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Michael Merrill Design Studio

Founded 1975 • With Angi since November 2006

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Verified Reviews

3.8

(17) Verified Reviews

Showing 1-17 of 17 reviews
Trisha D.
1.0
03/19/2012
There were numerous issues as to why I would not choose this design service. Michael Merrill confirmed our appointment a week in advance and then called the day of the appoint at the time we were supposed to meet and tell me he was just leaving the office. My home is 30 minutes away from the city and he asked for directions instead of googling the directions. After arriving nearly 45 minutes late he was totally unprepared and confused as to what services I was considering him for. He evaluated the space, had very little suggestions because he wanted to "think" about it. After leaving several days later he sent the proposal / contract with his hours and no break-down of how many hours or estimate the re-design would cost. Since he did not immediately get a response within 2 days from me, he sent numerous additional emails, and telephoned me several times in one day. The same thing happened for over a week when I told him I was considering other designers. I finally decided that this is not the professionalism I was looking for when re-designing my home.
Description of Work
I considered Michael Merrill for re-design of several rooms of my house. After numerous items, I decided not to use him and instead utilize someone that is a bit more professional.
Category
interior designers
ANNE L.
2.0
03/04/2011
He doesn't have a lot of integrity and uses a lot of questionable business practices. He also shares personal info that has nothing to do with anything.
Description of Work
I bought some furniture through him and he did some interior design.
Category
interior designers
KIM R.
3.0
02/18/2011
We hired Michael to help remodel and decorate several rooms in our home. He is experienced and has good taste and good ideas. He is a great designer and decorator and we are happy with the look of our place, but he is inefficient and a terrible project manager. Our project took a year longer than estimated, was way more expensive than estimated and we had serious concerns over how inefficient MMDS was. In short, it was exhausting to deal with and we were always concerned that if we didn't stay on top of MM we would see astronomical bills for all kinds of inefficient time and effort. Michael tends to push expensive solutions, but when challenged he can come up with more economical solutions. In short, unless you want to spend big $$$$ for high end design and spend massive time managing -I don't recommend MMDS.
Description of Work
Remodel an decor for several rooms inner home.
Category
interior designers
Mark B.
1.0
02/01/2011
Very poorly
Description of Work
I interviewed Michael Merrill. I thought he was pompous, opinionated and lacking in tact. Needless to say, I did not hire him. I would stay away from this guy.
Category
interior designers
l M.
1.0
09/20/2010
Please don't patronize this designer. Call GREEN COUGH INSTEAD! Now I have to prepare for my court date and further waste more of my time and money but I wont tolerate this kind of disrespect. I think he has serious financial problems. His professional practices are so bad. There is very little regulation of this industry. Please don't also sign the contract he gives you. HIRE GREEN COUCH DESIGN they are the best group of designers. They are fresh, cool, modern and classic, and the style is exactly what I wanted. I got my entire project done in half the time Michael took to do one part and even more than I wanted. I got all new furniture, great pillows, flooring, windows, bedding. They gave me a wonderful binder with a proposal that was given to me before any deposit. They never even cashed my deposit until the project was over. I told them how much I was willing to spend and they told me exactly how much the entire project would cost before we even started and THEY DELIVERED. The place looks amazing. My friends and family rave about how beautiful it looks and I can't stop enjoying what they have done. I can't say enough good things about the work they did. It was exactly the style I wanted, with great quality pieces and the most organized business. I LOVE them. Please don't hire MMD unless you like to burn your cash. Please see the other negative review under Michael Merrill design and decoration by Rosemary. Rosemary has told him other people have contacted her with similar experiences. They guy is a CON ARTIST!
Description of Work
This was a big waste of money and time and it's still on going because I have to sue him. I didn't get what I wanted and I got a charged a lot. MMD has disrespected my hard earned money and now I have filed a complaint in superior court for the balance due on my account. I hired this guys because I thought he was experienced. I'm a very busy physician and I didn't have time to look for samples for flooring, fabrics and window treatments. All easy projects. He didn't really listen to the style I was going for and brought me all kinds of fabrics, colors and samples I didn't like. For example, I got charged for a 4 hour phone call to FRANCE to order fabric for pillow covers! They were ridiculously expensive and not nice, but they were from FRANCE and then if I got them I would have no money left to finish the entire project in good quality. He should have given me a proposal and should have given it to me in WRITING. He should have told me in the proposal he would charge me 10 hours of his time and his assistants time to get pillows! In addition I got redundant charges for when his assistants would come along or if they helped him pick some fabrics out. When we discussed a project he would come one day to talk about = charge, one day to measure = another charge, look into options = another charge, he would talk to me about the options = another charge, he would bring by samples = another charge. If is assistants helped him with anything or came along add the additional charges. And this was the inefficiency that went into everything. Just framing and hanging ordinary pictures cost me 5k. He was very inefficient and this way he was able to squeeze the most money out for a small project. PLEASE never give him a deposit if you want to see your money again. Needless to say, terminated his services. Now he owes me a return on my deposit because he deposited the check the next day , even before any work was done. I even agreed to pay him for the time he took to show me all the stuff I didn't like and was too costly. He still owes me a few thousand dollars after I have terminated is work for over a YEAR NOW. Now he WONT RETURN MY CALLS, EMAILS or My MONEY. He does a great job of sending you his bills and depositing your money then next day. He sends bills on the finest, embossed paper. You are paying for that paper and when the time comes, he will not give you your money back that he owes you, so be very careful with him!!! I have filed a complaint with ASCID in Washington DC. Now I have to go to court to get him to pay my deposit. I have filed in superior court of SF. I don't even care about the money and he knows I am a busy physician and I could care less about a few thousand dollars, and he wants me to go away, but I am so upset with the way he has treated me and disrespected my time and money.
Category
interior designers
Rosemary A.
1.0
08/14/2010
I hired Michael Merrill based on one very good and one reasonable reference from some others in my condo building and excellent grades on Angie's List. This is why I am writing this review now, because my experience was terrible and totally unexpected given the high marks he got on Angie' List. In my experience his actual work fell far short of the promises he made. But the most critical problem is that he does not run his business in a way that complies with California laws. Michael Merrill is licensed as an Interior designer only, however he frequently acts in the capacity of general contractor (which he did in my circumstance) and this requires a separate license in CA. In addition there are specific rules which must be followed regarding the handling of money between the client the contractor and the subs. I found out that although he was billing me for the work of the subs, he was not remitting the payment to them as the law requires, but was keeping the money for weeks and in some cases months. Some subs waited 6 months to get their final payment from him even though he had received the payment from me when it was billed. And according to the subs who had worked with him in the past his practice of making late payments was pretty standard. Furthermore when he billed me for materials such as wallpaper or lighting, he was unable in numerous instances to produce the actual vendor bill as proof of his cost. He says he does not charge a markup on subcontractor services but I found that in some cases he had done so. Whether this was because of sloppiness or dishonesty I cannot say. In any case, when I found out this stuff was going on I fired him and lost my retainer. He hired a lawyer to intimidate me, saying I had to give him 30 days notice to terminate our agreement. So I hired my own lawyer, which is how I found out that he was acting as a general contractor without a license. My painter took a lien on my property because Michael never paid the painter even though I paid Michael Merrill. The painter took him to small claims court and he eventually released the lien on my property because I paid him some additional money and knew that the lien would not influence Michael Merrill to pay him anyway. I finished the rest of the job by working with the subs directly and paying them directly. Do not hire him, but f you do make sure you pay any subs directly and get receipts for all materials before you pay the bills. As for the actual work performed, we allowed him to develop the budget for the remodel but once the work began he presented us with bills for labor and materials costs that were sometimes double his own estimate. An example of this is the carpeting. He billed me 6 hours to select carpets but only presented 3 samples for us to consider, and 2 of the 3 were double the cost he had budgeted for carpeting. He repeatedly told us that he has been doing this for 20 years, but for many tasks, he billed us for hours of "research" for things like the required distance between a ceiling light fixture and a sprinkler head. Even so, the lighting plan that he delivered to the electricians was incomplete and required him to send his assistant to the site for clarification--and he billed me additional hours for this. In another instance he billed me for the travel time to deliver items to the painter but I later found out that he had asked one of the subs to drop off the items since it was on his way home. So he never actually made the trip, even though he billed me for it. There were more than a few of these types of billing discrepancies. This man is totally dishonest. For those who are interested, see for yourself how many times Michael Merrill has lost against his happy clients in small claims court. You can access the info via:http://sfsuperiorcourt.org/index.aspx?page=467 Choose Name Search query (second from top) and input: Merrill, Michael You will find the first two entries have numerous cases belonging to Michael Merrill in his capacity as Interior Designer.
Description of Work
Hired Michael Merrill to oversee a condo remodel including new wood flooring and carpeting, new paint, cabinet refacing in kitchen and 3 bathrooms, furniture layout and selection, install and upgrade lighting.
Category
interior designers
Jacque D.
5.0
05/31/2010
Michael Merrill very accurately evaluated our condominium in a very timely fashion and identified the changes we would need to make to the bathrooms and floor to prepare to sell it. He arranged for the floors to be replaced with insulated carpeting and helped up remodel both bathrooms, and the condo sold within 30 days. When we moved into our new home, he helped us select window coverings to enhance the interior. He has been very helpful and prompt in all our interactions. We plan to work with him again in the future any time we need interior design services.
Description of Work
Replacement of hard wood floors with insulated carpeting in a condominium, staging of bathrooms to sell the condo, window coverings for new home
Category
carpet installation, interior designers, remodeling, window treatments
Jacque D.
5.0
05/12/2010
We had a set of wooden blinds on our front window installed shortly after we moved into our home and the pull cords had broken. Michael was extremely helpful in making sure the defective blinds were removed, repaired and replaced in a timely fashion. He has also been very helpful in designing window coverings throughout our home and in installing carpet in our former condominimum. We have been very pleased with all our interactions with Michael and his team. We would recommend him highly and certainly we look forward to working with him again in the future when we need any interior design assistance or expertise.
Description of Work
Front window blinds repaired or replaced
Category
interior designers
Matt B.
4.0
02/17/2010
They were very professional but their pricing was too high. Their responsiveness was great.
Description of Work
I used Michael Merrill Design Studio to get an estimate for having my new house fully furnished.
Category
interior designers
Margo O.
3.0
02/16/2010
Michael very obviously is very skilled at what he does--design rooms/houses. But our experience was that he didn't really get who we are and how to read us and understand our perspective. He gave us ideas about various--nearly all--aspects of our house an
Description of Work
We needed to get help thinking about how to re-configure the bathroom in our newly purchased home so existing jacuzzi tub area could be turned into shower and tub. We were seeking basic advice.
Category
interior designers
Anne P.
5.0
02/11/2010
He gave us feedback that there was problems with our design, and we appreciated that. The cost that he wanted for fixing the problem was way out of our price range. The person we found to fix the problem was far more reasonable. They have beautiful designs and were very responsive.
Description of Work
Originally Michael Merril Design Studio came out to do some drawings for us. The kitchen designer drew the 2-D drawings for our kitchen cabinets, but we needed the average drawings for the fitting.
Category
interior designers
STAN K.
5.0
07/05/2009
I was impressed with his understanding of our design and his suggestions during the first meeting. His firm specializes in interior design and has 1000's of images cataloged to help pick colors and furniture. We choose a different architect for our project since our interior design and color scheme was basic and simple, and other aspects of the design were more of a concern.
Description of Work
He came out to our house and discussed our renovation plan. He followed up a week later to make sure we understood everything we discussed.
Category
interior designers
Dawn R.
5.0
05/14/2009
Michael is an excellent designer. He and his team are incredibly professional; they consulted with me every step of the process. He expertly selected and coordinated items for the living room, bedroom and kitchen that absolutely wowed me. He has a ?good eye? and does everything flawless. Michael is fantastic. I?m happy with my d?cor.
Description of Work
I met Michael when my brother did a Google search and came upon his site. I liked his featured work so, I called for a consultation. When we met in person, I realize Michael is the cream of the crop of interior designers. I did not have a huge budget, and planned to decorate my new condo from scratch; Michael did not turn me away. Instead, he was delighted to work with me on my budget. He accessed my space and listened to my ideas for the condo; we discussed furniture and layout options. Michael itemized the things I needed now and those that could wait for later based on my budget. Michael then engage his creative ideas and talent, and executed a spectacular floor plan responding to my needs, budget and comfort.
Category
interior designers
JENNIFER F.
5.0
10/18/2007
He was great to work with. He really knew what he was doing when it came time to getting the project done. They had really good ideas and they were very helpful with the color coordination of the rooms. I really like how everything turned out.
Description of Work
They reconstructed our home. They did architectural designs, internal color coordination and helped me decorate. They also tore some of the walls and inserted doors.
Category
interior designers, architect, doors
JOHN M.
5.0
04/01/2007
Michael wasted no time during his initial consultation in our home. This on-site assessment gave us even more insight about the direction our project should take. He pointed-out areas of strength in our floor plan and those spaces that could be improved even with the most minor of changes. A few days latter we received a thank you note from Michael followed by a written, detailed evaluation for our project. The plans included a summary of talking points from his initial visit; step-by-step instructions for the purchase of new items for our home and how to phase-out the old; advice for prioritizing short and long-term projects; and a project time-line that was realistic not only with our budget, but with our skill-level as well. Michael was also available to offer his advice about all kinds of materials for our projects. We even had a field trip to a local show room for backsplash material, and at all times, Michael remained sensitive to our budget.
Description of Work
Moving in to our new home, we quickly realized we were lacking two things: space & money. Our knee-jerk response was to scrap all of our old furniture and begin from the ground up furnishing entire rooms from one-stop shopping sprees and catalogs. So for our needs, the most important aspect of Michael Merrill s service was planning. Even before Michael saw the property he began with a series of questions to determine and separate our most immediate needs from those that could be implemented at a later date. This not only provided Michael with an idea of our requirements, but the questioning focused our thoughts on important details such as the proper scale of furniture for our rooms and maximizing (and even re-purposing) existing storage spaces. In one example, he questioned our plans to keep a coat closet as is. Michael pointed out, and rightly so, that the closet would be put to better suited as a pantry because of it s proximity to our kitchen and for a minimal amount of money.
Category
interior designers
JENNIFER F.
5.0
02/02/2007
We were extremely impressed with Michael's professionalism, his design acumen, his humor, his ability to get this job done as perfectly as possible, and his always gracious treatment of our family. He would bill promptly and adjust fees if necessary. He listens to you with an ear toward unexpressed needs. Phone calls are always, always returned promptly. When our original contractor walked out on the job, he convinced another, and also obtained excellent subcontractors (particularly the wall upholsterer, wall-paper hanger, and hardwood floor people). He would demand that subs honor their commitment: if something was not done right, Michael would be able to get them to re-do the piece of work at no added cost and no hostility! His sense of professional honor brings the same out in others on the job site. While remodeling can be a difficult journey, Michael Merrill brings huge talent and rewarding care to the client.
Description of Work
Remodel of small Edwardian flat, consisting of added bedroom and removal of wall to create a living/dining/kitchen area, maximizing our natural southern light. Michael harmonized an awkward 7-sided room with the entire house. Work included redesign of kitchen/laundry; lighting design; partial replacement of furniture and large area rugs; (custom couch and beginner antiques); design color scheme; custom window treatments; custom built-in bookshelf; repositioning of French doors for symmetry; removal of internal door to create fabulous bedroom suite (in the two-room Edwardian front parlor) which then also added a small office to foyer; extension and modification of original molding, door panel detail, and baseboard detail with proportions calibrated; design of a D arch-way from hallway to large room; face lift to bathroom (tasteful appointments and the conforming of architectural detailing); new backyard patio decking; and edgy new art professionally hung in the Right place.
Category
interior designers
CELIA M.
5.0
11/16/2006
Michael is a visionary designer and is able in a short time to assimilate a multiplicity of complex factors and present an innovative and practical design. His implementation was flawless with each detail executed to top perfection. He respectfully responded to my every concern and requirement, no matter how small.
Description of Work
I live in a studio apartment with high ceilings and an inviting atmosphere. However, I was hindered in my ability to efficiently function due to clutter, non optimal space utilization, lighting issues, and uncoordinated furnishings. That all changed after I met Michael. Michael listened to my issues and needs, assessed the apartment layout, constraints and assets, and developed an interior plan which transformed my critical living space (walk-in closet, sleeping, dining, and office areas). Michael dealt with complex interior design challenges and demonstrated a broad knowledge of alternatives in furnishings and lighting. He expertly responded to my taste and budget guidelines.
Category
interior designers

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2 Henry Adams St Ste 358

San Francisco, CA 94103

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FAQ

Michael Merrill Design Studio is currently rated 3.8 overall out of 5.

Michael Merrill Design Studio is open:

Monday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Thursday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Michael Merrill Design Studio accepts the following forms of payment: Check

No, Michael Merrill Design Studio does not offer free project estimates.

Yes, Michael Merrill Design Studio offers eco-friendly accreditations.

No, Michael Merrill Design Studio does not offer a senior discount.

Yes, Michael Merrill Design Studio offers warranties.

Michael Merrill Design Studio offers the following services: Interior design, construction coordination & observation, furnishings & accessories, lighting design, color consultation, fine art & framing, kitchen design, bath design, home office design, custom furniture & cabinetry.