Working with an interior designer is something a lot of people don't know much about. Today we are going to answer some of the top interior designer questions asked at Kati Curtis Design. Take a look!
How many years has Kati Curtis Design been in business?
16 years. I founded Kati Curtis Design in 2005 after 12 years of working in top architecture and engineering firms. My love for design started when I was very young as I watched my father, who was a general contractor, and my uncle, who was a top California architect, delve into blueprints and floor plans. My career started in commercial work, where I specialized in medical interiors and eventually working in top architecture firms in Washington DC and San Francisco. However, I felt as though I wasn’t getting to directly impact the human experience with these design projects. That drive led me to residential design which is what we do here at Kati Curtis Design. Since then, our team has expanded to include multiple interior designers, project coordinators, marketing specialists, and administrative support that make our operations run smoothly and deliver the highest quality interior design projects for our clients.
Where is Kati Curtis Design located?
Our NYC Interior Design Firm is located in Midtown Manhattan right by Columbus Circle, off of Central Park. Our address is 130 W 57th Street, Unit 14C. Originally, our office used to be a shoe showroom, which we transformed into a beautiful office to create in. You can view our office photos here! Our team uses a variety of collaborative online platforms which allows us to work together both in-office and remotely. When possible, we invite our clients to join us in the office to see where the magic happens, answer any interior designer questions, and physically see design sketches, samples, and process boards. Given that we work with clients from all over the world, many of our clients get to see the office via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom for design meetings.
Does their firm work globally?
Yes, the Kati Curtis Design interior design firm works with clients from all over the world. Past clients have come from all parts of the globe, such as South America, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, and more. Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic, we used many different remote technologies to communicate with our international clients. We communicate via Zoom to host design meetings and share video interior design presentations all over the globe. Over the course of my career, I have developed quality relationships with the top vendors and interior designer sources from all over the world. We make sure to use only the best vendors and high-end furnishings for our clients’ projects, and this has been crafted from years of refining and scouting out the best talent.
Who is in the Kati Curtis Interior Design firm?
Our team is composed of many team members in order to make sure all the moving parts are in place.
Interior Design Director:
The Design Director leads the design team and reports directly to the Principal and Director of Operations. The Design Director is responsible for designer productivity and reviews initial design concepts with the Principal to guide the team. They present all designs to the Principal for approval and develop project tasks, schedules, deadlines, and budgets. The Design Director also acts as the lead client and contractor liaison and is responsible for handling issues and problem-solving.
Senior Interior Designers:
The Senior Designer is responsible for working with the Design Director to develop the design concept and assist during client meetings and presentations. They act as the lead for tasks such as project management and data entry and issue meeting notes and proposals. They also are the leader for Junior Designers and lead the installation coordination.
Junior Interior Designers:
The Junior Designer is responsible for assisting the design team for all parts of the high-end interior design project. They create a project skeleton, assist with installations, manage design department filing, and sampling. On assigned projects, the Junior Designer assists with conceptual sketches, sourcing, vendor options, materials, and colors, as well as working on client budgets and managing product images and presentation creation. The Junior Designer acts as the secondary liaison for vendors on assigned projects.
The Marketing Coordinator supports the Principal with marketing and PR tasks and initiatives. The Marketing Coordinator creates brand collateral, blog posts, and company newsletters. Updates to the website, media outlets, and press are also handled by the Marketing Coordinator. The Marketing Coordinator also creates content for social media platforms with the Principal.
The Purchasing Coordinator shares time between interior design project-related and administrative office tasks. This role processes and manages items pricing, ordering, delivery, and installation. Updates to the agenda, timesheets, and time billing are handled by the Purchasing Coordinator. Other administrative tasks including business support, client services, internal training, and data entry are the responsibility of this role.
Beyond this core interior design team, we also have the CEO and COO, who oversee all parts of the business operations. We also have a vast network of contractors, artisans, and craftspeople that we consistently call upon to create magic for our clients.
What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?
One of the most common questions we get as an NYC Interior Design Firm is "what is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?" While both roles have to do with interiors, the job functions are very different.
An interior designer studies the needs and behaviors of the client to create the most functional space for the interior of a home, including designing the shapes of the walls and floors. They work hand in hand with the architectural team to develop a floor plan while keeping things like fire safety, accessibility, functionality, and sound control top of mind. Designers work on both commercial and residential projects.
An interior decorator uses fabrics, paints, furniture, and accessories to develop the visual aesthetic of the space. They will measure the space and work with the architect to come up with a design concept. They use elements such as furniture, lighting, accessories, paint, and to bring the vision to life. Interior decorators typically work on residential projects as opposed to commercial.
Here at Kati Curtis Design, we take on both of these roles to create a well-rounded experience. Combining our technical knowledge with our unique visual eye makes our interior designs stand out among the rest.
Why is hiring a top interior designer important?
Your home is your biggest asset, and you want to make sure you are trusting the right team with it. Working with a top interior designer ensures that you have someone with the technical knowledge to bring the vision-to-life safely and with the functionality you need. I like to think of my role as an interior designer akin to being a fund manager. I’m responsible for your biggest investment, and I make sure the decisions you make are the right ones.
An interior decorator or your friend who likes home decor may be able to make your home look pretty, but a true professional interior designer will be looking out for things like making sure the furniture fits through the door, the upgrades are up to code, and that every addition brought in is efficient and meets your needs exactly. They also have a network of vendors and will make sure you have the right team on hand. We created a list of questions to ask any interior designer before hiring them- take a look here!
What are the seven elements of interior design?
The seven elements of interior design include line, color, value, shape, form, space, and texture. These elements are at the forefront of our minds in order to create the highest quality interior designs that are both beautiful and livable.
What are some of the qualities I should be looking for in an interior designer?
One of the most important qualities you need to look for is their technical knowledge. Ask them about their training, if they went to school for interior design, and if they have any certifications. Make sure to ask any interior design team that you're working with if they have passed the NCIDQ exam and are licensed in your state. This license ensures that this professional not only has a design eye but also technical knowledge and experience. They know how to handle issues as they arise and how to prevent errors from occurring in the first place. These interior designer questions will help you know you're entrusting your home with the right team.
What should I expect to pay for a great interior designer?
There are a lot of moving parts within an interior design. It can be difficult to estimate the exact cost of your project. A good rule of thumb is to estimate roughly 20-25% of your home’s value for an interior design and decorating budget if you live outside of a city. If you’re in a large city like New York, you should estimate around 15-25% of the home’s value. If you are looking solely for decoration, you can estimate around $175-350 per square foot for projects in New York City. Interior construction will range between $500-$1500 per square foot for a New York City interior design project. Interior design fees will range between 10-30% of the overall project cost.
Which awards has Kati Curtis Designs received?
We have been honored to receive multiple awards from some prestigious organizations and publications over the years. Most notably, we have received the Luxe Red Award for best use of color in an interior design project a few years in a row. Kati Curtis Design is regularly featured on the Luxe Gold List. We also were awarded the NYC x Design Award and were invited to be part of the prestigious Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse twice. Our work has been featured in top interior design magazines such as Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, and more.
What is the process of hiring a top interior designer?
Hiring an interior designer is an investment, so there are some steps to make sure you have the right designer. Before hiring a designer, you will typically have an introductory meeting, whether in the office or via a call. You’ll want to bring any documents you have related to the property, such as blueprints and floor plans. Don't forget any inspiration images you have in mind. Come prepared with questions you want to ask along with a rough idea of the kind of relationship you want to have with your designer. We also recommend you come prepared with your lifestyle needs and any existing features or furniture you want to use in the project.
After this introduction, you typically have a more in-depth look at the property with the designer and talk through your goals in more detail. We talk about your vision. All you hope to accomplish, all you need to have, and all the ways you believe this project will impact how you enjoy your home. The first meeting will give us information on your time frame goals, your style of decision-making, your lifestyle, and your expectations. Filling out our lifestyle questionnaire provides us with great insights into you and your project needs and serves as a jumping-off point for the development of our design.
We hope answering these interior designer questions helps give you a better understanding of our top interior design firm. See you next time!