How it works

I'm a one-person design studio, and while I know how to light a room, I'm not an electrician.

A thoughtful renovation is managed with the support and collaboration of specialists.

I can refer the experts you'll need to project manage, file, and build your project.

The Design Team 

You, the client, and 121 principal, Clare Donohue, form the core team. Together, we create the vision for what will be built. Later, we are supported in realizing that vision by the construction and approvals teams. I can refer contractors and other experts or work with a team of your choosing. 

The Approvals Team

An independent project manager will shepherd the review process through your board and the Department of Buildings (DOB). Depending on the type of filing required, the approvals team may also include an expeditor, the contractor, plumber, and possibly a filing architect or engineer.

The Construction Team

Active renovation is a joint effort shared by the client, designer, contractor, and project manager. For efficiency, we maintain a division of labor: Each team member plays a specific role, while the project manager acts as connective tissue.

Outside Specialists


There's an art to presenting any alteration to the managing agent and DOB in a way that makes approval more seamless. I will draft a scope of work customized to your situation. The approvals team will then traffick your submission through a series of building and agency reviews, as well as oversee paperwork such as contractor insurances, licenses, asbestos testing and other required documentation. Given the stipulations of most NYC co-ops, the review process can be prolonged: Approvals for even simple projects typically take 3-6 months; more complicated renovations often require 8-12 months.


A third party project manager will stay with your renovation from start to finish. They are your point person when questions arise and will determine the best specialist to consult (is it a design question, a contractor issue, or a filing conundrum?).

The project manager will order and traffick materials, coordinate timing with the contractor, shepherd the review process at the start of the job and close out permits at the end, as well as follow up on any warrantee or maintenance issues that may arise after construction concludes.


Once plans are ready to bid, I can refer qualified contractors, matched to your type of project, personality, and budget. I'm also happy to work with a new contractor if you already have someone on board. I provide a standardized scope of work, so bids can be compared apples to apples. I also provide a standardized construction contract which covers situations and tasks the average homeowner may not think to include.

Contractor bids are never marked up and One to One Studio does not accept payments or percentages of any kind. The price quoted is the price you pay.


I work with a wide array of craftspeople from cabinetmakers to upholsterers, paper hangers, etc. I will be happy to refer the right person chosen to suit the style and budget of your particular project.

“Don’t be fooled by Clare’s easy demeanor.

She’s an unwavering advocate for the client and the work. 

It’s clear to her contractors (and she’ll make it clear to yours) 

that anything less than the best won’t do.” – Jeff

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