McGaw Company Interior Design Residential Interiors Group Tue, 25 Jun 2019 23:40:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 We love your work. Where do we start? Tue, 25 Jun 2019 23:38:50 +0000

McGaw & Company, Inc. – Residential Interiors Group receives requests from potential clients to help them update their home.  We are frequently asked:

We love your work.  Where do we start to create our ideal home?

Careful Planning – Fabulous Results


Our short answer is it totally depends on what you have completed prior asking for our expertise.  We will need to analyze your home and determine your design goals (also called the scope of work).  We start with:

Goal #1:  Assessing your Priorities.  

What if, anything, ties your room together? 

What overall style are you trying to achieve?

Does your current furnishings fit the space; scale, style and dimensions necessary to reach your design goals?

How does the room function or how do you want it to function?

What do you want to keep?

What are you willing to give up?

Do you need light control (too dark or too light)?

Privacy issues?

What is the color palette you want to achieve?

Does this room work (flow) with the rest of your home?

Can we re-purpose items from one room and use them in another room?

Can we refinish or rework the items affordably so that it makes sense to spend the money?

How many design decisions and purchases have been made previously? 

Are you willing to do what it takes to complete the design you are requesting?

Are you calling us in too late?

Is the budget realistic for the desired outcome?

Are you just spending good money after bad?

Are you willing to listen to our professional advice?

Outcome of Design Assessment and Analysis:

Honesty is King:  If you have a mishmash of items, styles, color, function and scale we may have no choice but to start over.  Obviously, clients hate to hear their designer give bad news.  We hate giving bad news.  Many times just changing one or two items in the room and creating inspired design is just not possible. It is our responsibility to give our clients “bad news” prior to spending additional money on a design plan that will fall short of fabulous when completed.

A good design plan (and it is all about the details) is a must.  Going down the wrong road will eventually lead to the “wrong destination”.  In that case, we prefer not risking our well-won reputation or our client’s trust and money if we cannot impact your home in a drama and positive way.  It may seem harsh.  In the long run, it is more kind give an honest analysis rather than disappointing you or misspending your assets.

Does that mean we always have to start with a clean palette?  Not necessarily.  Many times our clients have home furnishings and treasures that can be used as the basis for a personal design that totally reflects their personalities which is our ultimate goal. 

The first step is a onsite evaluation and discussion to confirm your design and budgetary goals.  The second step is to put together a general plan of the scope of your project.  Thirdly, coming to a consensus of our joint mission (style, budget, time frame and special priorities).  

For more information or to request a personal assessment of your home…

Contact Us

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Selecting a Painter Fri, 01 Feb 2019 19:01:33 +0000


When selecting a painter consider your budget perimeters; based on satisfactory work and the level of home you are updating.  We normally request two bids on behalf of our clients from previous companies we have worked enjoyed working with and experienced an excellent outcome.  Normally one bid will be higher but both bids should be really fairly close in price or you have to question the level of service included in their bid also called a “scope of work”.  Once we have narrowed down our preferred contractor, we also visited several of the contractors’ recent jobs to confirm the quality of work and client’s experience working with the painter.

The last and most critical consideration you require from your painting contractor is to receive written liability insurance, workman’s compensation, and contractor licensing. (Note:  Not all states require painters to be licensed; please check your specific state for requirements.  Additionally, your county may also have licensing requirements.)  If you choose to hire a contractor without liability or workman’s compensation you may take on the contractor’s responsibility should a worker be injured or if damage occurs it will be under your status as a homeowner. (Again, check your particular state laws for specific information.)

A good paint job will not be inexpensive.  The man hours required to do an excellent paint job is extensive.  The size of the rooms to be painted, total square footage and ceiling height will be calculated into the final price.  For example; a larger home with a number of rooms to be painted with 16 foot ceilings will require more labor and materials therefore more an expensive painting project.

This is how to the breakdown the cost of painting:

1/3 of the job of painting is in the preparation and cleanup at the end of the day.  Prep includes protecting the surrounding area, covering the air conditioning ducks, caulking all the seams, filling in holes, dents, cracks, sanding any remaining rough areas.

1/3 of the paint job is the level of paint which makes a huge difference.  Paint manufacturers offer everything from builder grade which some painters cut with water to get it to go through their spray guns to highly pigmented paint which is a lot more expensive than builder grade and is easy clean with soap and water.  We recommend to our clients a higher grade of paint to get the best quality finish within the level of service we are providing.

1/3 of the paint job is in the application.  A premium paint job for doors and trim includes priming and sanding between coats to get the best finish possible otherwise you can experience orange peel and/or brush marks on the wood which is less than satisfactory.  Walls and ceilings should received two coats of paint, be smooth, without lap marks or “holidays”. New surfaces or those with existing dark finishes may need a coat of primer prior to painting to get the true paint color.  Don’t be surprised if painting new surfaces cost more since the labor and material requirements will be higher.

A few examples of lack of preparation:

Improper preparation which including primer and preparing a surface including preparing wood properly can create an area that is unstable.  Refinishing a built-in or trim not properly sanded, cleaned, caulked, and primed prior to painting can create a finish that will lift and not holding up under use.  To fix the problem the surface will require the surface be stripped, and/or sanded down and repainted which would be more expensive to do than if the finish had been applied correctly in the first place.

The wall surfaces should not have runs, cracks, imperfections, or lap marks.  Also check your walls level of perfection or imperfection to determine if you would like to do more repairs prior to hiring a paint contractor.  Sometimes we recommend to our clients a complete skim coat to smooth out the majority of imperfections to get our best paint job.

Sheetrock preparation comes in several levels; the highest being Level 5 which has no imperfections.  Level 4 has a few imperfections.  Level 3 more imperfections, etc.  We normally recommend a level 4 or 5.

If you see a low ball bid the question to ask yourself “what is not included in their scope of work?” or are they cutting corners.

New paint colors and finishes can transform your home; brighten, freshen, refresh, and give you a new outlook.

Marilyn McGaw