We are a full service, residential interior design team
specializing in design consulting, large-scale renovations, and ground-up new construction projects.
Forget about beautiful houses. We are focused on creating beautiful HOMES, pairing luxury with comfort to create beautiful, functional, and throw-up-your-feet spaces where families and friends do life together.
It has been 15 years since I began designing homes, and I still get excited for a new project every single time. In designing our clients' homes, much of our time is spent in front of a computer and spreadsheet and design drawings; navigating deadlines, budgets, shipping statuses, drywall dust, and the rumble of screw guns. It is not nearly the luxurious designer-life many imagine, but being a part of the construction and design process has captivated me from the very beginning. I grew up with a contractor father and a gardening mother. They built our Wisconsin farmhouse and truly made it a place to gather. Everyone was welcome and there was a deeply felt sense of comfort, belonging, and HOME for all who visited.
I am honored to be entrusted with creating that same sense of HOME for our clients, and we value the trust you are putting in our team! We embrace the responsibility to ensure the design is functional, thoughtful, and timeless so you continue to love your home for years to come. We can help you sort through the likes to get to the loves, and share our experience in knowing when to splurge and when to save. We will help you to see the potential for your home and to navigate the hiccups of making it a reality. We are here to partner with you through every step of the design process, and you can rest easy knowing we have been there before. We've got this! And I hope our enthusiasm is infectious.
We cannot wait to be a part of making your home one you love!
GET IN TOUCH
1. DISCOVERY CALL
Call or email to schedule a call. We are excited to learn about your project! This is the opportunity for you to connect with Tera and to learn more about our team, process, and investment. We offer two tiers of services depending on your project needs: 1) Interior Design Consulting and 2) Full Service Interior Design.
2. MEET THE TEAM
Schedule a complimentary meeting at our Design Studio to meet Tera and the design team, learn more about our design process, and discuss estimated project investments. If determined a fit, we are ready to get our boots-on-the-ground and to see your
home in person!
3. DESIGN CONSULT
The Design Consult ($500) is the jumping off point for our team to see your home or review your build plans in person, to share our ideas, and to develop a proposal outlining the scope of work and associated design investment. If the project is determined a fit and you proceed with our Full Service or Flat Fee Design Services, the Design Consult fee will be credited toward your project.
DESIGN CONSULTING & HOURLY DESIGN SERVICES
The consultation is the first step of our design process. Our virtual and in-home design consultation package starts at $500. The Design Consult is up to 90 minutes and is the jumping off point for our team to see your home (whether in person or virtually) and to dream with you about its potential. We walk through the project site with you to fully understand what you need, how you will use the rooms, and how you want your home to feel, and our team openly shares design options and ideas for the space. The consultation also allows us to develop a detailed design proposal for your project, outlining the options for partnering with our team depending on the project needs, including full-service design, hourly consulting, and flat-fee design packages.
The $500 Design Consultation Package includes the following deliverables: a Project Discovery Call with Tera Janelle, a TJD design survey in preparation for the consultation, up to 90-minutes of virtual or in-home consultation time, and a written summary of the consultation. If our team, the project, and our process is determined a fit and you proceed with our full service of flat fee design services, the design consult fee will be credited towards your project!
OUR "FULL SERVICE DESIGN" PROCESS
Phase One: DISCOVERY
Project discovery call with Tera and in-home design consultation.
Signing of design agreement and payment of design fee retainer.
Clients "deep dive interview" with design team.
Site survey and measure.
Phase Two: CONCEPTUAL DESIGN
To determine the general layout, investment estimate, and aesthetic direction.
Designing of floor plans and elevations.
Creation of trade and contractor quoting packets.
Securing of trade and contractor bids.
Design meeting and project budget review with clients to confirm we are on track.
Phase Three: DETAILED DESIGN PHASE
Review and signing of "not to exceed" project budget agreement.
Selection of all design finishes and furnishings and conversion to proposals and purchase orders.
Creation of 3D renderings (as applicable).
Client approval of all specification lists and design boards.
Signing of updated project budget agreement reflecting any requested add-ons.
Payment of project budget deposit and approval of all orders.
Phase Four: PURCHASING & CONSTRUCTION
Collaborating with contractors and trades.
Placement and tracking of all orders.
Receiving and warehousing of all deliveries.
Delivery of design materials to project site.
Phase Five: INSTALLATION
Conclusion of construction and installation of all specified furnishings.
Final project photography.
The final reveal!
"Punch list" follow up.
Submission of final invoice and care guide to clients.
OUR DESIGN DELIVERABLES
Documentation is an INTEGRAL part of our "Full Service Design" process. Open concept, big windows, modern furniture — these can mean entirely different things to different people, both clients and contractors! So our design process focuses extensively on Design Deliverables that allow our clients, design team, trades, and contractors to communicate the design in a tangible, visual, and detailed way!
A home's floor plan (also called a space plan) is one of the most important aspects of a well-designed home — it dictates how a home will flow and function. Once the project direction is set, we start by creating the room's or home's floor plan, which includes the overall layout, as well as furnishing scale and placement.
We begin the design process with a bird’s eye view of the spaces. Drafting a detailed floor plan allows us to design the function, flow, and sightlines of a home. Many times we generate several versions of a home’s proposed floor plan, allowing clients to fully explore the varying potentials of their home.
Once the floor plan is fine tuned and approved, we will move onto drawing each room's elevations. For detailed rooms, like kitchens and baths, we will often draw 4 - 6 elevations for that single room alone, detailing the four walls of a room as well as potential millwork design, tile layout, lighting plan, etc.
Precisely to scale, our cabinetry, millwork, lighting, plumbing, and tile elevations are the building blocks of communicating our design to clients and their contractor teams.
CONTRACTOR QUOTING PACKET
Once the floor plans and elevations of a space are fine tuned, it's time to bring in the trades! Depending on the scale of the project, a general contractor and architect may also be involved. At this point it is time to bring everyone up to speed on the design and direction for the project, in order to obtain quotes to ensure the project is financially feasible before further proceeding.
At this meeting we provide to the general contractor (or direct to the trades for smaller projects) a Contractor Quoting Packet, providing them all the details they need to bid the project and estimate the timeline. This packet includes, as applicable:
Design Boards (in progress)
Renderings (in progress)
A "Contractor Notes" document
The Contractor Notes are a written supplement to the design drawings. This contractor resource identifies allowances, work site expectations, and design instructions necessary for contractors to accurately bid a project’s cost and timeline.
DESIGN DEVELOPMENT DELIVERABLES
Once the home's floor plan and elevations are finalized and approved and an initial project budget has been established, we move onto final design development. The design development phase of our design process is where we really bring the approved concept to life, via digital design boards and specification spreadsheets.
If your project is a renovation or new build, we focus first on all elements that impact the construction (or fixed materials), from tile and flooring to plumbing and lighting. We then dive into the furnishings, specifying all soft elements, from your furniture pieces to the rugs to the artwork. We love designing custom pieces for our clients — cabinetry, furniture, pillows, art, draperies, etc. With our extensive studio design library and network of craftsman and artists, the possibilities really are endless!
Before the design development phase is complete, we will nail down every last detail of the design (less minor accessories) for your review and approval. We do so through the use of design boards and specifications spreadsheets, which we revise in collaboration with you until they are just right. For those rooms that are extra tricky to visualize, we also offer 3-D design services, allowing clients to visualize the layout and selections for a room in 3-D format.
Following budget review and project deposit, we will submit the design boards and spec list to you for final signatures, which gives us the go ahead to begin placing orders!
A room’s Design Board is a visual specification of the design selections for the room. It serves as a cohesive visual reference for how the finishes, fixtures, and furnishings will work together within a room’s design.
The "spec list" or specifications spreadsheet is part of the Design Build Book provided to your contractor. This spreadsheet specifies the nitty gritty details: grout width, product numbers, light fixture hanging heights, installation notes and instructions, paint finishes, lightbulb Kelvins, and finish details.
For key rooms of the home, particularly those a client may have difficulty imagining, we create 3D renderings. These dimensional, to-scale renderings provide our clients a realistic perspective of the final design to come.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you offer design consultating?
We do! Our one-hour design consultation is available virtually or in-person. Our one-hour design consultation is ideal for those looking for help with paint colors, finish selections, space planning, electrical planning, build plan review, kitchen and bathroom design, and furnishings. For those with large scale construction or furnishing projects in mind, it is also the jumping off point for our team to see your home (whether in person or virtually) and to dream with you about its potential. We walk through the project site with you to fully understand your practical and functional needs for your home, design goals, and your individual style. We share openly our design ideas for the space, and the boots-on-the-ground experience allows us to provide a fully developed proposal and investment outline should you decide to partner with our team on your project!
The one-hour design consultation package is $500 and includes the following deliverables: a Project Discovery Call with Tera Janelle, a TJD design survey in preparation for the consultation, up to one hour of virtual or in-home consultation time, and a written summary of the consultation and recommendations. Should you need additional design assistance beyond the one-hour consultation, we will draft an hourly "designer on retainer" proposal. A minimum block of hours is required and the hours are available for use within a designated timeframe.
Do you take on projects outside of Lynchburg, Virginia?
At this time, we focus primarily on projects within two hours of Lynchburg, Virginia.
When are you available to begin work on our project?
We are typically booking 30 - 90 days out on new project starts.
We are building a new home. When should we call you?
We recommend reaching out at least 4 - 6 months before you break ground. We partner with clients on new construction primarily on a full-service design basis, meaning we join projects at very early concept and guide our clients through every detail of the design and build process. We often join our clients' new builds before they've even chosen a builder or architect, sometimes even before they have purchased the land/lot. This early collaboration provides for the very best final designs!
Would you join a new build that is already underway?
We generally join a new build long before the project has broken ground, but we evaluate every project inquiry independently. We are happy to review the point you are at in the process and let you know whether it would be a fit.
What is the difference between "construction design" and "furnishings design"?
Construction design specifics the floor plan, layouts, and finishes of the items that are quite literally FIXED or attached to your home. The paint color, siding, roof, flooring, cabinetry, millwork, hardware, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, tile, wallpaper, etc.
When designers describe the process of "furnishing" a home, we are referring to rugs, lamps, furniture, artwork, draperies, and yes, even the tableware and decorative books and accessories we use for styling! Anything that is NOT permanently attached is a "furnishing" — the sofas, rug, arm chair, coffee table books, drapes, candles, artwork, bath towels, kitchen tableware, accent table, throw pillows, and the brass horse sculpture on the bookshelves, they are all "furnishings."
At Tera Janelle Design, we most commonly partner with clients in designing both the "construction fixed materials" AND the "furnishings," so the home has a decidedly cohesive, customized feel throughout.
Are clients required to use TJD for both construction design and the furnishings?
While we do not require furnishings as a part of construction design projects, about 85% of our projects involve some level of furnishing. We have found clients are infinitely more happy at the conclusion of a construction project when at least one room is furnished to completion. After so many months (or even years!) spent in the bustle of the construction process, the warmth and satisfaction of knowing at least one room is fully finished has been invaluable to our clients.
The investment. Do you have design minimums?
At Tera Janelle Design, our design fees are billed on an hourly or flat fee basis, depending on the scope of the project. Those design fees are based on the total design hours (or estimated design hours) our design team spends on the design and management of the project.
Our projects average six months to two years. The minimum "design fee expenditure" is $10,000 for local projects and $25,000 for travel based projects (anything outside of a 45-minute radius of our Lynchburg, Virginia studio). The design fees for whole room remodels generally start around $50,000. For ground-up new builds, the minimum design fee expenditure is $75,000. Those design fees cover the hours invested by our design team on your project. The design fees do NOT include contractor fees or furniture or fixtures. We have found projects less than that investment spread us thin, across too many projects, and sacrifice the design or client experience. Instead we focus on a limited number of projects a year, allowing us to turn designs around quickly, offer concierge-level service, and be timely available to our clients and their contracting teams.
How much do your kitchen or bath renovations typically cost? How about furnishing a room?
While we do not have specific room-by-room minimums, there are some general investment starting points we use as reference. Complete custom kitchen renovations typically range from $75,000+ (appliances NOT included), primary bathroom renovations $35-$55,000. Furnishing a living room generally ranges from $40,000-$50,000. Whole-home furnishings for a 2,000 sqft home start at $150,000.
How long does the design take?
The length of project is contingent on project scope, contractor availability, and product lead times, but we work with contractors and vendors to provide an anticipated project schedule so you know what to expect and when! Here is a typical schedule for a complete kitchen renovation:
Design Phase: The design phase of a kitchen renovation typically lasts 2 - 6 weeks, depending on the level of customization and structural changes.
Quoting: The length of time a project takes to quote depends on the availability and timeliness of contractors and tradesman. For a kitchen renovation, we find general contractors typically take 2 - 4 weeks to meet with trades and compile the project quote.
Construction & Installation: The start of construction will depend on the general contractor's schedule and material availability. If the kitchen materials are ordered ahead of time (many kitchen appliances are currently running 6+ months lead times), construction for a full-gut kitchen renovation typically lasts 4 - 5 months from "day one" of construction to completion.
Has the pandemic affected the design process?
The short answer, YES. We are seeing significant lead times for manufacturing and furnishings, and very busy project loads for contractors and trades. But we have always approached our design process with a Type-A attention to detail and planning, so we have simply kicked that into ultra high gear!
We now recommend clients complete the design process and placement of orders long before construction actually begins. This allows time for those long delayed products and appliances — presently 6 - 10 months for an integrated fridge or panel-ready dishwasher! Also many contractors are booked months out. It may be several months after they submit a quote for the design project before they have availability to begin work.
We are seeing equally long lead times in furnishings, with most custom furniture manufacturers estimating 20 weeks or longer for furniture production. So plan early if you want your new living room in time for Christmas!
"Tera is a true talent. We have partnered with Tera on many projects and homes over the years! Most recently she completed a full gut-renovation of our Virginia vacation home. She managed the complete construction and furnishings, as we were states away throughout the renovation. The end result was absolutely stunning. We are so glad we left the project entirely in her hands!" - Curt & Ardyth
"Working with Tera Janelle to take our lower level from studs and concrete to GORGEOUS was a delight from start to finish. She fully respected my own style and ideas, but her expertise took our project way beyond what I even thought possible. From initial planning, to shopping fixtures and furniture, to all the finishing touches, she worked her magic with professionalism, fun and brilliance. I thoroughly enjoyed her upbeat and affirming personality, her timeliness and attention to every detail. 5 stars PLUS!" - Sharon & Bill
Are our services and process a fit for your project?
We are excited to talk with you!