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How does hiring a designer work?

All designers work a little differently, and the process changes slightly depending on your project. Susie Mae Design’s process starts with a brief complimentary phone call to evaluate your project, and whether I can help. Next is your initial in-home consultation. In this two-hour meeting, we will review your project together, and discuss your design needs and the recommended direction in detail. There is a fee of $325 for this meeting. In this meeting, you can expect some general suggestions. The initial consultation is for evaluating the scope of the project, your timing, your budget, and your specific needs. Following this meeting, you will receive a design proposal with detailed cost information for your review and approval.

What is the cost structure?

Susie Mae Design’s fees are very competitive in the Atlanta market with a full-service minimum design fee of $2,500. Susie Mae Design charges an hourly rate for any services including initial consultations, design work, project management, and project implementation. For e-design, the price is based on square footage. Small rooms such as powder rooms are $850, guest rooms and home offices $1,200 and larger rooms such as master bedrooms and living rooms, $1,500.

With full service design, in addition to the hourly fee, I offer a discount on retail pricing for many products and furnishings. I also have a large network of contractors for referral when the scope of the project requires it.  

What will our project cost?

The cost of every project depends on the scope of the project, specific design requests, the timeline, and several other factors. I do my very best to keep a project on track and on budget, and pride myself on doing so. It is important to have a specific budget in mind. This will help me provide the absolute best design value for your project. It’s important to remember that budget will always impact the quality of the result, often in the quality of furnishings available. Having an accurate, comfortable budget up-front prevents spending valuable budget on extra hours re-selecting furnishings.

How do we get started?

Please select the “Hire Susie” tab at the top of the page and fill out the “HIRE SUSIE” form to tell me about yourself!  I’ll contact you for your Discovery Call, and if you choose to proceed we’ll set up an In-Home Consultation. Once we meet for your initial consultation and you receive your design proposal, I’ll collect a retainer of half of the estimated design fee. Next, I’ll begin your design by collecting style inspiration, keeping the lines of communication open. Once we are on the same page in terms of what you like, I’ll begin pulling samples, selecting furnishings, and creating a design plan for you. We will meet to go over drawings, product selections, finish and fabrics, and floor plans. At this point, you make your selections of what furnishings and accessories you want to purchase from your design plan.

What areas do you service?

Susie Mae Design services metro Atlanta, but I will happily travel to meet the needs of my clients. An additional travel fee applies. E-Design is also a great service for some long-distance clients. If either service is something you are interested in, please give me a call and we can discuss the particulars.

Where do you get your furniture?

I purchase furniture from many sources including designer-exclusive showrooms, retail stores, local artisans providing custom pieces, custom upholsterers, custom drapery workrooms, and even occasionally from antique vendors. If your budget and/or timeline are tight, we can discuss purchasing from online retailers to suit your needs.

Do we need to use your contractor or architect?

Susie Mae Design does not hire any contractors to perform work in your home, but I will work closely with your selected contractors to complete your project. If you need a contractor and do not have one, I can introduce you to a few but it is totally up to you whom to hire, if anyone. There is absolutely no obligation to hire anyone I introduce you to, and I do not employ any contractors directly except for assistants on install days.

Do I have to make purchases through you?

It is not required that you make purchases through me if discussed at the onset of the project, though most clients do because of my pricing and service. If you elect not to purchase products through me, it is best if we discuss this before the design process begins so that I can provide you with a design plan that offers all retail products at your retail pricing. Please understand that I cannot coordinate retail purchases for you and you will be required to make those purchases, receive deliveries, etc. for any items purchased at retail.

How long will my project take?

This varies greatly depending on your project. A typical kitchen remodel may take about three months from the start of designing to completing the build. A living room may take up to a month to design, and two months to receive and install all products and furnishings. A bathroom remodel may take only a month from start to finish. Any of these estimates can be affected by lead times on materials and products selected, as well as availability of contractors to complete any on-site work, renovation, or other requirements.

What is your style?

I love so many styles it would be impossible to choose just one favorite. However, if I were to define my personal style I would call it Authentic Timeless Quirk. A little bit of old, a little bit of new, and a lot of layered textures, patterns, and colors to create that authentic, personal, and every so slightly funky feel. Susie Mae Design emphasizes the style of each client and the architecture of each home so that no two projects look alike, rather, they look like YOU. As you can see in my work on this site, I can create your dream home no matter what style you prefer.