12-Step Process

“Excellence and beauty in all things.” – Brené Brown

My process ensures that things run as smoothly as possible, with very little impact on your family’s time and your home. You’re welcome to be involved in the process, or I can take care of every detail, for a turn-key design.

Step 1: Consultation with Melissa Peretti

In-home consultation to discuss the art of the possible.

We will meet in your home and get down to figuring out all the potential for your spaces. We’ll discuss the details of each space, function and use, your goals, frustrations, timeframe, budget and of course inspiration! Finally, we will determine the possible scope of your project.

Step 2: Project Proposal

Project scope defined and design fees quoted.

In the following days I’ll send a Design Consultation Summary +Proposal, which will outline the scope of work for the entire project, the design intent, goals, estimated timeline, plus preliminary ideas and notes from the consultation. I will quote you the Design Phase fee based on this scope.

Step 3: Project Commencement

Agreement signed, design phase fees collected, collaborative softwares set up and concept stage begins.

We will review the process of working together and the terms of my Designer Client Agreement. The Designer Client Agreement details the scope of the project, fee structure, policies and procedures and reflects the approved Proposal.

Once the Agreement has been signed and the Design Phase fees have been collected, the project will commence. With the paperwork out of the way, the fun starts!

I’ll then provide you with access to Mydoma, a design project management tool. This is where everything relating to your project will be available and easily accessible.

Next, we kick off the Concept Stage by collaborating on Pinterest to share ideas and inspiration for your design. Once I get a sense of your style, I’ll hone in on similar looks to apply to your spaces.

Phase 1: Research, Design and Presentation

Step 4: Project Preparation

On-site measurements and photos taken; meeting with trades is scheduled.

In preparation for developing your preliminary design, my team and I will return to your home to take all the necessary measurements and photos to create the renders and space plans of your space(s). If we foresee the need for trade work, we will arrange a Trade Day when all the trades will be invited to visit to inspect and quote the project. Their estimates will be presented to you along with your design plan at the Final Presentation.

Step 5: Preliminary Design

Development of Design Plan – space planning, furniture layout and product information.

This is the step where the magic begins! By this point I am immersed in figuring out the solution for your spaces. I consider every detail as I work out clever solutions for perfectly designed and functional spaces. It’s like an intricate puzzle: the digital space plans are made, sourcing for all the pieces the spaces need is completed, and any needed product information is obtained. Now I consider and coordinate all the elements that become part of your Design Plan, which will be presented in Step 6. This includes floor plans, rendering space ideas, colour schemes and developing the concept board. The Design Plan also encompasses more granular details, such as floor coverings, a lighting plan, furniture and accessory selections, and budget estimates for trade work and/or artisans.

While I work on your space’s design, there will be ongoing communication to discuss different elements of the design. I will incorporate any feedback and preferences you may have. This is a time-consuming process and will likely require several weeks to months, depending on the scope of your project. When the Plan is complete, you’ll be presented with carefully edited selections, representing the best choices for your space(s).

Step 6: Final Presentation

Presentation and finalization of the Design Plan. Identification and collection of phase 2 fees and deposits.

Once I’ve finalized your Design Plan we will schedule the presentation meeting with all the decision makers. We will review the design in detail, and you will be presented with renders, images, and samples for each element of the design. You will be able to visualize what the finished space will look like. We will talk through each feature of the design and why these choices are the best for your project and address your wants and needs for your project based on previous meetings and discussions. You’ll be given a budget outlining the cost of each item, and work orders to sign off on where necessary. If changes need to be made to the plan, the scope, or to individual items, we’ll make those adjustments at this time.

Timely approval of the design scheme is crucial to maintain accurate pricing and ensure the availability of some design elements (custom work or vintage pieces, for example).

Once the design has been approved and all elements are finalized, the fee for the Project Implementation + Oversight will be quoted and collected, along with the deposit for purchase expenses. Now the plan becomes reality!

Phase 2: Project Implementation + Oversight

Step 7: Initiation of Trade Work or Client-Implemented Projects

Kick-off of project implementation.

Construction and the execution of your project begins. Every detail will be managed to ensure a timely and successful completion, and I’ll collaborate with builders, vendors, and fabricators, making site visits as necessary. If trades are not being used, we’ll create a schedule for any handiwork that you’ve decided to tackle yourself.

Step 8: Placement of Orders

Assessment of delivery and lead times.

Purchases will be made, and orders tracked. I will create a purchasing timeline to ensure everything arrives in time for installation. On occasion items are backordered or discontinued and we’ll decide if we need to reselect or adjust the work schedule to accommodate.

Step 9: Budget and Process Review

​​Meeting to ensure work is on track and on budget.

Phase 2 is a busy time. Trade work is underway, and orders are being placed and collected at the receivers. I oversee every detail and will schedule a brief meeting to review outstanding issues or any changes that need to be made. This meeting will ensure that all work is on track and to our mutual satisfaction. We’ll review the status of your orders and address any concerns or questions you may have.

For larger projects a second budget meeting will occur to ensure we are on track and budget.

Step 10: Gathering and Installation Period Continues

​​Finishing and accessories budget is established, accessories are purchased.

All work by trades—or by the client—has been completed. Furniture is delivered, window treatments and lighting are installed, and rugs laid. It’s all coming together here!

Styling is what elevates your space to magazine (or HGTV!) quality status. It refers to adding those finishing touches and follows a different process than the rest of the design. We will discuss, and set a budget for, what is needed to finish off your space and make it sing. Before Step 11: Final Styling + Client Reveal, I will go to a variety of stores and online sources (like Etsy), to select accessories like art, photography, “objet d’art” and other finishing touches for your space.

Step 11: Final Styling + Client Reveal

​​The long-awaited moment: final styling and client reveal.

This step is a particularly fun and satisfying one for both me and my clients. This is where I perform the Final Styling, by adding finishing accessories, installing your art, arranging the furniture perfectly and fluffing all the pillows 😉, If possible, I’ll complete this in one day so you get that “wow” effect during the Client Reveal. Following the Client Reveal, you’ll have a few days to decide which of these finishing items you would like to keep, and I’ll return the rest.

Step 12: Project Completion + Professional Photography

​​Client closure meeting: presentation of final invoices and any additional documentation.

Although I strive for perfection, tweaks, touch-ups and allowances for the unexpected are sometimes necessary. For example, waiting on any final items caught up in supply shipment delays. We will walk through your newly designed space and create a list of anything outstanding or in need of attention, then I will arrange to have each item on the list addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We’ll close out the project at this final Client Closure Meeting and review the entire project and experience. We will rectify your purchasing and contingency budgets and I will present you with the final invoices from delivery companies, for styling items, and the balance of my service fees. There won’t be any surprises, you’ll be in the loop throughout the whole journey so you will have an idea of what to expect. I will ensure you are fully satisfied and loving your new space! It’s always a joy to leave my clients living in their uniquely beautiful, and perfectly practical homes.

Finally, your made-over space is photographed. These images will be shared with you and online, via my website and social media. Any publication of these images in local or national media will be discussed with you first. Trust me, you’ll want to show them off!

Working Together

Good, thoughtful design is a collaborative process between designer and client., I know the right questions to ask to uncover your goals, ideas and design style.

We will first get to know each other first through our Discovery Call. Then before the consultation, we will delve deeper with a detailed design questionnaire: this is a valuable tool I use to understand how you live, what you like and your style preferences. While each space is created unique to each client I utilize Pinterest, Houzz, magazine photos and other media as inspiration and to help us communicate visually. We will also collaborate through my design software Mydoma (think of it as a modern designer’s binder) where you can have access to renders and floor plans and see real time product suggestions that you can approve or comment on.

I’ll keep you informed throughout the process by providing you with updates and project summaries and timeline milestone lists. I strive to make this process a great experience for you. I do all the heavy lifting and take care of the tiniest details so you don’t have to. If you ever have ideas to add, questions or concerns about any part of the project, process or product, let me know! I want your input. Communication and collaboration keeps us connected, and ensures everything included in your Final Design Presentation is something you love and your spaces will be gorgeous and comfortable for you to live in everyday.

Modern. Comfortable. Quirky. Wonderful.