1. How long does the design process usually take?
Depending upon your availability, how quickly you make decisions, the complexity of the project and the number of projects we have underway, the design stage of the project can take a month or more from the first meeting at our Studio. Back to Top
2. Once we decide to proceed with a specific design how long does it take until we receive the goods or they are installed? Once you approve the final design and the requested deposit is received, it often takes a couple of months until the project is actually installed. Of course timing varies depending upon contractor availability. If there is an available opening which would allow us to expedite the process we will try to take advantage of the opportunity if it works to our clients’ advantage. Back to Top 3. Are you manufacturers as well as a designers? We are designers, not manufacturers. We have a professional relationship with several independent cabinet makers and manufacturers with whom we have worked during the last decade and they consistently provide competitive bids for our designs. Our designs are highly specialized and we find that not all cabinetmakers/fabricators understand their complexity as there is a steep learning curve. It is therefore important to work with experienced craftspeople we respect and trust. “Our” fabricators understand our work and our expectations and consistently provide us with high quality product and service. Back to Top 4. Do you only work in wood?
No, we work in plastic laminates (e.g. "Formica"), glass, and metal. We are always open to working with other products/materials as well. Back to Top 5. Are your products composed of particle board?
We use wood veneers and solids in the construction of our furniture and cabinetry. When we use veneers they are most often laminated over plywood for durability (e.g. "maple veneer ply"). When we paint rather than stain our products we occasionally use medium density fiberboard ("MDF") which is less likely to warp and takes paint very well. We never specify particle board for our products. Back to Top 6. We live outside your California service areas. Can InHouse help us?
Although we primarily work with clients in the San Francisco Bay Area or the northern California coastal communities near Sea Ranch, there are ways we can assist those who reside elsewhere.
If you work with an interior designer we can often provide custom furniture and cabinetry solutions that s/he will help implement. Our designs will be based upon information supplied by your design professional related to the room, its dimensions, and an aesthetic direction among other considerations. The designer will also take charge of any delivery, installation and trouble shooting which may be involved in the process.
If you have a relationship with a cabinet maker/contractor we can act as a design consultant, charging you on an hourly basis for our expertise and drawings, which you, in turn, will implement with your cabinet maker's assistance. A competent cabinet maker will be able to take our drawings and execute our designs. Of course, we are always available for consultation during the build-out process.
You can pay us to visit the site, meet with you and oversee the project. This option entails a per diem charge and travel costs and possibly other costs which are entertained on a case by case basis. Back to Top 7. Do you design only home offices?
No, we design furniture for most any space in your home or office. We have designed: entertainment centers, bedroom sets, dining tables and side boards etc. However, we do not design chairs. Back to Top 8. Can you design furniture I can take with me if I move?
Our specialty is designing furniture that is inherently modular in nature. Upon request, we can anticipate other settings and possible configurations for your furniture when undertaking our furniture designs to ensure maximum flexibility. Back to Top 9. Can you help with lighting, electric, floor and window coverings?
Yes, as Interior Designers, we are trained in those areas and have assisted many clients with full interior design services. Back to Top
10. What other services does InHouse provide? InHouse provides a full range of design services including: color consultation, project management for renovations (acting as the owners’ rep), interior design including purchasing of non-InHouse furniture from wholesale design sources on behalf of our clients, and furniture plans/layouts, See question 9, above. Back to Top 11. What kind of warranty is there on the products you design and have built for the clients?
The fabricators we use guarantee their product to be free from defects for one year from delivery and/or installation. During this time they will repair or replace, at their option, the defective merchandise. Back to Top 12. Why does InHouse emphasize ergonomics in its design work?
In order to promote a "healthy" relationship between our furniture and our clients, we consider ergonomics in all our designs. We want to ensure that our furniture works with your body and not against it. For instance, we strongly recommend articulating keyboard trays under desk surfaces. These trays are not only height adjustable but tilt as well to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. We also look at your height to ascertain whether a "standard" (29" or 30" high) desk height would be appropriate for your needs and alter the dimensions accordingly. As for peripherals (faxes, printers etc.) we try to place them for easy user access to ensure that you do not have to strain/stretch unnaturally to utilize any machine. We also stress the importance of purchasing an ergonomic office chair to accompany our desk systems. A chair should provide appropriate lumbar support as well as height and tilt adjustability. With such ergonomic considerations, the overall health of our Clients is maximized over the longterm which is as it should be. Back to Top 13. Do your designs reflect any particular aesthetic style?
No, we are quite versatile. Since we are based in San Francisco, the Bay Area has a strong contemporary aesthetic which is evident in many of our designs. However, we can match any particular style or complement a piece of furniture you may already possess if that is your desire. Back to Top 14. I want you to design and build a piece of furniture that looks like one I already own. Can you replicate the "look" of the original piece?
Usually the answer is Yes. See question #13, above. Back to Top 15. What is your background and how long have you been designing furniture and home offices? Mark Dutka has a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts). In 1999, Mark was named a "Recent Graduate of Distinction." He also has two Masters Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, one in City Planning and one in Social Work.
Mark initially worked as an Interior Designer for Gary Hutton Design in San Francisco. In 1995, he founded InHouse Furniture & Design, a furniture and design store for quality home office furniture. In 2001, the store evolved into InHouse Design Studio, a venue for custom furniture & cabinetry design with a specialty in home offices media rooms & entertainment centers, home libraries and other specialized residential environments.
Mark has designed a line of furniture for Directions, a prominent manufacturer of contemporary residential furnishings. His work has been featured in numerous publications including: Sunset Magazine, California Home and Design, This Old House Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, Furniture Today, "New Workplaces for New Workstyles" and "Practical Home office Solutions" (both by Marilyn Zelinsky) and "The Organized Home" (by Leslie Clagett).
Under Mark’s guidance, InHouse is in the forefront of home office design. He speaks frequently on the contemporary home office. Experience has taught him that a successful design must accommodate more than the typical computer, file cabinet and writing desk. Mark’s design solutions reflect the ever evolving interests of his twenty first century clients, often incorporating the latest media and surround sound equipment, entertainment centers, home libraries, sewing and craft spaces or even digital photography studios. Because of the variety of need and the technology involved, home office design can present considerable challenges. A glance at the InHouse Design Studio Portfolio demonstrates that Mark is more than equal to the task. Back to Top
16. I am already working with an interior designer and/or architect. How can you help us? We are Interior
Designers at InHouse Design Studio. People most often turn to us for design of specialty spaces such as home offices and entertainment centers as we have extensive expertise in those areas, integrating factors such as ergonomics and technology into our designs. Clients who already have a relationship with a Designer view us as outside consultants, providing a very specific design service that is not offered by their own Interior Designer or Architect. In such instances, we most often deal directly with the Client (with occasional input from their designer). Our contract is with the Client and our communication and billing is directly with the Client as we find this is the most efficient way to ensure a successful project.
Additionally, Interior Designers and Architects often assist us with clients who reside outside the Bay Area (see question #6). They act as the Clients’ representative, conveying their comprehensive design needs and relevant dimensions to us and assisting with the receipt and installation of any furniture we design and have produced. In this way, quality control is professionally ensured throughout the design process. Back to Top
17. Do you have a catalogue? No, our website serves as our catalogue/portfolio. Everything we produce is custom; nothing is standard or stocked. Therefore, a catalogue is not applicable to our situation. However, if you want to know if we have designed a specific type of furniture in the past and you do not see it on our website, it is possible that we may be able to email you a photo of a specific design that we have in our files. Back to Top
18. I am in a rush; do you have any pieces in stock? No, everything we do is custom and takes a minimum of seven to eight weeks to manufacture. The sky is the limit....but you must have patience! Back to Top
Custom Designed Home Offices, Entertainment Centers, Media Rooms, Wall Beds, TV Cabinets, Home Libraries, Specialty Environments & Built-in Cabinetry
Serving the residents of the SF Bay Area and the northern Sonoma-southern Mendocino coastal
communities near Sea Ranch, CA.