Frequently Asked Questions
Before I start my project
Who are Designs Direct
Designs Direct was formed by Cindy Fuller in 2106 after helping friends with lower budgets, redesign their homes and is now super excited to offer clients one of the first online-only interior design service companies in the UK. Design Direct differs very much from the way in which traditional interior design is currently offered. Cindy believes that anybody and everybody should be able to benefit from an interior designers' experience and wanted to find a way to provide this.
How are you different to ordinary interior design companies
Our goal is to offer the same level of bespoke service, using precisely the same qualified designers but via an online-only platform for a flat fee, saving an average of 80% on that of traditional interior design service. We are able to offer this by asking you, the client to measure your space and take photographs then upload them. This means that your designer does not need to charge you their hourly or daily rate to visit your property. Also, all sourcing will be done online, whereas a traditional interior designer would take many hours visiting design houses, using up your precious hourly/daily rate time. Our designers also will source from not only their own extensive selection of trade design houses but from the High Street, such as Ikea, H&M Home, Next Home, Wayfair and more. Again this is where the savings continue. If you intend to decorate or redecorate any part of your home, we feel it makes sense to get the help of a professional interior designer especially if that interior designer's rate is capped at a flat fee. It is possible that with some of the discounts that designers receive, you may recover your initial outlay altogether.
We get that interior design can be quite daunting to a lot of people as choices can become overwhelming and it can become tricky knowing where to start; however, our handpicked designers have worked on many projects mostly with HNWI and collectively have covered every style and project size imaginable, so you are in safe hands.
Our simple process is intended to maximise your design with the minimal cost involved. We would like you to have a positive, fun experience and leave all the hard work to our designers. They are all overflowing with fab ideas and are eager to please.
If you are not happy with your concept board, let us know, and you can switch to a different designer. We also have our 100% Luxe Guarantee so you can be sure that if you're not happy, we're not happy. Win-Win...No?
Can I talk to someone before I purchase a package?
You certainly can. Please use our Live Chat service and our operators will answer any questions that you have. We are going to be implementing our 1/2 hour free consultation very soon but this will need to be booked ahead of time and you are welcome to send any images to us first. That way we will have a better idea of what you are hoping to achieve.
What is a concept board?
After you have provided your interior designer with your design brief, he/she will assemble a concept board or mood board which it is sometimes called. This will display images and colours to give you an idea of what he/she believes you have in mind. The concept board is unlikely to contain any products such as furniture or accessories, this is simply a way for you and your designer to confirm that he/she has understood your design brief.
Although every designer will differ in the way they present their concept board, below are two examples of what you might expect. You will notice how different they are and how you will be able to get a sense of what your potential design has in store for you. Think of a concept board as a springboard where if you and your designer are happy, your designer may proceed.
Do I have to purchase all the items straight away?
Definitely not. You can purchase items at your own pace, it's entirely up to you. We are more than happy to incorporate your existing items in to your design too. Please note: if you want to wait to purchase some items, please let your design know. We appreciate clients taking snapshots of before and after as we would love to feature your home on our website. If you are happy with your design but want to purchase your items at a later date, that's fine with us, we just ask if you would send us a pic when you have implemented the final design.
What is a design brief?
This is really a little bit about you, what you like, what you don’t, such as your style, colour preferences, budget and what you would like to achieve. It's not only important to understand your needs but also have a clear understanding of what you are looking for in your room design/s. The information that you supply will allow your designer to familiarise themselves with you and your home, giving us the information we need to provide you with a design that we think you will absolutely love.
What is your refund policy?
We really want to make you happy and deliver an amazing design and we are so prepared to go those extra miles. We structure our project in stages so you control the designs. If you like the designs, your designer will ask you for a sign-off of that portion of the design.
Therefore we ask that;
If your project has already started and your personal interior designer has presented you with their concept board and you feel perhaps that the designer you have chosen is just not getting you and what you are looking for, please contact us within 24 hours. You don't need to tell the designer unless you want to. We will do that for you. We will ask you to choose an alternative designer. You may do this twice. After that, if you decide you would prefer a refund, under our 100% Luxe Guarantee, we will refund the full price of the package.
Once you have signed off on your designer's' concept board/s and your project is into the design stage, we ask that to stick with it. We cannot offer a refund once this part of the designed has had a sign-off.
Why we do this
Please understand our designers work exceptionally hard and exceptionally long hours to bring you the best possible design that they have to offer. You will know from the concept board if your designer is sharing your vision by the board they present. We are always here to help and want to get right, so give us a call or send us an email and we will always try to accommodate wherever we can. If your happy, we're happy.
Can I use my existing furniture ?
You bet. Our designers will never encourage you to spend more money than necessary on your budget and are just as happy for you to use any furniture or items you choose. Our designers do not get a further sum of money on anything you purchase, therefore it is in no-ones interest for you to spend more than you need to. We do ask that you make your designer aware of this at the beginning of your project and supply photographs and dimensions of the items so the designers know what items they have to work with.
What will I need to get my project underway?
We need a minimum of 6 photographs of your space, taken from the angles specified. You can find more information on that here. If you don't feel confident in taking the photographs yourself then don’t worry, we can help! For more info click here.
A FLOOR PLAN
You will find step by step instructions on completing your floor plan here. Alternatively, if you’d prefer some help, we have a handy package for that! Click here to find out more. You also will find some of our suggested apps helpful. Information on those may be found here.
Whether you’ve been keeping a scrapbook for years or are starting from scratch, your inspiration is a crucial component of your interior design adventure. Whether it’s social media snaps, magazine pages or just colours and fabrics you know you like, anything and everything is music to the ears of our interior design team!
If you have furniture or other items you wish to incorporate into your interior design scheme now is the time to let your interior designer know. All we ask is you share with us a photo and dimensions.
What if my space is an open plan arrangement
With home designs increasingly favouring open plan arrangements, we know it’s not always simple to define one room from another. Any space over 40sq metres are designated by us two rooms, but for spaces smaller than that with two functional areas - such as a living room and kitchen - we charge 1.5 times the single room rate.
How long does a project take?
There are several factors (including response times from you, the client) which can affect the time a project takes to complete, but here is a rough guide below.
This is a guide for a single room only;
After your purchase, your personal designer will contact you within 24 hours to let you know they have received instructions and will want to talk to you as they will have further questions to ask you before creating your concept board.
LUXE PACKAGE 5-7 days from concept to receiving your final design, shopping list and styling instructions.
DELUXE PACKAGE 7-10 days from concept to receiving your final design, shopping list and styling instructions.
SUPER LUXE 10-14 days from concept to receiving your final design, shopping list and styling instructions.
To guarantee that your project will take the minimal amount of time, we offer a Fast-Track service. This may be purchased when you check out.
I'm in a rush. Do you offer a Fast Track service?
You bet. We know what it's like, you have guests coming to stay at the last minute and your spare room is still waiting for that makeover you meant to do some time ago. That's why we offer our Fast-Track Service. This guarantees a 4 working day turnaround time on a one-room LUXE PACKAGE, 6 day turnaround time on one room DELUXE PACKAGE and a 10 day turnaround time on one room SUPERLUXE PACKAGE for just an additional £75 fee.
If you wish to purchase this option, then please add it to your basket. You will find it on our Individual Packages Page.
Please click here to be taken to the section.
Why will I need a digital itemised shopping list
The shopping list you receive from your designer will have the stores prices and links. This will eliminate any apprehension you may have. The list will provide information on each product, such as, size, colour, any fabric specifications, lead times if necessary and will have an image of the product. This enables you to sit back and enjoy the process rather than running around from shop to shop. The shopping can take place in your own time without being rushed.
My budget is tight. Will I have to spend a lot money to implement my design?
Absolutely not! That is why we founded the company. The most important question we ask you is 'What is your budget'? If you had planned to renovate a room, you could still adhere to that same budget. The only difference is that you would be purchasing the interior designers' service.
Our designers are trained to find similar products that you wish to use at a discounted price. We will work around your budget but it's important you are realistic. You are not going to get a new kitchen for £250 but our designers will offer ideas such as keeping the carcass of the kitchen and adding new doors for example. If there are corners to be cut and you still end up with your dream room then it's a win-win situation for all.
Do you offer a home visit?
Absolutely. We realise that for some clients an interior designer home visit is an important part of their experience - that’s why our team is available for hire by the hour or day to get up close and personal with your design dilemmas. After each visit you will receive a ‘home report’ based on your conversations, detailing solutions to be found in our various packages.
Each designer will have a different hourly and daily amount that they charge. This can be found on the designers' profiles page.
Is there a minimum amount I have to spend?
No, the whole concept of our company is you have already decided that you want to redecorate, so for a bit extra, why not have an interior designer do it for you?
Do you offer designs for large projects?
You bet we do. A lot of our designers have worked on major projects from helping you find an architect to project managing and of course the interior design. Check out our full service here
Do you offer commercial design?
We do. Some of our designers are not only fully trained in residential but are fully qualified in design in the commercial sector.
Whether you are looking for help with designs for a new restaurant, a nightclub hotel or office building, one of our designers can definitely help.
We offer a Commercial Package on our Individual Packages page. Please call us to discuss your needs on 020 7228 5398.
Do you offer swatches of fabrics so I can see what I am buying?
We wouldn't expect you to spend a significant amount of your hard-earned cash on a sofa without seeing and feeling the fabric first. So we do offer swatches.
What about paint colours and wallpaper samples, can I see them before so I know they are right?
Of course. Working as an online company has, it's challenges, and this is one of them. For wallpaper, your dedicated designer will send you a sample by post. With paint, we recommend Valspar paint because they carry over 2,000 basic colours. Our designers will send you a paint-chip card for reference. You may wish to pick up some Valspar colour cards yourself at your local hardware store, in case you wish to pick out colours yourself.
What is included in the main packages? And what's the difference?
The only difference in the cost of the packages is in how many concept ideas and revisions you wish to have.
Luxe Package consists of 1concept board and 2revisions
Deluxe Package consists of 2concept boards and 3revisions
Super Luxe Package consists of 3concept boards and 5revisions
- All packages are inclusive of the following;
- Furniture placement Plan (bought separately would cost £25)
- Accessories selection (bought separately would cost £150)Flooring Package (bought separately would cost (£60)
- Window Treatment Selection (bought separately would cost £250)
- Lighting Selection (bought separately would cost (£100)
- Paint and Fabric and/or Wallpaper Selection (£40)
- Furniture layout with a 2D Floor Plan
- An easy-to-follow implementation guide with hints and tips. There will be a full description of what goes where to help you pull your whole design together ensuring your incredible design is an outstanding success.
- Designer's discount where possible
- 30 day Follow Up Assistance
- Consultations, advice and help through our Design Hub via email, telephone and/or Skype
- Full, detailed, clickable, digital Shopping List
- 100% Luxe Guarantee or your full money back
The above packages may be purchased separately from our INDIVIDUAL PACKAGES. To purchase the packages separately without the extras would total £625
Can you help me set up my budget?
Although we cannot tell you how much you will have to spend, we have set up a system to make it a little easier for you to make a choice.
Whenever a client asks how much will I have to pay for a new kitchen? What comes to mind is...How long is a piece of string?
As an example a Kitchen is;
Option 5 £20,000 and above
Option 4 between £15,000 - £20,000
Option 3 between £10,000 - £15,000
Option 2 between £5,000 - £10,000
Option 1 £5,000 and below
As an example,
Magnet Kitchens range from £2,500 to over £4,0000. This does not include any appliances or labour charges.
Ikea Kitchens for a 3 metres x 3 metres size, it will be anywhere between £3,000 and £5,000.
During My Project
How involved should I be in my design?
You may feel that you would like to be completely involved in your project or leave it all to your chosen designer, or you may wish to just have a little involvement. Whatever you choose, our designers understand that design is a subjective matter, so it's entirely up to you how much you wish to participate. We are passionate about saving you your hard earned money and that is why we offer this service. We believe in value for money and that you get what you pay for. That is why we offer our 100% Luxe Guarantee every time. If you're happy, we're happy.
Can I talk to my designer during the design process?
Absolutely, we encourage it. Once you have purchased your package, you will be sent an email with instructions on how to login to your online private account. This area of the site is for account holders only. We have made this area as user-friendly as possible to ensure your time with us is fun and enjoyable and not hard work. If there is anything you don't understand, we are just a phone call away on 0207 228 5398
Your personal designer will be in constant contact with you via our client's online Design Hub. Here you can upload images, and data, share ideas and any inspiration with your design that they may also wish to use in your project. You may collaborate with your designer here by; Skype, message or email. He/she will check with you frequently uploading updates so you can what is happening on a day-to-basis.
When will I know the cost of the full project?
From the start as it will be your budget. You are the client, our professional interior designers will be guided by what you wish to spend. You will be asked at the beginning of your project about your budget. At each stage of the project, you will know the exact price of any item on your shopping list and your total so far. Your designer will never, ever go over budget without consent from you first.
My project is taking too long. What can I do to speed it up?
Firstly, ensure that you are keeping in touch with your designer via our Design Hub as it is possible your designer may be waiting for you to sign off on some information they have sent you.
If you have done so and still feel that it's going slower than you would like, contact your designer or send us an email on email@example.com and we will help resolve the issue.
What if I need more time?
Not a problem. Let your designer know that more time is needed and they will work with you to accommodate.
What if I'm not quite ready and I need to put my project on hold for a while?
We do understand that sometimes things change and you are unable to go ahead at that time. We, therefore, ask that you contact us or your designer and let us know as soon as possible. Any project will remain active for 30 days and then will automatically close unless you notify us by email that you would like to keep it open longer. If you wish to restart your project, let us know and we will reactivate your account. Please note that your chosen package is non-refundable but we certainly wouldn't take your money without giving you something in return.
You may also wish to check that the designer that you used for your project is still available.
Should I order the recommended items myself or should I place the order via my personal interior designer?
This is entirely up to you. Our designers constantly order through wholesale and trade-only companies, they are happy to pass on their savings to you. Ask your designer to send you a list and links to the trade companies they work with.
It's then up to you. If you wish to allow your personal designer to purchase the items at a trade discount and order the products on your behalf then they can do this for you. Your designer will then synchronise the delivery of these items.
After My Project Has Finished
My package is finished, but I still have questions. What can I do?
Within 30 days of receiving your final design package, you’re welcome to ask your designer any outstanding questions you have regarding your design. If you are unable to reach your personal designer, give our operators a call and one of our designers will call you back or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our clients are very important to us, and we are committed to offering the same after sales service as we are with our service.
What happens if I need more time?
Not a problem. Let your designer know that more time is needed and they will work with you to accommodate.
What if I am not happy with my final design proposal?
If you are unhappy with what your designer has presented, then we are too. We will work with you to find out where the design has fallen short and rectify the situation.
We are committed to making your experience with us a brilliant one, that’s why we offer our 100% LUXE GUARANTEE- we will not give up until you are 100% satisfied.
How do I returns items if I need to?
Your personal designer will include this information on your clickable shopping list along with dimensions, colours and any other relevant information you will need.
Please note that if an item has arrived damaged or defective in any way, the relevant company will possibly wish to see photographs of the object in question, in this case, the seller should cover the return shipping. Also, all returns must be in their original packaging. If you change your mind about an item and don't wish to keep it, then you will be responsible for covering the cost of the return delivery and any handling costs. All delivery and handling charges are non-refundable. Restocking fees may also apply in some cases. It's important also to note that custom items are non-returnable and non-refundable.
Do you offer gift vouchers?
What a great gift giver you are! Designs Direct gift vouchers are sold in £50 increments. They may be purchased from £50 - £950. Our smaller packages, found on our Individual Packages page start from £ you can give the gift of a complete package when you arrive at the checkout, you will find a button asking 'Is this a gift'? Click on the link, and you will be taken to our gift voucher page.