Jennifer Milliken Design, LLC
A small residential interior design business in North Berkeley.
Problem solving! I really enjoy finding the best solutions that fit the specific needs of each client. It can be a puzzle that requires some detective work. That's fun! And when my clients are pleased with the final result? Well, that’s the ultimate enjoyment.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
The typical process starts with an initial phone conversation regarding the scope of the work, timing, and a general understanding of what and who is involved in the project. If both parties agree, I then follow up with a complimentary 1- hour meet and greet at the project site. From there, if the new customer wishes to hire me, I ask them to sign a simple agreement which basically outlines how I work and off we go!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a certified Interior Designer with the state of California. I earned this credential by attending design school (UC Berkeley Ext.), participating in internships and passing a certification test. I have worked in the advertising industry for many years, run my own business, and worked in the lighting design business as well.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.
Pricing depends on the scope of the project. Typically I charge for time and materials on an hourly basis -- $85 with a cap -- assuming the scope of the project is clearly outlined by both parties. With each monthly billing, I break out my activities down to the .25 hr. If the project is more complicated and layered, I am happy to put together a quote for the entire job.
How did you get started in this business?
I have always had a keen interest in design -- and business. As indicated, I have worked in the advertising industry and run my own freelance media business. I am happiest when I am creative, whether that's designing a bath, determing a tile layout, baking a cake or knitting a sweater. I also love solving problems and working with people. All of these interests and past experiences, led me to design school and from there, I launched my own business -- this time in what I love the most: design.
Jennifer Milliken Design, LLC.
What types of customers have you worked with?
All types! That's the joy and challenge of my work. I'm selling a process and a partnership with each new client. In fact, I find the client/designer relationship is the biggest consideration of the project, beyond the design aspect. I need to be a good listener and adjust my work style and involvement accordingly; my clients need to be responsive and involved. We're in this together!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I find great satisfaction when, after months of designing, planning, shopping and construction, the finished product begins to take shape.
Recently, I walked into a bath re-design where a wall had been removed, the plumbing moved, the shower pony wall installed and the tile sub had just started installing the tile. The overall effect of the new layout layered with the wash of light in the expanded room was very pleasing -- to both me and the happy client standing next to me. That's the goal.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?
Be prepared for the process -- not just the final product.
What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?
Identify the scope of your project in a priority list. Understand that in the Bay Area, construction costs are high and contractors are in demand -- this may require some compromises. Be prepared with pictures/ideas. Be ready to put in the time and energy for a collaborative and exciting experience.