Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2024-01-16T15:18:19+02:00

What Does IT Cost to Renovate and Furnish A Home?

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about both interior design in general and how we work specifically so that you have as much information as possible when deciding how you are going to approach your project. If you don’t find your answer below open a WhatsApp chat with us here.

Using an interior designer sounds expensive. Why do I need one?2023-12-13T16:05:06+02:00

While you do pay extra for interior design services one should not assume that there is no cost to doing it yourself. Buying the wrong pieces, spending money and the room not coming together in the end, not knowing about diverse products at diverse prices or making choices that don’t work all come at a cost. A project also takes many hours and many weekends and that time comes at your own labour cost. Hiring an interior designer helps to avoid wasted time and money due to mistakes and their involvement in a project results in a better end result than most people could achieve on their own. An interior designer will also be entirely dedicated to completing the project and has buying power with suppliers resulting in quicker snag resolution and you finally getting the project complete.

How long does it take to stage a development?2023-12-12T16:59:31+02:00

Custom staging a development takes 10-12 weeks as 8 weeks are needed for custom manufacturing. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to finalise the final design and final budget. In our experience bringing an interior designer/home stager into the project as early as possible just for a few hours of consulting first before plans are submitted for approval makes a world of difference. A fresh perspective on the layout helps to identify any issues and designers can also give input on trendy colours and material palettes which could help in the marketing of the development.

How much does it cost to stage a property?2024-01-17T13:00:12+02:00

We no longer provide rental show house furniture but this can cost anywhere from a minimum of R15 000 for an apartment to R25 000 for a house for 4-6 weeks. When it comes to custom staging where the furniture is sold with the property (usually by developers) the cost can vary depending on the price point of the development, target market and the size of the unit. Here is a portfolio of some of our past projects and costs to give an idea. If you have a furnished property and need help with styling your rooms and adding a few pieces you can work on our hourly rate of R950 per hour with a minimum fee of 3 hours.

How long does a project take?2023-12-11T14:41:28+02:00

Depending on how busy we are at the time, the output of your consulting package will be ready between 2-4 weeks.

What if I need more advice after my package is completed?2023-12-11T14:40:41+02:00

No problem. You can simply request a few more hours working on my rate of R950 per hour.

What are some of the unique things about working with you that are different from other designers?2023-11-24T10:47:36+02:00

Because of my background in home staging I always design with resale in mind and am very mindful of a families long term plans and not overcapitalising. I don’t push my own aesthetic onto clients but try to ensure that they will receive something that they will really love for years. I also work on a transparent pricing model and don’t charge any hidden margins on retail items. This ensures greater trust during the project and that my clients get more value. I have a passion for interesting art and I love architecture and landscaping so when I work on a home I generally always give input on the garden, internal layout and I help source special pieces to bring life to empty walls. So much retail art is really bland and uninspiring but I love looking for unique finds that add wow factor.

How do you know what to choose and what will work when there are so many options?2023-11-24T10:47:08+02:00

People say that someone has “an eye for design” for a reason. When I look at an interior I just know when something is wrong and I change things until it looks right. Designing is something that comes naturally to me and feels easy. It’s hard to explain. Even as a child I would move things around in my Grandmothers house and when I got older she even let me paint and renovate her kitchen! It was my first renovation in fact.  When I go on holiday the first thing I do is take out a piece of paper and sketch the layout as I think it should be and I generally don’t relax until I’ve solved the problem if there is one. That’s why I book pretty holiday homes- so I can relax. The thing that ultimately helps me choose though is my clients brief and budget. Those parameters are my guide.

Why should clients choose you?2023-11-24T10:46:43+02:00

I try to treat other people how I would like to be treated. When it comes to interior design that means treating my clients houses and their budget like I would treat my own. I have approached my businesses from the perspective of what clients want and need first and what their goals are and then designed my services based on that to try and meet unmet needs. I really do see my business as using a gift to help others. I’m an ideas person, a big picture thinker and like thinking outside of the box. This leads to cost effective problem solving that helps my clients budgets go further.

What inspired you to start your own business?2023-11-24T10:46:17+02:00

I love the saying- “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” It’s very true. For the first 7 years of my career I dreaded Monday’s and just knew I couldn’t carry on like that. I wanted to study interior design after school but my friends talked me out of it suggesting something more sensible like marketing… but ignoring your dreams is never sensible. In 2014 I took a risk and decided to combine my marketing background with my love of interiors and start a home staging business. After clients saw my portfolio and what I could do with particularly problematic homes the business grew into more of an interior design focused business.

What do you love most about working in interior design?2023-11-24T10:45:44+02:00

I love taking spaces which are disordered, uninspiring and unimaginative and making them beautiful to enhance the lives of those who live in that space. It takes a lot of time, thought and problem solving to get there and I enjoy the challenge. I meet many clients that are frustrated as they have tried to do it themselves or who have taken on a huge project with a thousand overwhelming decisions. I enjoy taking this burden off their shoulders and giving them a space beyond what they could ever have imagined on their own.

I see you use a lot of white in your interiors. Is that your favourite colour?2023-11-24T10:45:18+02:00

Our interiors that feature a lot of white are mostly our show units that need to be light, bright and airy to help them sell. I like working in all colours for my other projects. My own house however is a white and grey Scandinavian style beach inspired interior so yes I do love white. My rule for family friendly interiors is – “if it’s white it’s got to be wipeable or washable”. I like to use white in scatters, paint, accessories, coffee/side tables and lighting and then use darker colours in carpets and upholstery.

Won’t the buyers just imagine furniture in the room/look past any problems or make the necessary changes themselves to their own tastes?2024-01-16T15:27:35+02:00

80% of buyers view homes online first. Empty properties don’t show size or layout and therefore attract less people as the buyer needs to do more work to figure out the space. In the convenience of searching online with hundreds of other properties just a click away, you need to make the buyers job easy and get their attention fast. Anytime a buyer needs to make a concession when buying a property they can simply choose to walk away from the deal or lower their offer. Home staging is about proactively dealing with issues prior to showing your home so that when someone sees it for the first time they get a better first impression and automatically value your home in a different category. Most buyers would prefer to move into a space without major issues that they need to address. This doesn’t mean it is worth it to make your house the best on the street by pouring in hundreds of thousands of rands to renovate in the short term. But this does mean cosmetic fixes and adding a bit of charm and something loveable to the space and showing buyers the potential in its current state. If you wouldn’t wear your pyjamas to a job interview then it makes sense not to try sell without staging.

Is it better for developers to rent or buy show house furniture?2023-12-12T17:02:52+02:00

When we first started staging in 2014 we offered rental furniture to developers as the quick turnaround and lower initial cost seemed like the better option, but over the years we identified a number of issues with this model that led to us discontinuing this service. We now recommend custom staging show units for the following strategic reasons:

  1. There is a zero staging cost or third party insurance risk to the developer and they have the potential to add a revenue stream by selling the fully furnished units themselves. This also differentiates them in the market by adding an additional service offering which appeals to investor buyers.
  2. New developments often look quite similar to buyers making it harder for them to commit to buying as the similar choices become overwhelming. When they are staged using generic rental staging furniture that is also used by multiple other developers repeatedly then this problem is intensified. Developments take longer to sell than single homes so staged photo’s from other developers from months before could appear online/in papers at the same time that your development is staged with the same rental furniture. Buyers are not given a compelling reason to fall in love with or remember a specific development when they look so similar and so they stay in search and comparison mode delaying purchase and decision making.
  3. A custom staged show unit can be designed for the specific target market for the development resulting in a better buyer response and faster sales as it shows them exactly what they want to see. A custom designed interior with new custom furniture will also be on trend and have mass market appeal vs more of a niche look that one store would have or a dated look that old reused staging furniture would have. In order for rental stagers to make money they need to pay off their furniture over time which means it is used for years before being refreshed.
  4. Units staged either by developers going to 1 furniture store themselves or one store approaching a developer often ends up looking like a furniture showroom which isn’t fresh or aspirational and it often looks empty as nothing is the correct scale or custom designed. Our custom designs make the most of the space and make the unit feel more premium as everything fits edge to edge and we can allow for more seating in the lounge and dining room. Our units are designed to look like real loved homes which always sell faster. When buyers see something unique they are more urgent about the sale as there is the feeling of missing out on something really special but when they see interiors that look like what they have seen at Coricraft or @Home for years they are left bored.
  5. Our interiors showcase styles not often seen in South Africa and encourage buyers to hang around for longer on show days as each room provides lots of treasures to explore. Buyers spend 40 minutes in staged homes vs 5 minutes in empty homes and the better they are staged the longer the look around. We work tirelessly on making our interiors special, custom producing our own art and sourcing unusual accessories from multiple cities to make sure the look is exciting and delights people viewing the show units. We specifically create ‘Instagrammable’ interiors filled with unique items and custom furniture that get buyers attention online and make property ads more likeable and shareable on social media.
How does home staging work?2023-11-20T14:04:44+02:00

Home staging is based on the simple principle that elevating a home above others in the same price range, comes down to first impressions.When I stage a property, whether furnished and adding accessories or unfurnished and custom designing from scratch, it’s all about helping buyers to fall in love with your property as quickly as possible. This means removing all the things that could bother them/get them to delay making a decision about buying a home and adding things that match their vision of how they would like to live (to be neat, entertain more, create wonderful memories, live in a beautiful space). If you are the only one in your area approaching the sale of your property strategically then your chances of selling are increased because you are giving people what they are looking for.

Can expat South Africans or clients outside of South Africa make use of these pay-as-you-go interior design services?2023-11-20T14:04:47+02:00

Yes they can. We have designed an entire multi-floor apartment in Ireland without ever seeing the property in person. It is incredibly costly to hire an interior designer overseas and so hiring a South African interior designer virtually/via Zoom can save you thousands. All I need to know is 4-8 reliable, quality home decor shops for your city (or country if ordering online) and I can specify exact items for your interior. Because interior design is such a luxury service abroad our interior design gift experience’s can be a real spoil for couples who have emigrated so check out our online store. It’s also a great way to treat your family back in SA as foreign currency tends to go further. If you still have an SA bank account then payment is easy. We also offer payment via Paypal for international clients.

What does it really mean to project manage my interior design myself?2023-11-20T14:04:51+02:00

There is a lot of troubleshooting and problem solving when you begin to implement an interior design. Items can sell out, items can arrive that look different to the images online, items can arrive the wrong size or technical difficulties can arise as you get to the nitty gritty details. There are often design changes that need to take place mid-project management to accommodate for this and you will need to make those adjustments yourself. If you are installing the project on your own you need to be mindful of issues that could arise for example you’ll need to check if the couch you want can fit around your apartment stairwell or tight corners during delivery? Or if installing wallpaper you will need to make sure your wall is skimmed so no plaster imperfections in the wall appear through the paper. It is important to see all samples in person and preferably together before placing large orders. The more research you do beforehand the better. Our consulting service is based on online stock at time of design, online measurements and online samples/colours.

How do I activate a pay-as-you-go interior design package?2023-11-20T14:04:52+02:00

To activate a package simply submit images/videos of your space by email or Whatsapp + answer this mobile friendly questionnaire prior to the consult. We’ll send you an invoice then set up our meeting. All packages (excluding the Zoom Bundle) are redeemable in person within a 20km radius of Sandton (or within 50km with an additional charge of R450 excl VAT). If you are outside of this radius or are contacting us from outside of South Africa then we are able to consult via Zoom.

How do I know which package suits my home interior design project best?2023-11-20T14:04:54+02:00

It all depends on how much time you would like to spend with me on your project and the kind of questions you need answered. Our hourly consulting gives you flexibility in terms of what outputs you would like for your project like you might be in the middle of a renovation and have no idea what tile to choose for your bathroom. This is a very specific question best answered by hourly advice but it’s important to be aware that in order for us to answer this question in a helpful way we will need to get our head around your project, the vision for your home as well as the specific alternatives in stock at your point of choosing, and that takes a few hours. The Zoom Package, Style Guide and Design Catalogue each increase in terms of outputs (and therefore cost) and give you predictable take outs where you can be very hands on and implement the design yourself.

What does it cost to hire an interior designer in South Africa2024-01-16T15:22:47+02:00

Interior Designers charge in different ways from fixed fees to a percentage of the overall project. Companies with multiple designers have high overheads so working directly with one designer usually cost’s less. While some charge lower fees they charge higher margins to compensate for this. So you could pay a fee of 10% but then 30% is added onto every product. Or you could be charged a fee of 25% and no margins are added. You can only tell the true cost of the project by seeing the overall line item budget or past projects which is why we provide these to our clients. We charge a fee of 20% and retain trade discounts. We do not add hidden margins on any retail item and show clients past projects to get a sense of costs. If an item goes on sale during a project our clients only pay the sale prices and we shop around to ensure we’ve found the product at the lowest cost and direct from manufacturer or importer where possible.

Can you furnish a property one room at a time when working with an interior designer?2023-11-20T12:15:05+02:00

Yes we have worked on homes for over a year tackling one room at a time as finances allow. This also gives clients a greater sense of security that we are fulfilling their requirements before taking on a larger project. Whether it is one room or an entire house we always develop a visual language for the entire project first by producing a mood board and concept so that future rooms are working towards a plan.

How long does it take for an interior designer to furnish a home?2023-11-20T12:15:05+02:00

The entire process from first meeting to hand over takes 12 weeks. We take 4 weeks for the design process (where we move from brief through to concept and final interior design catalogue with every specific choice shown and priced) and 6-8 weeks for production. Most retail stores and manufacturers have these lead times and load shedding does not allow for rushed projects.

How much does it cost to furnish an entire home from scratch in South Africa?2023-11-20T12:15:05+02:00

A good gauge is that you are likely to spend a minimum of 10% – 20% of the value of the home on furnishing, adding curtains and decorating an empty property from scratch depending on the scale of the property and the level of luxury. If you already have base furniture pieces and are just adding rugs, artworks, carpet and accessories then the cost is much lower.

How much does it cost to furnish and decorate one room in a property in South Africa?2023-11-20T12:15:05+02:00

A large empty stand alone room like a living room or master bedroom will cost a minimum of R100 000 (including basic curtains but excluding design fees and delivery). If a room has adjoining areas (kitchen, dining, lounge) then the decor in these areas works across multiple spaces bringing down the cost. We’ve furnished these spaces for R180 000 – R300 000.

At what stage of the project should you involve an interior designer?2023-11-20T12:15:05+02:00

It’s best to involve a designer as early on as possible in a consulting capacity as they will quickly pick up problems with layout and architecture before building starts. They can also recommend creative ideas to save money and provide big picture input which can significantly affect the overall success of the project. As home stagers we also weigh in on how to avoid over capitalising when embarking on a renovation.

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