Be sure to also check out my reviews on Houzz.com! Click here :)
My husband and I just completed our one-year follow up punch list for the custom home we built last year, and it inspired me to share my thoughts about hiring an Interior Designer, and specifically, about hiring Claudia Hardy. As I look around my home (for which I am very grateful) I realize that I am head over heels in love with everything that Claudia inspired and designed, and the things I tried to do on my own…well, let’s just say I am still working on those things. When we started planning our home, I knew quickly that I would need some help with all of the overwhelming decisions and choices. A friend recommended Claudia and I knew she was the best choice for us. However, I elected to go with a basic design package rather than the all-inclusive package for budget reasons. If I had to do it over again, I would absolutely hire Claudia because she is beyond amazing, but I would definitely do the all-inclusive package. Claudia is worth every penny and she will actually save you money in the long run by helping you make good decisions and avoiding expensive mistakes. (For example, she recommended a specific color for our trim and ceilings, but I let the painter talk me into regular ceiling paint. It was a huge mistake that threw off the entire color scheme in the house. The regular ceiling paint came off as a dingy yellow and looked terrible next to the neutral greige wall color. I lived with it for one year but then had it changed to what Claudia originally recommended. That one mistake cost $480.) My advice to you if you are building a home is: 1) hire an Interior Designer (because you don’t know what you don’t know); 2) hire Claudia Hardy (she is talented, gifted, and she knows how to make your dream a reality); and 3) do the full package. Trust me when I tell you that she will actually save you money and you will LOVE the end result!!
“We had the pleasure of working with Claudia during the build of our Dream Home. I was convinced that I didn’t need to use a designer because I’m organized, have great taste, know what I want and after all, I had Pinterest’s help! Wrong. I knew very quickly that the scope of this house and the decisions to be made were far beyond me and I needed a professional. We hired Claudia after meeting with several designers and knew immediately that she was the best fit for our family and needs. She goes above and beyond for her clients, is very detail oriented, kept us on track with the timeline and thought of things I would have never thought about or known to even ask about. She was also able to keep the look of our house cohesive throughout every detail. She also helped us to stay on budget which is HUGE with so many moving pieces of the project. Claudia is also a good “hunter” and helped us to find the same look for less when needed and also was able to help guide us to know when to pull the trigger on a splurge worthy item. Out of the entire building process, from start to finish, my absolute favorite part was working with Claudia. She is worth every penny and helped save us so much money, time, headache and stress! When comparing the process of building with other friends that have also built, we often hear grumbling when speaking of the building process. We had the complete opposite experience and actually enjoyed it and I know Claudia is the reason why.”
“Claudia has been a god-send! This is our first time building a custom home and it’s been quite a process, and mildly terrifying for me. I am a visual person and I know what I like when I see it, but cannot envision what something will look like. Claudia has been instrumental in helping us ensure our plans were not only workable, i.e., our furniture would fit, but she has helped us identify several areas where the plans did not match our inspirational photos. She has spent copious hours helping to ensure that all our windows were the right height and size, both from an internal viewpoint and an external aesthetic viewpoint. In addition to all that, she has made numerous suggestions that were both practical, and in the end has saved us money. Value to what we planned is definitely a rubric that Claudia passes our plans through, which is essential when you are in “dream” house mode. I would not recommend undertaking the designing and building of a custom home without her expertise and attention to detail . She invests her whole self in the process and is committed to making sure you get a functional, as well as a beautiful home. My only regret is that we did not enlist her services earlier on in the design process. Her services are not an add-on; in my opinion, they are essential.”
“When we first decided to build a house, we were extremely excited. We had wanted to build our own custom home for quite some time and to finally be doing it, was absolutely thrilling. Unfortunately, that excitement quickly faded and we became overwhelmed early on in the process. Thankfully, we met Claudia Hardy. Her warm and caring personality provided the tranquility we needed in order to focus on getting the build done. She stepped right in and immediately provided the direction we needed so badly. We were absolutely lost in the beginning. Claudia’s knowledge of design and the building process is incredible. We had never built anything in the past and didn’t know what to expect. Claudia provided guidance and direction on every phase of the build, which was very comforting. We took what we thought were solid plans and provided them to Claudia for review before the build began. She quickly pointed out things about the layout that I would have never caught. She has an eye for detail like no other. Claudia made several very intelligent design changes and increased the functionality of the house immensely. That alone was worth her price, but then she took it to a whole other level with her design. What we liked about it the most was that Claudia made the entire process easy. When we first went down this road, we thought choosing finishes, cabinets, fixtures, colors…etc. would be very easy and fun. It’s not . It sounds easy, but it is anything but. It is time consuming, overwhelming and often very frustrating. There are so many options for just about everything these days that it makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to visualize how everything will look in reality. This is where Claudia’s expertise is invaluable. She has the unique ability to visualize everything and how it will work together in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. And the best part about it is that she makes it easy! Claudia sat down with us to determine our tastes and style. She then took that knowledge and pulled everything together in an easy to digest format. Claudia took the time to meet with us on at least a dozen occasions at the job site and at various vendors to discuss the build and how the choice of materials and colors would ultimately look in the house. Claudia saved us a ton of time by pulling everything together in an easy to assimilate format. Claudia is also very responsive and gives you her undivided attention. Quite honestly, we felt like we were her only clients throughout the process, even though we knew we weren’t. If I had a question or concern, she answered immediately. Her work ethic is admirable and amazing. At first we thought having a designer would be neat. After the fact, we know that Claudia was absolutely essential. We could not have done this without her. Had we been left to our own devices, our house would have been a total disaster and a huge disappointment. Claudia took what would have been a nightmare and transformed it into a stunning masterpiece! Thank you Claudia! You are the best investment that we’ve ever made!”
~Robert L. Ingram, Jr.
“I didn’t realize how important an interior designer would be in helping us though the building process until it actually began and there were hundreds of interlocking decisions that needed to be made. Claudia has been absolutely invaluable in helping us make these decisions. Everything from whole room design to lighting/plumbing selections to coordinating flooring, cabinetry, and counter tops. Not only does she have an incredible eye for design but she has been an excellent resource for helping us find unique pieces on a tight budget. She has been essential in helping us build beyond our dreams and is yet but another reason why we love Blue Ridge Custom Homes.”
“Whether it is choosing a new paint color or the complete overhaul of a space, Claudia’s style sense puts me at ease – which is hugely important for someone who finds decision making painful and difficult. Claudia familiarizes herself with my tastes to make recommendations suited to my style and personality. She goes the extra mile in studying space saving and ADA compliant solutions for design. I trust that she always has my best interest in mind and she helps me create a spaces that add value to my home and my life. Thank you, Claudia!”
“It was very pleasant to work with Claudia, she listened to my likes and requirements and was able to guide me to good design decisions.”