top of page

How We Work

We’ve designed our process based on how we aspire to live  working to make it kind, considered and thorough, with room for the occasional hiccup while seeing the design through to its completion, all brought with a sense of humor.

Project Size and Structure

We believe that a home's character matters more than square footage.  Nicole Lanteri Design works with clients on a mix of project sizes, ranging from single-room decorating, to kitchen and bath renovations, and up to whole-house decorating and major renovation work working with architects and contractors on additions and new home builds.  We do hourly consultation work as well -- Nicole still loves using her experience to help clients make small but impactful changes to their homes.  Reach out to us here to see if your project is a good fit with our studio!

Ideal Client

Our ideal client is interested in design, appreciates how an organized and designed home can make them feel, but doesn't have the vision or time to achieve that.  We create spaces that embody the best version of you! Clients who appreciate good value, are decisive, who trust us and who understand their own style are a match for us.  Clients who would like a design that is bespoke to their life, history and style are our ideal client.  Many clients would like to make bold choices but are afraid to -- we help with creating a safe space for those bold choices and advising when it's worth it to do that!  We can, and generally do, navigate style differences between partners so don't worry about that! 

Design Style

We love working with a mix of styles, but our talent lies in bringing in a curated color palette to each space, making an old house feel modern, bringing charm to a new home, and eeking out lots of storage in small spaces so that you don't necessarily need a larger home.  We are able to think through the layout of your home, how to best organize your kitchen, curate your art collection and add to it, to avoid the pitfalls of trends and celebrate new design ideas.  

Costs and Budget

We believe it’s important to commit to an appropriate budget for your intended scope, and we can provide you a well-informed estimate of your project’s total costs in our scope of work proposal.  This estimate includes all items from the light fixtures to the bath towels to give you a true picture of the costs involved. We typically shop “medium” or “high” vendors for major pieces (e.g., retailers including Room & Board; custom furniture dealers, such as M2L), then mix in more affordable items to drive value in our designs. Our goal is to source well-made products that combine aesthetics, quality, and sustainability. 


With respect to our design fees, for a single-room project we generally charge a flat fee for a design plan, a team hourly rate for implementation, and pass through any trade discounts we can (i.e., we do not charge a markup on furnishings).  For construction projects, we generally charge a monthly fee that lasts the duration of the project based on our role.  For hourly consultation work, our hourly rate is $425.  We do not have a minimum spend. 



Respect for our clients, their health, and the health of our planet is a core value of our firm.  We incorporate sustainability into our designs in a number of ways, such as by selecting materials that are made to last; choosing natural and organic products over synthetic; and sourcing natural woods over painted ones for cabinetry.  We embrace the concept of patina, and rather than return products with slight defects, we prefer to accept them.  We love working on smaller homes, using design to make them more functional, rather than simply expanding or demolishing them to rebuild.  Consistent with these principles, Nicole Lanteri Design is pursuing “Qualifying Member” status with the Sustainable Furnishings Council in 2023.


On part with sustainability, Nicole and her team value respect for all our firm’s stakeholders:  clients, vendors, architects, contractors, and our own employees.  We hold ourselves to high standards of skill, service, and responsibility to earn our clients’ trust.  In return, we look for clients who are open to building trust with us, acting decisively on our advice, and being gracious and flexible about the imperfections and mistakes that are inherent to complex interiors projects.



Nicole Lanteri Design is based in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and works throughout the DC, Virginia and Maryland area. We have been lured to other areas across the United States by our wonderful clients, and dream of a project abroad one day. 


For new projects, click here to schedule a project intro appointment for our Friday New Client Consults!





If you'd prefer to email or call us about your new project, please reach out to Nicole at


bottom of page