We had recently purchased a renovated 4000 SF farmhouse that needed blinds throughout the home and searched for top quality yet cost-effective blinds. We met with Valerie as well as a representative from a national blinds company who we were told had similar products, but at a lower price. Valerie’s bid was both more affordable and higher quality than that of her competitor. Valerie is an incredibly professional yet personable business owner and inserts her personal touch to the decision making process. When our first selection put us far above our budget requirements, she did not push the more costly product, but worked to find us the blinds that met all of our needs. She made multiple visits to our home in order to ensure we received exactly what we wanted.
Not only did all of the blinds arrive on time, but the primary batch came in early and she set an earlier install date than we initially had planned for. Due to no fault of hers, as sometimes may happen with any manufacturer’s product, a couple of the blinds were sticky and she ensured that they were quickly replaced and personally supervised their installation. She wrapped up with a final visit to ensure that we were 100% satisfied. We were 110% satisfied. No longer living in a fish bowl, the completion of the blinds project made us feel as though we had completely moved into our new home. We highly recommend Plum Designs and Blinds for anyone with blinds or window covering needs. Great way to support local business as well.
Valerie and her company “Plum designs and blinds” provide top notch service and custom products and a thoughtful guiding hand, when it came to making decisions. I did not know the first thing about window coverings and had no idea where to start. I looked cross eyed at catalogues and was dazed and confused in drapery stores. Enter Valerie. Valerie carefully helped me find blinds that worked for our family’s different needs, throughout our house and immediately got me extra color and fabric samples to see how they would look. We zero-ed in on “light and cheery” for our daughter’s room and more privacy for our bedroom and office. The blinds arrived on time, were expertly installed by Bruce and we could not be happier.
Valerie is a consumate and efficient communicator, loves what she does and deserves top marks for her personal touch and professional service. Above all, the blinds she had made for us fit the windows perfectly, and are simple and sumptuous. It is bizarre and like out of a commercial when my friends come over, they ask me “where did you get those divine blinds?” I never knew people really noticed blinds, but I guess in Valerie’s case, they do. Look no further.
I had decided to get plantation shutters for my condo. After getting several quotes, I called Plum Designs and Blinds. Valerie was prompt to call me, set a convenient time for me to come give an estimate. She recommended the same product from Hunter Douglas that I receieved from other designers. She provided me with a quote that was less then the others for the same product. I had them installed on the date promised. Steve, her installer was prompt; very friendly and completed the job in the time promised.
He was also very nice to answer all my questions before, during and after the installation. Overall, I feel I received great customer service from Valerie. She took the time to listen to me and what I was looking for. She also worked with me to make sure I was completely satisified with my purchase. I will definitely use Plum Designs again and recommend her as well!
If you are looking for a company in the East Bay (Alameda and Contra Costa counties) that specializes in quality window coverings, offers in-home consultation, and provides really excellent service from start to finish we highly recommend Plum Designs and Blinds. Valerie Akcam, the owner of this company with a quirky name, is knowledgeable, professional and very responsive to her customers’ needs. We were in the market for Hunter Douglas window coverings for our home in the East Bay hills several years ago and were referred to Valerie and Plum Designs and Blinds after less than satisfactory experiences with consultants at Expo and other large commercial businesses. From our first in-home consultation we were impressed with Valerie. Unlike many in the business who try to sell you what they’d want to have in their home or what gets them the biggest $$$ sale, she really listened to what WE wanted in terms of material, look and style.
Then she showed us samples that made sense and that helped us make the right choice. Since our first purchase of Hunter Douglas window coverings five years ago – we completed two bedrooms and a total of nine windows with that transaction – we’ve gone back to Valerie and Plum Designs and Blinds several times. We now also have functional and beautiful window coverings in our living room and computer room, master bedroom, entry hallway, guest bathroom and kitchen. An added bonus is what the window coverings do for all around comfort inside the house. Our home gets morning sun in the master bedroom and computer room and the full impact of afternoon sun in the living room and back two bedrooms, but the Hunter Douglas shades we chose with Valerie’s help keep the rooms cool and pleasant year round.
A true test of just how responsive a business can be is when things don’t go exactly right following a sale and, based on our experience, Plum Designs and Blinds came through with flying colors again. Here’s what happened and how the problem was addressed. The window coverings that we had installed in our living room and computer room were of a slightly different material and weave than those in the rest of the house. But we liked how they looked and the fact that we had the option of raising them in the traditional bottom up mode OR could drop them from the top down for added privacy. However, after a few months the window coverings began to sag in the middle when fully opened. Valerie came out and agreed that there was a problem.
She consulted with Hunter Douglas and the company took them back without a hassle and sent us a new set (six window coverings in all). Within 4-6 weeks the new window coverings arrived and were reinstalled. To our frustration, it took only 6-8 weeks before the new window coverings also began to sag. We contacted Valerie again and this time she had the Hunter Douglas district representative, Barbara, come out with her. Both saw that there was a problem with these particular window coverings – turns out the weave was too loose to handle the added weight associated with the bottom up/top down option – and, on the spot, the Hunter Douglas rep offered to replace the window coverings with a different design of our choice. We went with a tighter weave like the window coverings in our bedrooms and the results have been entirely satisfactory both in looks and in function. In addition, because the new window coverings had the wall mounts slightly offset from the original ones we needed to have an installer come out to rehang them.
Again, this was fully covered by Plum Designs and Blinds and Hunter Douglas at no additional cost to us. Amazing! As you can tell, we are big fans of Plum Designs and Blinds and the personal and professional service that Valerie provides. The window covering manufacturers that she represents are all well known – Hunter Douglas, Alta, CRS roman shades, Conrad, Ado Fabrics – and provide high quality, high end products. What makes the Plum Designs and Blinds experience really special, though, are the attention to detail and the attention to customer that are Valerie Akcam trademarks.