Gantt's Decorating

Gantt's Decorating

1 employee
34 years in business

About this pro

I have been providing full service interior design for almost 30 years.

 Every job starts with  the inintial interview which is about determining your needs, likes and lifestyle.

  I encourage classic designs that will look almost as fresh and beautiful in 20 years as the day the design is done.  This is done by avoiding today's fads and using materials that will withstand hard wear.

  I take pride in working around things you may already have, incorporating them into the design and making them look even better.

  My former clients can attest to the fact that I am always very conscience of your budget and work hard to get you the best look at the best price.

Each design, large or small  is original and is not repeated.

I design and fabricate all my custom draperies.  Every window treatment is designed not only to look good but to control light and help with heat gain or loss.

My web site is Gantt's and has a portfolio of my work.

I am also listed on Houzz and have a large portfolio of of work there.

Do not hesitate to give me a call to discuss your design needs.

Bill Gantt

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Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

Almost every project starts with a phone call.  We can chat a little on the phone about your project.  If you feel we are on the same wavelength, we can schedule an initial home visit,

At the initial home visit we get acquainted and discuss your project, the look you want to achieve and most importantly how the space is to be used.

Often the client will have issues with how the space works.   This often involves traffic flow, comfort or how to get the most seating out of a small space.

On most visits I will do some rough sketching as we discuss ideas.  When we feel we have a meeting of  minds as to what we want to achieve I will take measurements and possibly a few pictures.

The first interview usually takes about two hours.

I then take the information I have gathered back to my studio and consider all the issues we need to deal with and pull together fabric, possibly wallpaper and furniture resources as needed.

Since window treatments are so important to any design I normally try to do 3 original design ideas for each room.     They will be sketched in 1/2" scale.  Sometimes the job will require me to go beyond the sample books in my library.  When that happens I do extensive internet searches and order memo samples.

This research and design work can sometimes take as long as two weeks.   

When I have everything together I will call and scedule a fowollow up appointment,

At the second appointment we go through the selections, sketches and suggestions and together develope your finalized plan.

Normally I go back to the studio and put together price quotes.

When they are complete I call  and share the information with you.   If you like the quote you will pay 1/2 of the quoted amount as a deposit and the balance when the work is completed.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I am self taught.  I had a drawing course in college and worked in related fields prior to going into the design business.

I believe when you see my portfolio you see that I have the talent that is required.   

As you know you cannot teach or train talent or creativity.  

Some have it and some do not. Certainly it can be  nurtured and developed.

It has been my experience that in an artistic field those with multiple degrees and letters after their names are often compensating for  lack of natural talent. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

Normally I trust that my client is serious about completing a project.  At the first meeting I can and often do give "ball park" ideas of cost.  In my 29 years in the business I have only had perhaps 5 or 6 people who did not follow through after our second meeting.

In almost every case I do not charge by the hour  but by the job.  In other words I quote the individual elements of the job which don't have to be done all at once.   I expect my client to recognize the value of the time I commit to his/her job.  I also expect them to purchase the elements that make up the job from me.

If I am brought in to consult only the charge is $100 per hour.

In very rare cases if it is necessary to visit the client more than three times to get a design formulated I will notify the client that I will have to begin billing by the hour for  my research and design time from that point on.

How did you get started in this business?

I worked in a relatted field and decided to strike out on my own.

What types of customers have you worked with?

I have worked with Bank Presidents, well heeled business owners and professionals.

Truth be told I have always geared myself for middle and upper middle class clients, people with incomes starting around  $60,000 to $250,000.

Good design does not have to cost a fortune.

Also, because I do designs that are not trendy but classic and use materials that will last, they are investments not expenses.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I have to say one of my greatest pleasures is to go back to a home I decorated 5 to 10 years ago.  The time away from the job allows me to see it through fresh eyes after it as been used and loved by my client.

At risk of sounding boastful, often I see design elements I created and have forgotten about and am impressed that I created them.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

I actually have a list of things to look for.

In the first interview does the person ask you questions about the intended use of the room? 

Does he or she ask about your likes or dislikes?

Is noise a factor to be delt with?

Windows...does he or she ask if you need privicacy, do you get too much light, get heat gain in summer, loss in winter?

Does he or she seem to be trying to INTIMIDATE you? Unfortunately a lot of designers try to play that game.

The first interview should be mostly questions about you and your likes and needs.

Do you think you will enjoy working with this person?

Have you seen examples of the person's work?

Don't be embarrassed to tell them if something is a lot  more than you want to spend.  A good designer should be able to offer a less expensive alternative.

Don't be afraid to simply ask "Why?"   When I do a design everything has a reason for being included or done.  For example I might say, "Since this is a small room I want to do it monochromatic (almost everything the same color).".. or..This is a dark corner and since we don't have room for a table I'd like to putnup a wall sconce or use a floor lamp."

If the designer can't give you a reason for an element then it probably isn't needed.

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

When thinking about changing a room it is good to think about what in the room is annoying, isn't working with the way you use it.

You could as on the phone how much their average sofa or chair costs, or how  juch the average window tretment costs. This can keep you from waisting your time as well as the designer if your budget doesn't aligh with their averge costs.

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