The who, what, why and how of Alix Helps Interiors
We’re changemakers, joy bringers and style lovers with an eye for the beautifully functional.
Based in Sydney, we’re interior designers and decorators who help people all over the city create stylishly practical homes to love – and feel proud of. It’s quite possible you’ll never want to leave your home, once we’ve sprinkled our magic over it. And that’s the best feedback we could ever get!
Teaming up with our trusted artisans and trades, we design bespoke residential interiors with beautiful finishes. But before we get to that part, we get to know you. How you work, rest, play, entertain – in your dreams and in reality.
Then we get down to business, bringing together your must-haves, lust-haves and your hidden needs to create a home that reflects who you are.
We’re here to make your life – and your home – happier.
The nitty gritty FAQs
Do you charge for the first consultation?
Yes, our initial appointment is a two hour working meeting held in your home. Straight up, you’ll get ideas and inspiration from Alix, our Creative Director. She’ll give you design advice, discuss the project in detail and give you her perspective on the spot. We will work together during this meeting to accurately define the scope to allow us to follow up after the meeting with a detailed scope of works and a fee estimate. We use this time to get to know you, your lifestyle, and understand your goals for the project. We'll talk about timescale and budget and educate you about our process. Throughout all of this, we both have the opportunity to decide whether we're a good fit. This is the first important step of our design process and the fee is $1,500 including GST.
How can I be sure you’ll “get” me and my tastes?
We know it can seem scary, trusting someone to get it right. Our comprehensive design service gives you confidence in our creative choices because we base everything on a solid understanding of the functional requirements you have for each room.
Our initial meeting is ultra important in helping us understand your needs, wants, likes, personality and lifestyle. We rely on our trusted processes to interpret your brief, then present irresistible concepts full of finesse that immeasurably add value to your life and your home.
How do you charge?
We’re upfront when it comes to our fees.
Our time is charged at an hourly rate. We estimate the hours required to complete each stage as part of the quoting process, based on your specific scope of works. Estimates are based on the time taken to complete projects similar to yours.
Fees for your initial consultation, trade day meetings and estimated costs for the design and documentation stage are invoiced in advance.
Some tasks, such as client meetings, site visits, show room visits and installation/styling services are hard to estimate in advance. These items are charged at an hourly rate, invoiced in advance in 20 hour blocks. Once we commence that stage, our team keep detailed time sheets and we regularly share these with you. It ensures we are all across the time to complete each task, as well as the time taken to address any variations or items added to the initial scope.
When in the renovation or building process should I book you in?
We need at least 12 weeks to complete the design stage of your interiors for a typical house. That includes consultation, design proposal, sign off, concept approval, design development and documentation, engagement of relevant trades, sourcing materials and furniture. Good design takes time, so factor us in for that initial meeting at least three to six months ahead of when you’d like construction to start.
How long is the design phase?
Allow 6-8 weeks after our initial meeting before concepts are presented, once your invoice for the design development phase is paid.
The design stage is very labour intensive. It’s when we pull together all the detail we gathered at the start, which is why our initial consultation is vital to our design success. When we present our design, we’ll show you floor plans, colours, finishes and fixtures to bring your project to life.
If you’re doing both a renovation and decorating, we often divide the design phase into two sections: one for the colour palette, fixtures and finishes; and the other for the furniture and decorative items.
What kind of documentation do you provide?
We’ll complete floor plans, kitchen, bathroom and other joinery designs, furniture placement, and elevations. When required, we produce realistic 3D renders to show you how your new room will look. We are also happy to complete electrical plans if you need them.
All our drawings are to scale however are conceptual in nature.
If you require construction drawings, particularly relating to structural changes, we would need to engage an architect, building designer and/or an engineer. We complete detailed schedules for the trades outlining the application of all colour choices, finishes, fixtures and fittings, along with a scope of works.
Do you have a preferred builder or specific trades?
Yes, we have a pool of builders and trades people that we love working with on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your project we will recommend the builder and trades we feel are the right fit. Renovating can be stressful, and it’s important you engage trades you feel you can work with during the process of building your home.
Do you project manage the build?
Once you have appointed a builder for your renovation, they are responsible for the site and all the trades.
We undertake design management at this stage, ensuring the design details are executed and advising on any variations.
We complete regular site visits to check progress however the responsibility for the build time frames and the execution of plans sits with your appointed builder. Your builder is the project manager.
How are builders/trades paid?
Your preferred builder/tradespeople are contracted directly by you, not via Alix Helps Interiors. This ensures that their insurance directly covers your property, with no middleman in between. As a result, they would invoice you directly for deposits and work completed.
Do I get access to trade pricing?
Yes, Alix Helps Interiors receives varying trade discounts from suppliers. Some are extremely small businesses with small margins. Others are able to provide a larger discount. We share these discounts with our clients.
What are your payment terms?
All invoices for design fees must be paid within seven days. Payment for each stage must be received prior to commencement of that stage.
We are a team juggling a number of projects. Everyone in our team is paid on time for the work they have done.
Clients who don’t pay on time unfortunately cause delay to their own projects. We are not able to continue work on projects that have invoices outstanding.
When ordering fixtures, fittings, furniture, etc the payment terms are set by the suppliers. For furniture it is common to pay a 50% deposit to confirm the order, with the balance due prior to delivery. These terms can vary, depending on the supplier.
Can you help me manage my budget?
Yes, we have a strong focus on helping you to manage the financial aspects of your project, from initial budgeting through to the final order management and invoicing.
What are your office hours?
8.30am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday. Site meetings occasionally mean a bright and early start. We’ve been known to bring coffee.
What’s the best way to communicate with you?
Although it can be tempting to send messages via text and Instagram, it’s best to communicate by email, phone calls and scheduled meetings. This means that design-related discussions are detailed and recorded, ready for application on site.