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How is your approach different?

We are an Interior Design firm with a team of Designers working together. Many other decorators and designers in Oakville work on their own. At Catherine Alison Interiors your Lead Designer brings questions and ideas to all our Designers for input and feedback. Having other brains to pick means that those who have experienced similar design dilemmas, functional requirements and space restrictions can offer constructive advice to keep the project moving forward quickly.  Also, we are only Interior Design Firm in Oakville using an industry-leading 15-step process to move projects along. This process maps out project goals and milestones clearly so that next steps are always clear.

The culmination of the 15-step process is Reveal Day. This is when we arrive at your project and install everything you have ordered. We do this all at once  so that when you return you see fully a furnished and fully styled room(s). You are not obligated to keep any of the decorative accessories, but we do place them so that you can see what a complete project feels like.

How do I know if I need an interior designer?

Any project can benefit from expert advice. Often we effectively save our clients money during consultations because we carefully analyze the investments homeowers are intending to make. Very often we find more cost-effective alternatives, or point out ways homeowners can get the look or feel with an different approach. More often than not, the consult pays for itself.

Will hiring you save me time?

We have a knowledge bank of thousands of go-to suppliers, vendors and tradespeople. For example, it is likely that we can find you the perfect sofa in 1/20th the time you would spend. Have you ever spent time researching, going to different stores, weighing the features and benefits of different styles, fabrics and brands? And were you ever left wondering if this investment was going to stand the test of time? If this is you, you know that having to look for a new couch again would be incredibly frustrating. Our philosophy is to buy with a long-term approach rather than thinking of furniture as disposable. We can help you get it right the first time and avoid spending your time searching high and low.

Can I afford to hire you to take the project right to the end?

Yes!  We believe that hiring a professional can pay off in savings of both time and money, and by avoiding mistakes and stress that could occur if you tackle a design project on your own. Our long-standing relationships with trades and suppliers result in discounts on most products. And we share almost all of these discounts with our clients. We find that design fees usually account for about 15% to 20% of the total design and decorating budget (construction is different), but our trade discounts almost always offset our fees. In fact, in 2015, we managed 24 projects and every clients’ design fees were less than 20% of their budget, and every client saved more than 20% off retail. It’s possible to have access to unique, high-quality trade-only pieces well-suited to your lifestyle, budget and personal taste for less than what you would spend on your own.

What are your qualifications?

All our designers at CAI have completed formal training from recognized design and decorating educational institutions. Furthermore, we are members of CDECA (Canadian Decorators Association) which ensures that we follow industry-best standards and are up to date on the latest trends, technologies and advancements by fulfilling yearly continuing education requirements.                                                     

How long does the interior design process take?  

The scope of your project influences the timeline.  Our experience shows that a minimum of 3 months is usually required for a project with any customized furnishings or window treatments. Larger scale renovations can take 6-12 months. We are usually available for initial in-home consultations within a week or two of your inquiry. Once retained for a project, we proceed with booking our signature Trade Day. After Trade Day we are armed with measurements, photos and wish lists and can begin drawing plans and sourcing items proposed for your project. Once the project proposal has been approved at the presentation, orders are placed. After all items have been received by CAI we book Installation Day. It can be a long process, but we want to ensure that you love your space for years to come. Good things are worth waiting for!

How does purchasing work?

Most of our clients choose to purchase their furnishings, window treatments and accessories through CAI as we share our trade discounts and manage all aspects of ordering, tracking, receiving, inspection and the handling of any deficiencies.

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