Our mission is simple -- Listen to clients’ needs and employ our extensive experience and expertise to serve them to the best of our ability.
We never start a project with a specific idea or style in mind. We get to know our clients and take cues from their lifestyle to arrive at the big picture ideas.
No two projects are alike -- Solutions need to be practical, but also thoughtful, elegant, and timeless. We do not believe there is such a thing as a blank canvas. There are always givens like sun, views, and climate to provide a basis for design. Taking the existing conditions into account, we listen to our clients’ programmatic and budget constraints. In renovations we enjoy mixing styles, but we always strive to maintain the integrity of the existing architecture – especially in historic buildings.
We review all applicable zoning and building codes for impact on the proposed project program. We are experts when it comes to permitting historical buildings and can help navigate the review process with Landmarks and local jurisdictions. We often prepare Zoning studies for potential buyers to understand project set backs, lot coverage, floor area ratio, and height restrictions.
We always begin a project by understanding the existing conditions. MVA will field measure and document existing conditions. We will meet with the client to discuss and further define the specific space needs, uses, and aesthetic preferences. MVA will help establish the desired look by reviewing with the Client images, sketches, and major materials. We will also provide schematic floor plans to explore various layout options taking into account budget, ROI, and existing constraints.
Following Schematic Design, we dive into the details of a project. Our design development packages include floor plans with added detail, demolition plans, exterior elevations and other key drawings which help obtain preliminary pricing from contractors.
Permit drawing sets include schedules, notes, demolition plans, detailed floor plans, site plans, framing plans, elevations, sections, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and structural drawings. The permitting phase will include execution of permit applications and coordination with the local jurisdiction. MVA will address clarifications and corrections requested by permit reviewers. For City of Chicago projects that qualify for the Self-Certification Program, the Department of Buildings plan reviews are eliminated by allowing the registered self-certification professional (Mindy Viamontes) to certify that the permit drawings comply with the Chicago Construction Codes. This program can expedite the permitting timeline and allow for construction to begin sooner.
The final contract documents include the permit set along with interior elevations of new/altered spaces, trim profiles, and millwork specifications/details. This phase includes selection of all exterior and interior finishes including plumbing fixtures, stone, tile, and lighting.
Our involvement during the construction phase varies by client. However, we always recommend continuing to engage our services to address any changes or clarifications needed during construction, especially in historic homes. We respond to contractor requests for additional information, review shop drawings and submittals, help coordinate the orders for owner supplied elements like lighting and hardware. We also visit the site to review work in the field as construction progresses.
Upon approval of the interior design selections, we will execute a Purchasing Agreement with the Client. Following that agreement, we will request quotes for all items and coordinate the purchases on your behalf. Once design elements are ordered, we track shipments, coordinate with the receiving warehouse, confirm items arrived undamaged, and make final arrangements for items to be delivered to your home.
MVA will coordinate and assist with the installation of all finishes and furnishings. We will meet on site with the contractors to review the installation of flooring, paint, wallcoverings, and specialty treatments. We will be on site during the delivery and provide direction to the movers for placement of furnishings. We will provide installation of all accessories, bedding, pillows, and small items.