When we decided to undertake our major reno (kitchen, living room, bedroom, library, closets) we were daunted by the scale of the task: visualizing our design ideas, sourcing the finishes and furniture, and choosing contractors – and then managing a big project while living somewhere else!
We could choose colours, fabrics, finishes, and furniture pieces that went well together, but we recognized there was a lot more to design than that. We also knew we wanted to leave the implementation and day-to-day project management to more experienced hands. We decided that we needed outside expertise and turned to Level Studio, whose functional and modern designs matched our aesthetic, and whose countless rave reviews assured us we were in good hands.
From the first meeting, we knew the Level crew had a good eye for detail, even getting down onto their hands and knees to better examine part of the floor. We lost track of time during that meeting, just chatting and getting to know each other. They took that time to get to know us, what was important to us. They worked to understand our vision and translate it into a coherent design, while anticipating needs that we didn’t even know we had!
For example, we’d assumed the footprint of our space would remain the same – everything pretty much in the same place, just updated. Level helped us reconceptualize the space to provide better visual and functional flow, including reorienting the kitchen appliances, island, and dining area – things we’d never considered. They helped translate our needs into a kitchen design that gave us more storage and workspace.
Level uses a very iterative process, and created multiple draft designs with ample opportunity to provide feedback and share our thoughts. They gave us a complete design, including furniture and finishes, but were also open to our own suggestions for items we’d found or new design inspirations. The Level team were never pushy or claimed they knew better; they strove for an open and collaborative relationship and a design that truly felt like a synthesis of the best of our visions.
Project management was a major concern of ours – we were moving out of our space and had some anxiety about being removed from the project as it was underway. Level’s project management put us at ease in a couple of ways. First, they acted as the general contractor in addition to being the designers. A lot of the designers we met with told us that, once the design was done, we would have to source a general contractor, which seemed daunting to us, and would add another layer between us as the clients and the people actually carrying out the work. Knowing that there wouldn’t be a lot of phone tag as a question or change made its way down the line from us to the tradespeople was a big plus. Second, the Level team were very communicative throughout the process. It was always easy to reach them; emails received a response within a few hours and they were always ready to schedule a call to discuss issues. They provided a detailed project plan with timelines and gave us regular updates on scheduled work and upcoming components. We always knew what was happening and what came next.
The thing we’ll remember most about working with the Level Studio crew on this project was their commitment to making us happy. Whenever we had an issue with something, like the need for a touch-up to some painting, a scratch on the finish of a piece of furniture, or a complete replacement of the kitchen countertops, Level sprung into action! In our experience, other contractors have often shrugged as if to say, “What do you expect me to do?” That was never Level’s response – their attitude was always, “How can we fix this?”
Putting your home, and thousands of dollars, into strangers’ hands can be very scary – we’ve all heard the horror stories. With Level Studio, those strangers became friends and our daunting project became a success story.