It’s been hard for me to post this but I owe it to anyone interested to share my experience about the design services of Michelle Dupre Design aka Design with Confidence aka Colour with Confidence.
When we first met and discussed the renovation and redesign of my condo I was so hopeful. Everything we discussed was agreed to as if it would be so very easy. The job involved new flooring, bathroom tile, light fixtures, painting and blinds. I also discussed furniture selection and accessories to give the home a soft sophisticated look. There was no restructuring, system upgrades, cabinets, appliances or bathroom fixtures. I was told at first that it would be 2 1/2 weeks but that was adjusted to 3-4 weeks and I was assured that would be faster if I vacated the house and put most of my furniture in storage. There was less than 24 hours notice to pack up my things. I kept being reassured the floors only took 2 days, and they were right. It actually only took one. But it took them 5 1/2 weeks to get to that point. I came to see what was being done I was horrified to find young children along with the floor installers.If I hadn’t already paid a huge deposit on the work I would have pulled the plug earlier. In the time it took to have my possessions and bigger furniture returned I was sick of staying with relatives friends and at hotels. If I had been warned earlier I would have sublet a place somewhere. The final straw was being told they couldn’t move the furniture back or do the baseboards because the truck had a flat tire. I chose to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor.
But it wasn’t just the insane excuses and delays. I didn’t get the kind of design support or site monitoring needed from Michelle. Flooring choices were made from the limited number of small samples in her “showroom”. Many of the requests I made during our consultation were not communicated to the workers. I’ve worked with designers and contractors before. They monitored the work as it was being done. She also agreed to a number of changes here that either didn’t fit, couldn’t be done or were much more complex than she allowed for.
Even though I didn’t like many of the changes being made, like the flooring, and the tile work I can’t afford to have it redone. I kept telling myself that she was the designer and she knows what she’s doing but really I wasn’t listened to.
This review is getting too long so if you decide to work with Michelle Dupre make sure you do the following:
Get a written list of what’s going to be done. Include descriptions where possible.
Get a budget breakdown knowing that unforeseen things always come up.
Do the big jobs on your own. Life would have been much easier if I had the flooring and painting done by an outside company.
Monitor the work carefully.
In all fairness I should have been more vocal about my concerns on a daily basis early in the job. On the plus side her office assistant was very nice.
Financially I’m over budget without enough for new furniture and accessories. But it was also an enormous strain on my emotional and physical health. Some of the changes are fine but certainly not all of them.
If you decide to work with this company I hope you have a better experience.