Have you ever gone shopping for an outfit, a complete outfit from head to toe, and thought you had purchased the perfect jacket or wrap, the perfect shoes or boots to go with that dress you just bought? But when you got home and tried everything on together, you realized nothing really worked together as a great fashion statement? Individually, they all were very cute, but together, it just wasn’t working. This same principal applies to the world of Interior Design. Unlike clothing, which can easily be returned when things don’t work out, returning granite or marble counter tops, carpet or a sofa isn’t likely to happen unless something is actually defective.
We have been designing interiors for over three decades. In the 80’s and 90’s, using an interior designer was considered a luxury, usually sought after by the affluent. It was somewhat of a ‘status symbol’ to tell your friends you were using a “designer.” We designers spent a great deal of time trying to educate the general public on why a designer could help not only the upper echelon, but the middle classes as well, and save them money at the same time. We had no support systems back then. There was very little coverage from the media unless you were fortunate enough to land yourself in Architectural Digest or the like. There was no Pinterest, Houzz, or Wayfair. ASID was just becoming a recognized organization. It was a daunting task, and many were very skeptical of an interior designer’s real value as we were perceived for the elite only.
Enter 2000 and the new millennium. We now have the Internet, HGTV, and more websites and apps for home furnishings than one can fathom. These all are great resources and have brought much awareness and attention to the home furnishings industry. However, now that there is a ton of information available online, the average Joe can be overwhelmed by the choices and options available. Trying to wade through a sea of color choices, styles and options on your own, is not only time consuming, but frustrating as well. If EVER an interior designer was needed, we are needed today more than ever.
Several years ago, a client recommended us to a relative because they were very pleased with the results we had provided them. The relative, her sister in law, (we will call her Heather) was very frugal despite having a generous family income, and thought hiring a designer was a waste of their hard-earned money. So, Heather set out to select tile, counter tops, flooring and cabinets for a guest bathroom on her own. She then approached my client, Lauren, for her approval since Lauren HAD used a designer, and now must possess some worthy advice. Lauren reviewed Heather’s selections and told her while each was attractive on its own, she doubted they would work well together. Unfortunately, Heather focused on ‘each being attractive on its own’, and disregarded Lauren’s doubt for their compatibility, and therefore forged ahead with her project.
However, when the installation was complete, Heather was underwhelmed by her new bathroom and once again sought Lauren’s opinion on the end result. And wouldn’t you know it, the next time I talked to Lauren she told me Heather should have taken her advice on hiring us because the bathroom was a complete disaster. Nothing worked together and even though she had spent a lot of money, it looked like she had bought remnants and threw them together. Now Heather was faced with a dilemma: Accept the bathroom as is and move on or hire a designer to try and remedy the situation. But if she does that, she is now adding unnecessary cost to the project to ‘hopefully’ make it right. Had Heather initially hired a designer as recommended, that money would have been well spent, and far less costly than trying to correct a DIY project gone wrong.
This is just one example of the value a designer can bring to the table. I won’t bore you with a slew of stories, but I will touch upon a few benefits that designers can provide to the homeowner to make their projects a success.
A collaborative partner who is able to define and realize your vision.
Save you time by making the decision process easier.
Save you money by avoiding mistakes.
Extensive knowledge of available resources.
Knowledge of which products are suitable or appropriate for given applications.
Knowledge about durability and sustainability.
Understanding trends, but not being “trendy.”
Understanding construction and the ability to recognize quality or inferior quality, even if hidden by an attractive fabric or cover.
This is our job day in and day out so we can do things faster saving you time to do what you want to do.
A Genuine desire to help you make your house ‘YOUR HOME,’ a place you look forward to retreating at the end of your busy day.
The next time you are exhausted from surfing websites like Pinterest or HGTV for ideas, give us a call or drop us an email, and we will gladly make your project and life easier and highly successful.