the space. And, it’s where the design plan comes into play and is great to look back at and remember how amazing the space will be when it all comes together.
After all of the painting is done and deliveries are made, we come back and add that crucial, final “styling” layer to the space. This helps to warm up the space, and it lets us add those few last pieces that make the space feel personal and not as if everything was just purchased.
Where do you shop?
We love to mix things up in unexpected ways. I believe that it is the unique combination of furniture and accessories that makes a space work well and reflect your personal style.
For us, it is important that you are able to test out the sofa for your living room, try out the dining room chairs and see what the rug feels like on your feet, to be sure you are happy with our selections before we start purchasing. We work a lot with local retail stores for this reason. We have also formed great relationships with these stores and have a wealth of information about what wears well, what people like and if there are any problems with certain pieces we should know.
We always add a few fun pieces from our favorite vintage stores and flea markets. Most Sundays you can find me at the Georgetown Flea Market searching for great little treasures. I actually purchase pieces as I go so that I’m ready to try them in the final styling layer of your room, to make it feel warm and lived in.
I’ve never worked with a decorator, and am nervous about doing so. Is that normal?
Yes! Most of my clients have never worked with an interior decorator and don’t know what to expect. At first it’s scary – almost like dating! – but as we get to know each other the process becomes fun and something you look forward to. Some of my clients who were most hesitant about hiring a decorator and really didn’t like change or shopping couldn’t wait until the next item would be delivered, and they’ve actually hired me again after their project was complete simply because they were now having fun with their home and were proud of how it looked.
Just like in any relationship, the main ingredient to having the best experience is trust. You are hiring someone not just to add a couple of pillows to your sofa; you are hiring someone to think about things that you don’t have the time or experience to think about. We both have the same goal: to create a beautiful space that reflects you and makes you happy.
How much will this cost?
We talk about how much your room might cost to decorate in our initial in-home design consultation. It depends on factors such as the quality of the furnishings you want, the style you are looking for, whether or not you want to purchase a “greener” option, if you need a custom piece etc. We are upfront and honest about these costs and aim to meet the needs of you and your space in decorating your home.
Our goal is for you to love your home. For many people, their home is their largest asset, but few take the time to really decorate so that they fully enjoy their space and realize the value of their investment. Some end up moving out of dissatisfaction before putting any effort into design. The costs of selling and moving into a new home can be even more than what it would cost to decorate your current home. I try to prevent any unnecessary waste and work with clients to create a responsible and appropriate budget for decorating their home, to turn it into a space that makes them happy and productive.
Why the name “On My Agenda” for your design company?
I started my company after I had practiced law for several years at a large firm in New York and Washington, working around the clock and without much time left to do things that I enjoyed and were important to me. I wanted to focus on the things that were “on my agenda” and prioritize those. As I was thinking about what those things were, I realized that I could create a company that allowed me to both do what I really enjoyed and help people who are just like me when I was a lawyer and don’t have time to prioritize and focus on getting things done in their home while also keeping their professional and family lives moving forward at the requisite pace.
The name “On My Agenda” reflects the natural way I work. Every day, I wake up early, and I make a list of all the things I need to do that day. Being creative is a lot of fun – but in the end, it is as much about getting things done as it is about having beautiful ideas.