Upon completion of a project, many of my clients have confessed their initial intimidation to working with an interior designer. Upon further probing, I discovered the cause of this intimidation: fear of the unknown. Because they did not know what to expect, they did not feel comfortable calling upon my services. However, after explaining to them how the design process works, they wondered why they had procrastinated on this decision for so long.

Working with a designer is similar to a marriage. It requires open communication and trust. This person will be in your home or office many hours, and you, your family, or staff need to feel comfortable working with her. Ellen's extensive experience enables her to quickly understand your lifestyle and workstyle requirements. After the interview phase, Ellen can create a design plan for you.

Allowing Ellen Cantor CID to help you with your design project, whether it be for one hour or a complete redesign can definitely save you time and money. Ellen's extensive experience keeps her up to date about building codes, laws such as ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), state-of-the-art products, and current design trends and colors. Even if you have an architect and a contractor, Ellen is another specialist who should be an integral part of your design team

Even if you're not sure what your design preferences are, Ellen will be able to help you narrow your parameters. Contemporary, Traditional, Country, Art Deco, Shaker, Modern, Craftsman, English, French, Southwest, Eclectic!!! Are any of these your Personal Style?

Ellen wants your home to be a reflection of who you are and how you live. There should be places for personal momentos, family pictures, treasured accessories and furniture that meets your needs--whether they be casual or elegant.

Because of the intense pace of everyday life, people are looking to their homes and work environments as a source of comfort or rejuvenation. Ellen takes into consideration the ages and number of occupants, disabilities, personal likes and dislikes. Colors will be the ones that make you feel good; textures the ones you like to touch; furniture that puts you at ease. Everything will be individualized for your needs. Upon completion the "style" of the house may say, Contemporary, Traditional, or Eclectic, but your "Personal Style" will be enduring for many years to come.


Ellen is able to custom design furniture and cabinets and create unique pieces that will enhance your home. She has extensive experience in kitchen, bath, home office and entertainment center design. Ellen also custom designs dining room tables, coffee tables and unique storage units.

A stumbling block to hiring an interior designer is often the fee. Because no two designers charge alike, it has become increasingly confusing. There are several ways that designers charge:

· Flat fee. This requires a thorough and detailed understanding of the services to be rendered and the specific areas involved; the written contract should state that no additional services are to be added.

· Hourly and Per-Diem. The designer is paid for all of his or her time. This may include, but is not limited to, consultations, conceptual design, space planning, preparations of working drawings, cabinet designs, budget, shopping and travel.

· Hourly Plus Percentage Markup on Cost for Purchases. This fee structure charges an hourly fee plus a cost plus on purchases.

If you are unsure how to proceed with your project, we recommend that you schedule an interview and portfolio review with Ellen, during which time she will answer whatever question you might have. If you decide to proceed with Ellen as your designer, it is important to have a Letter of Agreement that spells out the exact method of payment and services to be rendered.

You know that you want new furniture, a new kitchen or a more functional office design, but where do you begin? Not with the sofa! Start by asking questions. Consider your lifestyle or workstyle and how you and your family use your space. Collect pictures. Talk about your home, its feeling and your expectations.

After completing the preplanning, the design phase begins. It's still not time to choose furniture, colors or decide what to buy first. It is important to determine if you want structural work done and to hire the proper professionals: architect, if needed, and interior designer and contractor to complete the job. Structural work can be as extensive as a complete remodel or as simple as replacing a window or door.

While working on the structural plans, cabinets, counter tops, floors, faucets, fixtures, recessed lighting and other permanent items will need to be selected.

Upon completion of the structural plans, whether they be major or minor, the designer is ready to begin the furniture plan. Furniture placement must be determined before beginning any structural work or before making any purchases. There is nothing as frustrating as enlarging a room and finding out after construction that it should have been two feet longer to hold the grand piano.

Upon completion of the furniture plan, you and your designer can begin to determine furniture styles and colors (this is where your pictures will be helpful). Now you are ready to shop. There are no steadfast rules, but it helps to begin with the floors and walls, then choose the furniture. Never make any purchases until you have all the fabrics, wall coverings, flooring and paint colors selected.

Ellen Cantor, CID is an individual who genuinely loves to work with people. Her natural talent, education, expertise and knowledge will guide you through the design process, and help you find enjoyment in your home or office for many years to come.

Ellen Cantor Interior Design, Ellen Cantor CID, is available for residential or commercial consultations offers a full scope of services including:

  • Color Consultations
  • Conceptual Design
  • Space Planning/Drafting
  • Budget / Planning
  • Custom Furniture / Cabinet Design
  • Kitchen / Bath Remodels
  • Construction Coordination
  • Furniture Plans
  • Lighting Plans
  • Selection of Fabrics, Wallcoverings, Furniture, Flooring, Window Treatments
  • Accessories
  • Purchasing