I never write reveiews, feeling karma will work its way out, but in this particular case, I feel other people should be warned about my experience with Vicki Jansma Design, aka Lokum + Honey. I am pursuing VIcki for a refund from a botched chandelier purchase.
I must admit, the signs were there that it was going to be difficult to work with Vicki from the beginning: canceled meetings, unreturned phone calls and text messages, but I hired her anyway. Vicki told me her schedule was clearing, so she could give me the time I needed to finish my project. She was a referral from a neighbor in my new neighborhood, who also happens to be her best friend (again, probably not a good call on my part-can we say awkward!).
I gave an initial deposit (50%) for the layout for the LR, dining room and entry. There was only an invoice, no contract of anykind, but a description of the services she was to provide for the money which included "layout design for entrance, dining room, formal living room".
I only received a LR layout which was never quite right (always to be fixed at some later visit or in an email which never came). Several friends, who have a far better design eye than I, said that the design did not work. I knew that before they gave their input, but keep believing she would get it right in just a couple more visits. My challenge was that the sofa was placed behind the piano, covering the view (and luckily we have a great view).
Despite numerous attempts to discuss and have the issues addressed, Vicki was not focused on my plan or my house. Punch lists were growing longer everyday with virtually all questions unanswered.
While I would have loved to turn this design project over to Vicki, I had lost trust in her decisions. I was given mixed design concepts. Initially, I was told I needed high backed chairs against the fireplace, only to be given recommendations/pictures for ultra modern scallopped low profile chairs (can we say UGLY!).
In our initial consultation, I was advised that Vicki does not order anything from Cisco as they were having financial problems, and she lacked confidence in their ability to fufill the order. She said she would use their pictures of furniture and have them made with another upholster. Then, on subsequent visits I was given pictures of items she wanted me to purchase from Cisco.
Initially, I was shown a beautiful cocktail table by Vicki. I wanted to purchase it, but Vicki didn't have a price. Eventually, I found out that the table was 10k (my cost) for a vintage piece, not antique. Vicki's assistant told me she had found a comparable replacement for that table, a set of cocktail tables, but only one was available and it had smokey glass. When I discussed the issue with Vicki, she blamed this hiccup on her assistant.
The conclusion I have from my experiences with Vicki, is that she completely delegated her work to someone else (despite my specific request and promise from her to personally work on my projects). Considering the design concepts, pictures, and recommendations did not match Vicki's comments to me.
Despite all of this, I wanted to make this work and thought I would purchase a chandelier which she recommended (from a photo). I was to pay 20% above her net price. I was shocked that the invoice was emailed to me at retail plus 20%. I questionned Vicki about the mistake. Eventually, I received a corrected invoice for the reduced amount. She then oddly insisted on picking up a check. The challenge of meeting to pick up the check would be she never seemed to have time to meet with me. More time goes by, then the evening she leaves on a trip for Bali she tells me she can meet at my house at 6:00 approx, but must leave quickly as a car is picking her up for her flight.
My concern with all of the delays in purchasing the chandelier, as I stated in my numerous emails to Vicki, was that it might get sold. I was reassured that it was on hold by Vicki and her assistant.
Weeks after stating that I wanted the chandelier, no chandelier. When it looked as though the deadline for the guaranteed installation of the chandelier was going to be missed, I called Rogers and I was told the chandelier was sold the week beforehand to another designer. It wasn't on hold. No one told me what happened. I had to find out on my own. Not professional in my book.
The most bizarre part of this to me is Vicki's failure to accept responsiblity, refund the money for the chandelier immediately and apologize for mistake/s. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is how you deal with those mistakes which determines your character, in my belief.
Despite my numerous personal requests for Vicki to refund my money for the chandelier, she did not any refund the money on her own. Initially, I was told that she had an accident in Bali and would get back to me later that week, but no refund or email was received for weeks.
Sadly, I then had to hire an attorney to attempt to get the chandelier money returned. Weeks and attorney letters later, we then received an email from Vicki stating that I have a credit with Vicki Jansma Designs (and, in essense, I would not receive the money back). My attorney had to explain that I did not want to continue to work with her and had to send numerous letters requesting the money get refunded.
Today, I did received a partal refund for my chandelier (YES, I SAID PARTIAL) months after giving her the money for the purchase. Progress???The most bizarre part of this to me is Vicki's failure to accept responsiblity, refund the money for the chandelier immediately and apologize for mistake/s. Everyone makes mistakes, but it how you deal with those mistakes which determines your character in my belief.
To date, Vicki has given me no final plans for the living room and a "punch list" of things she promised tp provide for me a mile long. I never received any plans for the entrance area or dining rooms. The design book she said she would have copied and have hand delivered to me while she was on vacation, was never returned (including the incomplete LR floor plans and design information), not that I would use any of her recommendations.
My advise, if you do not have enough drama or stress in your life, hire Vicki. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Review about: Unprofessional Service.