3D Rendering, Art Selection, Basement Design, Bathroom Design, Bedroom Design, Color Consulting, Custom Bathroom Vanities, Custom Beds, Custom Blinds & Shades, Custom Bookcases, Custom Built-ins, Custom Cabinets, Custom Furniture, Custom Kitchen Cabinets, Custom Rugs, Custom Storage, Dining Room Design, Downsizing, Entry Design, Floor Plans, Furniture Selection, Guesthouse Design & Construction, Home Office Design, Home Theater Design, Interior Design, Kids Bedroom Design, Kitchen Design, Laundry Room Design, Lighting Design, Living Room Design, Mudroom Design, Nursery Design, Playroom Design, Project Management, Space Planning, Sunroom Design & Construction, Universal Design, Wine Cellar Design, Kitchen Remodeling
Calgary, Aspen Woods, Bowness, Braeside, Haysboro, Montgomery, Mount Royal University, Oakridge, Richmond, Shepard, Signal Hill, Woodbine, Altadore, Bridgeland, Cranston, Inglewod, Varsity, Beltline, Edgemont, Arbour Lake, Auburn Bay, Crescent Heights, Huntington Hills, Kensington, Lakeview, Britannia, Wentworth, Cougar Ridge
I was hired by Alecia and her husband Alex in June of 2018 to source and select elements for a renovation they were doing. Included in the selections were paint, lighting, kitchen backsplash tile, fireplace tile and bathroom tile. Additionally I met with them at a showroom of the company that would be painting and updating their kitchen cabinets to help them finalize colour, cabinet style and hardware.
At our first meeting I accepted 50% of my fee as I normally do. As a courtesy I introduced Alecia and Alex to my contractors. I had, and have continued to work with my contractors with great success, but Alecia and Alex were welcome to work with whomever they wanted as I hadn't been hired to execute the design or manage the project.
At the design presentation I offered 3D renderings, something I don't normally do when I've simply been hired to source and select, but both Alex and Alecia thought they would be helpful, so I obliged. I also presented a number of options for each selection. I typically present two to three options, but Alex had asked for more (5-6), so again I obliged. We were able to finalize paint, the kitchen design (tile and lighting), and the fireplace tile. Alecia and Alex weren't satisfied with the selections for the bathroom, so I was happy to re-visit those.
When I returned a week later with the alternatives, I found Alex and Alecia had picked up samples of their own. This again was not part of my process as I like to use specific suppliers with whom I have developed relationships and who's products I understand and trust. However Alecia and Alex felt confident with their source and since I hadn't been hired to manage installation, I chose to make an exception. We spent a significant amount of time going through the samples and landed on a beautiful final design. Both Alex and Alecia were happy and Alex offered me the balance of my fee without hesitation.
At this point my contractual obligations had been fulfilled, but I offered to walk through the selections with the contractors should they have any questions or concerns. The subsequent issues that arose between Alex and my contractors were distressing and I did my best to mitigate any of the issues involving timing and supply as best I could. However due to a repeated lack of trust and respect, my contractors had to walk away, despite an outstanding balance for work they had completed. That balance remains outstanding and is being disputed in court.
A month later I was asked to meet with Alex and Alecia. I assumed this would be to meet with their new contractors, however when I arrived at their home I discovered they had decided to forgo my selection for paint for their own and had changed the selections for the bathroom. They now wanted my thoughts on remedying the paint colour they had chosen as they weren't happy with it and the selections they had sourced for the bathroom. I tried to explain that this was highly unusual and outside the scope of our contract, but again did my best to accommodate and help them. The following day I followed up with three additional paint colours in their brand of choice that would work beautifully in their home. I never heard back.
In terms of being difficult to get a hold of, I explained to both Alecia and Alex at our first meeting that my preferred form of communication was email as it allows for easy reference and documentation. In particular as challenges arose with my contractors. Both Alex and Alecia chose to ignore this, insisting on phone calls and voicemails.
While it upsets me that Alecia feels I did not fulfill my obligation and that she was taken advantage of, I truly did the best I could in what was an incredibly challenging situation. Fundamental to good design is trust - trust of the design professional and their process - and respect. I have taken this experience as learning and now ensure each client relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust and respect.