Frequently Asked Questions
How can we work together during the era of Covid-19?

Phew, this is the question of the day, no? We want you to stay safe and we want to stay safe ourselves. So, as of March 13, 2020, Room Fu is offering remote design and decorating services only, with the exception of exterior paint color selections and outdoor furnishings selections (see “outdoor” below). Remote design work involves some constraints and limitations (see “caveats” below), but it also opens up a world of opportunities. In a world where working from home and staying home is the new normal, we want to help you create a place you’re happier to be, and we can still do that!

Design Consultations

All interior design and decorating consultations will be done via cloud-based video conferencing until further notice. Since no traveling is involved, we’re waiving the one-hour minimum and no travel fees. Payment will be collected at the end of your consultation via debit/credit charge.

Exterior Paint and Outdoor Furnishings Consultations

This is the perfect time to get work on the exterior of your home, because it wouldn’t require service personnel to enter your house. For help choosing paint colors for the outside of your home, or for help selecting outdoor furnishings, we can still do in-person design consultations. We will wear face masks and gloves when we arrive, respect social distancing requirements, and ask that you do the same for the safety of all involved. A one-hour minimum is required for home visits, and applicable travel fees would apply outside of our service area (see our rates page for details).

Interior Finishes and Furnishings Selections

We’re not providing in-store shopping and selections services at this time. Instead, we’ll source everything online and/or through local vendors and retailers we can video conference with or consult by phone. We have long-term relationships with many of these folks, lasting longer than a decade, so when we talk with them, they already have an understanding of the types of products we normally recommend and we can cut to the chase pretty quickly. Whenever possible, we’ll order samples and swatches so we can view options in person before purchasing decisions are made. Many of these samples can be procured either through the mail or delivery companies, or by using curbside pickup, so there are still ways of getting what you need safely. Of course, this will add time to the equation, so please be aware of that going forward. You can also expect delivery/availability disruptions for the duration, due to manufacturing and fulfillment issues resulting from the virus.

Interior Paint Selections

Rather than the old days, where we could definitively say, “we recommend this specific paint color,” we will now offer a few options for you to test yourself and offer tips for making this decision on your own. This means that it might take a couple of tries to nail it, due to the sometimes extreme ways different light conditions can affect paint color. See “caveats” below, for more info.

In-Home Styling Services

At this time, we’ve suspended in-home consultation and styling services until we can accommodate this work safely and securely. That said, one of the most popular questions these days is how to spruce up some sort of environment or backdrop for at-home video conferencing, and this is something we can help you DIY pretty easily via our video design consultations.

Caveats with Remote Design Services

Caveats with Selections: If you’ve participated in a virtual meeting or happy hour, or have tried to look at horrifying paint simulators online, you know that looking at the way anything looks onscreen suffers from color distortion. There’s so much nuance in color in reality, which is why you’ll see 50 different options for white paint alone. So when we’re looking at pictures of your existing furniture on our phones or at products we see online, it is impossible to know exactly what they will look like in reality. We have tricks for making an educated guess and working around this problem, but it could involve some trial and error to get just the right combinations. For these reasons, we ask that you please add time to your expected turnaround for most projects.

Caveats with Interior Paint Colors: Lighting plays the biggest role in selecting paint colors, and lighting can change dramatically from room to room and house to house. There’s no way to compensate for this when choosing paint colors, and this is the reason we’ve never wanted to make paint selections remotely before. So even if we choose a paint color that looks perfect from our perspective in our house, that in no way guarantees that it will look the same on your walls in your house. We can still get you to the point of having beautiful walls, cabinets, and trim colors, but it’ll have to be more of a collaboration for a while.

Do you do small projects, like selecting paint colors or flooring?

Room Fu is happy to help you with any aspect of your interior design. We bring an extensive collection of paint chips to every consultation, and if you just want help choosing tile or flooring, we’re happy to run over to your local tile/flooring store to help you make selections following a brief meeting at your house. Update: there are limitations in how we conduct these selections now, due to Covid-19 concerns. Please see “Covid-19” info above, for details.

Can you help me select exterior paint colors?

Absolutely. In the era of Covid-19, this is our new favorite thing, because it gets us out of the house, LOL! To do this safely, we will follow social distancing requirements, and arrive wearing face masks and gloves while this is a concern.

I’ve never used a designer before. What is the process like?

**Please see “Covid-19” above, for the ways we’re currently conducting business while this is a concern. The following applies to the “good old days,” which we look forward to returning to in the distant future, but it does give you some idea of the general process of things. While we’re working remotely, please note that time estimates will be affected by factors beyond our control.

We’ll start with an initial consultation. During this first meeting (avg. 1.5 hrs), we’ll ask you a number of questions about your project, such as:

  • What is your budget?
  • What are your style and color preferences?
  • What is staying in the room? What are you dying to change?
  • How do you want the space to feel when we’re done?
  • Do you need help selecting surface materials and/or furnishings and accessories, or would you like to just get our advice on style/color/retailers so you can shop on your own?
  • Do you want to do home improvement projects yourself or will you require service professionals?
  • Would you like us to oversee and/or coordinate contractors throughout the home improvement process?
  • Do we need to keep children and/or pets in mind when designing the space?

During this first meeting, we will share creative ideas and make recommendations for next steps. We can also provide an estimate of hours for your project during this consultation. If we’re creating a design plan for you, we’ll begin your project by creating a space plan for your room(s). This is a basic layout of the furniture arrangement, which gives you an idea of the pieces and dimensions we would look for. Once that is approved, we’ll move on to making specific product recommendations and creating a design vision for your space. Many times this information is sent to you in an email with photos and web links, or you can take the information from the space plan and shop on your own with the confidence of knowing exactly what you’re looking for.

Do you charge for the initial consultation?

Yes, as these consultations are extremely productive and informative. Payment is due at the end of each consultation.

Can you make sustainable design recommendations?

Room Fu wholly supports the green movement. Energy efficiency and sustainable materials are a popular and ethical choice, especially here in Austin! We encourage environmentally-responsible design decisions, but we’re not preachy about it

What if we are merging two styles?

One of the many hats we wear is our mediator hat! We have lots of experience merging the design styles of romantic partners. There’s nothing like an objective third party (especially one who is a design professional) to level the playing field and settle any design disputes. And hey…our makeovers are a lot prettier and less expensive than relationship counseling.

Does Room Fu offer gift certificates?

We sure do. Nothin’ says lovin’ like a Room Fu gift certificate! Contact us to request a gift of FU!

What is your payment policy, and what forms of payment do you accept?

Payment is due for an initial consultation at the end of that meeting. If we continue working together outside of your initial consultation, we will submit invoices periodically, depending on client preference.

While transmission of Covid-19 is a concern, we are opting for touch-free payments. We can accept your Visa, MasterCard, AmEx or Discover cards.

What is your cancellation policy?

If we have 24 hours’ notice or more, no biggie. Less than that and there’s a $50 cancellation fee.