Frequently Asked Questions


WHAT AREAS DO YOU SERVE?

We serve areas in Central New York including Hamilton, Cooperstown, Skaneateles, Cazenovia, Syracuse and the surrounding areas. Travel fees will apply to distances over 40 miles from Hamilton, NY.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE A PROJECT?

Timing will vary considerably based on the project. We advise accounting for about five months for projects requiring only furnishings & décor. Custom upholstery & window treatments generally take about 8-12 weeks to produce once selections are agreed upon.

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?

There are a wide range of budgets that will allow you to furnish your home. With this in mind, we have a minimum design fee of $4,000 for our services.

HOW CAN WE SPEED THE PROCESS ALONG AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE?

Most clients want their home completed yesterday – we get it! That being said, you are investing in our service to create a home you are proud of so we ask that our clients respect our creative process in order to make that happen. We do not speed the project along for things like holidays or birthday parties. With this in mind, there are several things that will allow our work to be completed quicker:

  • Sound Direction – The more clearly you communicate your goals and style from the beginning, the faster the design process will go. Our goal is to get to the purchasing phase as quickly as possible. The less rounds of revisions needed, the faster we can have items on order. We created an array of materials to help you guide us on what your goals for the space are. The more specific you can get with us, the better. Inspiration images, color preferences, comfort preferences should all be communicated early on. We can advise you on this as much as you’d like.

  • Decision making – Simply put, the faster you make decisions, the faster we can move on purchasing.

  • Availability We understand you hired us because you have a busy schedule so we meet with our clients only when decision making is necessary; The consultation and design presentation are key examples of this. If more than one person will be making purchasing decisions, we ask that all parties be present at these meetings to ensure we hear all relevant feedback.

  • Payment – We do not make any purchases until invoices for furnishings/décor are paid in full. We send purchase orders to our manufacturers as soon as payments are received.

  • Communication – This is key! We have a project manager and processes in place to streamline communication. We typically send a weekly update on Monday mornings to ensure we are on the same page. Texting is OK for a quick question that won’t affect the project, but we prefer emails to keep information in one place.

HOW INVOLVED DO I NEED TO BE IN THE DESIGN PROCESS?

This is completely up to you. Our ideal client provides a clear picture of what they are looking for through inspiration images, but trusts us to bring their vision to life. If you’re looking at us to take the reins and make it happen, that’s where we thrive. Some clients prefer to be involved throughout the process which we embrace as well. We work to build trust from the beginning by providing our professional opinions and giving you the tools you need to make confident decisions with our guidance.

HOW CAN I BE BEST PREPARED FOR MY FIRST MEETING WITH THE IVORY SLATE?

Please complete our New Client Form and our Style Survey before our consultation. Additionally, we are visual learners so inspiration images are key. We ask that you provide comments with your inspiration images that details what you like/dislike about each photo.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE PROBLEMS THAT ARISE?

Issues will inevitably arise. How we deal with them is what differentiates us. We built our business on firm values and we go to bat for our clients. One of the biggest headaches of home design can be dealing with damaged shipments, faulty installation jobs, or everyday human errors. We have dealt with all sorts of issues and aim to put our client at ease by taking the burden of worry and time off their plates. We’ve got it!

CAN I USE MY EXISTING FURNITURE?

Of course! If you have pieces in your home you love, they should have a place in your home. We enjoy working with antiques and meaningful pieces and we will work to make them flow within your newly designed space.

CAN I PURCHASE FURNITURE/ACCESSORIES ON MY OWN?

Yes and no. If you find something you love at an estate sale or elsewhere, by all means…it’s your house and we want you to love it! That being said, we source most pieces from our trade-only vendors so we have to be the purchaser of these items. Once purchase orders are made, we arrange for shipment to our white glove receiver in Syracuse and plan for ONE full day of installation of all design components. This will include delivery of any furnishings/décor s as well as installation of window treatments and art.

CAN I USE MY OWN CONTRACTORS/TRADESPEOPLE?

Yes! We can recommend tradespeople and we will manage the relationship with your preferred vendor, however, all payments must be made directly to those people.