How We Work

The InHouse Design Studio Approach


When you choose InHouse Design Studio for your interior design needs, you will work directly with Mark Dutka, a nationally recognized interior designer. Mark meets with you numerous times to ensure that he thoroughly understands your needs, then oversees every detail of the design project, including delivery and installation of the final product. Mark personally responds to your questions throughout the project and encourages your interaction and input.

InHouse Design Step-By-Step Process

When contacted about his interior design services, Mark Dutka will discuss the nature of your project and your anticipated budget to ensure that the potential match is a good one for everyone. A free consultation, usually lasting 1-2 hours, may then be scheduled to further discuss your needs. In the San Francisco Bay Area, this free consultation will occur in Mark’s Noe Valley Studio. At Sea Ranch and nearby communities, it can occur in your home.

During the initial consultation, Mark will explore your needs and expectations so that he can become more familiar with your project. Often, he can show you photos of other design work he has completed that may be similar to yours and more realistically discuss project costs. He will also examine your ideas for the space and discuss various broad design solutions. At the end of the consultation, you will be given a copy of the InHouse Design contract outlining the nature of the design relationship.

Ironically, you may leave the meeting with more questions than answers. Having discussed in depth numerous design options for your space, additional reflection is often required before proceeding with the project. Mark emphasizes that this is a highly desirable outcome. “When someone chooses to hire me after this initial meeting, it is because they have more thoroughly analyzed their needs, budget and project expectations and that clarity puts us on the right track for a successful relationship.”

In Preparation For The Free Consultation, You Will Be Asked To Provide:

    • Approximate dimensions of the room.
    • Any architectural plans and elevations you may have. (If the space has recently been constructed or undergone renovation, you may have these documents in your possession).
    • Photos/videos of the room and any pictures from websites (such as Houzz), magazines or books, which have caught your eye.
    • If your interest is in a custom home office, please complete the Office Planner. Even if you have no time to formally answer the questionnaire, it will be helpful to review the questions for discussion at the meeting.
    • Any other information that will help depict the nature of the space to be designed and the aesthetic direction you want to take.


    Home Visit

    When you are ready to proceed, the contract is signed, the suggested retainer received and a home visit is scheduled. When Mark visits your home, he will look at the space, how it is configured, how it relates to the rest of the home and take all necessary measurements (including locations of the lights, windows, switches, outlets, heating vents. etc.) He will then photograph the space and discuss various broad design solutions to see how suitable they may be given your perspective, your budget and the demands of the space.

    Several Design Solutions

    A few weeks after the home visit, Mark will develop several preliminary design solutions and present them in person (usually in his Studio). Numerous questions related to each design will be addressed so that your vision for the space can begin to crystalize. Often, a hybrid solution results, which mixes different aspects of several concepts. Based upon your feedback, Mark will then produce the semi-final and eventually the final design drawings. Depending upon the complexity of the project, Mark’s availability, your availability and your pace of decision making, the design process can take six weeks or more.

    Design or Design-Build?

    With a design-build relationship, Mark provides a one-stop experience by seeing the entire interior design project through from design conception through execution. He acts as project manager for the implementation to ensure the highest level of quality and your satisfaction with the final product. At times, though, Clients request that Mark only produce design drawings and forego building out the design. This is referred to as a design only relationship. Although most clients avail themselves of the design-build option there is no pressure to do so. The scope of Mark’s services is up to you and is usually identified upon contract signing.

    The Design-Build Final Proposal

    After Mark has received a quote from his fabricators and all other costs have been determined, he will put together a proposal and schedule a meeting to present it to you. This final proposal will cover all applicable costs, including sales tax, delivery and installation as well as his project management costs to oversee the project’s successful implementation. To schedule the work, your signature is required on each of the final drawings and a payment for 50% of the total project amount is necessary.
    As a seasoned project manager and interior designer, Mark pays close attention to every detail. Once the order is placed, he is consistently in touch with the fabricators to ensure an accurate interpretation of his design. He will be on hand during installation of the final product so that it is installed in a timely manner and meets your expectations as well as his own high design standards.
    Mark encourages your interaction throughout the entire process. From the initial conversation through delivery and installation of the design work, InHouse is always available to address any questions or issues you may have.

    Contact Us

    If you would like more information about interior designer Mark Dutka and how he can transform your home to maximize its design and functional potential, please contact InHouse Design Studio at: (415) 824-9266 (San Francisco Studio) or (707) 785-1928 (Sea Ranch Studio).