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What to expect at your design consultation

Design consultation

Working with an artist or designer for an in-home or business consultation provides you with individual attention and the personal touch. Once you have a general idea of what kind of custom art work you would like it is time to schedule your consultation. A design consultant will help you to select art that is an exact fit for your space. Some aspects of the consultation include color matching and placement of art as a focal point or an accent. The room’s traffic will define the form of the art that is presented, as well as determine the installation accessories and protective finishes required. Your consultant will make a protective need assessment based on these factors.

                So, now that you have scheduled a design consultation what can you expect? The design consultant will have conducted a phone or email screening to get an idea of the project, including size of the art, whether the final work will be a mural directly on the wall, a framed piece, or a free-standing display or sculpture. In addition, an estimate of your budget, the dimensions, character and layout of the room and elements of art installation may be discussed.

At your in-home consultation, the designer will conduct the in home assessments. She will measure the exact dimensions of the art site, the room, and make note of nearby furniture, windows, and hanging fixtures. A diagram of these details will be made.  By charting color palette, style and unique integration challenges of the room, home or office, your consultant will create a seamless flow from the existing d├ęcor to include the art. The traffic patterns, including movement through the room, seating, and lines of sight will also be mapped. The traffic will define the type of protective finishes needed, such as a washable clear seal on works at children’s eye level that are painted directly on walls in a nursery, playroom, kitchen or den. In areas with dominant windows, a UV protective sealant, glass or plexiglass may be used to minimize color fading from sunlight. Where a work is exposed to food, fireplace or other airborne particulate, an easy to clean durable finish will be recommended. These aspects all allow you to get the maximum simplicity of care for your unique art.

The designer will then discuss the details of the art to be completed. In the process, small informal studies or sketches may be drawn. Studies generally include small thumbnails for composition of the art and for placement within the room. Sketches may be planned for a follow up meeting. These slightly larger more focused drawings will steer the final work. The designer will close the design consultation with discussion of the next steps. These include scheduling an email or in-person review of the sketches or proofs, which are usually value studies and color samples, before finishing the crafting of your one of a kind art. A schedule for the creation of the work, detailing where and how the work will be completed, will be discussed. For mural work, the completion is generally done onsite, directly on the wall. Mural completion usually requires access to the space for multiple sessions, and the work in progress will be visible during painting. If the work is movable, such as framed art or sculpture, it will be completed in the studio and installed when complete. For all types of custom art, a budget will be reviewed at this point, including estimates for labor, supplies and transportation costs where applicable. A deposit of one half of full payment is generally made at this time. Payment options, such as scheduled payments at significant points of process may also be discussed. Full payment is due upon completion and installation. The design consultant will also offer a lifetime repair option so that, should unforeseen circumstances damage the work, repairs can be done at the current hourly rate, plus supplies and transportation costs where applicable.

When the work is completed, murals will receive protective treatments and framed or mounted works will be installed. Installation options vary. For example, in the case of a small framed work, it can be displayed with an easel back or on a small table easel on any flat surface including tables, bureaus, cabinets or shelves. In the case of a larger framed work it can be displayed on a free-standing easel in low traffic areas or directly on the wall in higher traffic areas. Mounting art directly on the wall may require the location of studs for secure anchoring of heavy art, the use of wall anchors in drywall or other display hardware including dynamic movable systems that utilize crown or linear rails and multiple hanging fixtures. Each client’s options will be specific to their space and artistic selections. This aspect will be included in discussion of selecting the space and assessing the traffic, other considerations include a desire to rearrange the art in the future. The artist/designer will provide options for including installation hardware in the estimated costs during your consultation.


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