Alison Johnston specializes in building relationships with clients. By honoring your needs, she helps you achieve a new sense of home. Her projects celebrate California living with clean lines, fresh colors, and a casual elegance.

Her training began while working as an intern for Selby House in Atherton during college. After graduating from Duke with a liberal arts degree, she spent several years in event planning. This experience honed her attention to detail as she managed details for thousands of people. Her life long love of design soon led her back to design school.

After receiving an interior design degree from Marymount University, and additional studies at Parsons in NYC, she spent four years in Manhattan designing office spaces for top five consulting firms. Working alongside consultants, she learned to ask the questions that lead to results, questions that dive into how people use spaces. She supervised contractors and furniture manufacturers giving her knowledge of the practical side of the business. She then completed her array of design skills by working for a luxury residential designer in New Jersey. She studied for and passed the rigorous NCIDQ exam allowing her full membership in ASID, the national interior design organization.

After moving back home to California, a friend asked her to design her new home, and her business began. Working exclusively from referrals, Alison built a business focused on the client. Today she prides herself on combining her knowledge of design styles, her passion for details, and a thoughtful design process to create an amazing experience for her clients.

design process

Designing a new space is an exciting process. We have created a design process that develops your personal design style and gives you solutions. We select the fabrics, furnishings, floor and wall coverings, and accents to create your look. We manage the entire process including sourcing, specifying, fabricating, shipping, and installation. Our goal is to make you feel as excited and energized at the end of the project as you were at the beginning. Intrigued? Read further to understand the steps involved.

Step 1. Consultation

We start with a design consultation. After you have signed and returned the contract with deposit, we will send you a questionnaire aimed at helping us understand your goals for this project. At our first meeting, we will use your answers to discuss the scope of your project, your ideas, your lifestyle, and your budget. This is an important meeting for all the decision makers, as it will establish a plan for moving forward.

Step 2. Schematic Design

We start this phase by measuring and photographing your existing spaces. We will develop floor plans based on our first meeting. These plans will help us decide whether any remodeling is needed, and which furniture pieces fit in your space. We also discuss how you want the space to function, appropriate materials, style preferences, and colors. The development of the design concept is crucial to the project, and gives us a benchmark for decisions.

Step 3. Design Development

Once you approve the floor plan and the schematic design, we will start design development by proposing fabrics, furnishings, fixtures, and finishes. This will result in a presentation that will cover every aspect of your new space including concept photos, floor plans and elevations, furnishings, materials, finishes, and of course, budget.

Step 4. Procurement and Scheduling

After the design is approved, we will put together all the proposals for your orders and manage all the order processing and product procurement. Nothing will be purchased without your approval. Please be aware that lead times can be 8-12 weeks for custom furniture. At this time, we will also schedule any trades (paint, tile, cabinetry, etc.) needed to complete the work. In addition, we can work with your existing contractor to complete any renovation or construction. This is a bit of a waiting period, but we are working hard to finalize all the decisions that keep your project on track.

Step 5. Installation and Accessorizing

Furniture is delivered, window treatments installed, artwork hung and styling selections offered. We schedule installation within a narrow window to give you the full impact of your newly designed room and to minimize disruption. Styling the room will make it feel complete. We will work with your existing accessories, plus bring in some additional pieces to fill out the room. We will place them through the space. You can decide what to keep.

Step 6. Punch List

Once the installation is complete, we will review each room together. We will make a punch list of small things that need attention. We will address each of these in a timely fashion. Once this list is completed, the project is complete! We may discuss opportunities for photographing your space.