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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Follow-up: Pret-a-Habiter at DWR

Last night, my friend Athalie and I went to DWR in Cambridge to check out what Pret-a-Habiter was all about. Carl Bradford Sibolt, the Founder and Executive Director of Pret-a-Habiter, greeted us at the door, and was amazingly friendly for someone from NYC (it turns out he grew up in Switzerland and NH - check out the website). The audience was light: There were only about 8 people there due to the miserable rain. Once we put away our umbrellas and got seated, Carl gave a brief overview of the company and its history, and also mentioned they got a write up in the Boston Herald.

Pret-a-Habiter, French for "ready to live", is trying to take interior design out of the realm of the super wealthy and bring it within the reach of average people. They have developed a four-step process to decorate a home - Design Style; Design Plan; Design Select; and Design Implement - that would take a client all the way from deciding what their style is and creating a design, to buying any pieces and insuring everything installed the right way.

Carl said that all of this could be done in as little as 30 days. Pricing can be quite affordable; they work off a flat fee with no hidden costs or markups on products. If you want a sofa from a to-the-industry-only store, you will get it for the same price the designer gets (typically, an interior designer will mark up anything you order through them). According to their website, Pret-a-Habiter's average Design Fee is $2000-3000 per room, depending on the size and scope of the project.

After Carl finished speaking, he introduced the two designers for the Boston area. Michael Samra is the Director of the Boston office, and Elissa M. Henebry is the Interior Designer. We got a chance to speak to all three, and they are all very friendly, knowledgeable people.

I am quite impressed. If you are looking for a designer, or maybe just an outside perspective on your project, I would recommend giving Pret-a-Habiter a call.

1 comment:

scrappy girl said...

Not sure how I missed this post. I found it through the Pret-a-Habiter website! But we know which chicken came first.