Every time I finish one of my two hour design consultations, I'm sure of 2 things; lots of ideas have been shared AND I've saved these clients at least the amount of my fee. Worth saying again--at least that amount.
I wish I could trumpet that on the Home page of my website ("call today--it's like a free consultation!"), but it seems kind of tacky. Plus, the clients and I are only together for a short amount of time, and I don't usually know how things are looking 2 or 3 months later.
Lately though, I've been sending past clients "how's it going?" emails and the feedback has been wonderful. Sometimes they even send me pictures! Those two hours with a designer (moi) made a BIG difference in the outcome of their projects.
In this post, I'm going to share what I'm hearing about the value of working with an interior designer, using the words of clients. It's not just working with me--I'll bet most design pros hear the same things.
#1 Why hire an interior designer? "We stopped disagreeing."
What I really hear is "we stopped fighting about how to decorate our home." The days of one partner being much more involved in the design and decor decisions are dwindling. Everyone seems more interested in the process, has ideas and wants to be heard - and it works out well!
#2 Why hire an interior designer? "We saved so much time because you told us what would work and where to get it!"
DIY home decor projects tend to drag on or never get finished because there are too many choices out there and not all of them are very good. It's overwhelming, especially when you don't have a lot of time on your hands. After a consultation, I send a customized Resource List that often shows specific products and where to get it. I also share contact info about my painter, tile installer, cabinet store, etc. Clients are excited to have this info in their hands and are able to schedule and place orders. Before they know it, the room is done and looking better than they imagined!
#3 Why hire an interior designer? "We stopped making mistakes and saved money!"
We all make decor mistakes. I'll show you one of mine:
It made a cute photo, but there were a lot of problems with this chair that made it a mistake:
- I don't really like sitting in armless chairs.
- Nine year old Grandboy and his pals were wildly attracted to this chair with it's white background that could not easily be cleaned. So I would yell "get away from that chair!" at small children. Real nice. I have NEVER owned a piece of furniture that couldn't be used by everyone, so this was really cramping my style.
- Really, those two are enough reasons to get rid of that chair. I sold it on Move Loot, for very little money, of course.
There's no shame in making mistakes. The shame, to me, is holding onto them and trying to design the rest of the room around them. Letting go of mistakes makes room for some much, MUCH better choices. Better results. Relief. It's all good.
We all know that mistakes cost money. And time is money. And life is short. Hold on while I look up some more of these gems.
Here's the best one: "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." Thank you, Benjamin Franklin.
#4 Why hire an interior designer? "You had so many great ideas that we never would have considered!"
Many times I've said something very general during a consultation, like "you could paint that wall green" and the client response has been, "Green? Oh my gosh! That's a great idea! I love it! I've never thought of that!"
I know--you've looked at that builder-beige wall every day for 5 years. You're so afraid of painting it the "wrong" color--even though it's a color you happen to love (like, maybe, green)--so the beige stays. I'll see clues about what you like. And, well, I just have ideas. I'm going to come up with a boatload of them to make your rooms special and the first one out of my mouth, the easiest and cheapest idea of them all might be to paint that wall a color that you love. Go figure.
A green wall, fabulous lighting, creative use of everyday materials, furnishings that are comfortable AND good looking, sources for really special stuff--any good designer can give you this kind of information. It's what we do.
When it's all done, you're going to walk into that room and smile. You're smiling because you stopped fighting, saved time, saved money, implemented great ideas and got it done. That's why you should hire an interior designer.