What Does an Interior Designer Bring to the Table?
Olympia Dukakis had some of the best lines in Steel Magnolias. One of my favorites was when she said, “the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize”. It’s hilarious, but I’d argue that it’s probably not just our ability to accessorize that sets apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.
I’ve I missed a couple of blog posts because of some technical issues with my website and I want to get back to my bathroom series as soon as possible, but first I want to take a few minutes to talk about designers and working with us because I have learned so much from my clients this week.
My Personal Experience with Designers
I spent a fair amount of time this week in my own home painting over this sandy, beige wall color recommended to me several years ago by a designer I used before I became a designer myself. When she showed me the color I knew I didn’t like it, but she presented it as my only choice. Not in any overt way. She didn’t say “this is THE color for your den and dining room”. It was just the ONLY color on the board for those two rooms. Although I wasn’t over the moon for the color, I didn’t question her.
I should have.
Slightly disliking that color has festered over the years and now I loathe that color. To say it brought me great pleasure when I managed to cover it all up with a fresh coat is an understatement.
Working with a Designer
The mental solitude of painting and ruminating over that experience really got my wheels turning about my own client interactions and what I would want them to know…
1. A good designer gives you choices. It’s not his/her way or the highway. They don’t push you into making decisions, they allow you to participate. Trust your gut. If you don’t like something you should speak up!
2. They educate. At the end of the day, you’ll understand why they selected the $45/gallon paint over the $30/gallon paint. “Why,” as a friend once said, “would I ever spend $3000 on a bed. Isn’t the $1000 bed just as good?” Maybe. There can be major differences. A good designer knows these differences and can articulate them. The quality and value of products depend on many factors, which should be thoroughly investigated. Rest assured, if I recommend you buy a $3000 bed (assuming it’s in your budget), I’ve done my homework and it is worth it!
3. They’re not question averse when it comes to cost. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask why something costs as much as it does! It could be because the furniture piece is of very high quality. It could be because it’s a brand name. Don’t assume the piece is costly because it is of high quality. Ask about how long you can expect it to last.
4. They help you build YOUR style. They don’t impose their style on you. If you look at a designers portfolio and everything looks exactly the same and that “exactly the sameness” looks like everything in particular style, RUN. Over time we do cultivate a look because we create relationships with vendors. However, there should be enough variation in a designers work that each project looks unique.
5. They listen. They’re flexible. And if they mess up they own it and they make it right. We’re all human. We make mistakes, but taking responsibility for them and problem solving is what really separates us from the animals.
If you’d like to work with Paradigm Interiors you can schedule your free design style consultation here. Make sure to pick up your free eBook here. The book is all bout how to avoid 3 mistakes I see people make and how you can avoid them!