Here are some things that decorators want you to know … and it comes straight from the pro’s themselves! We asked a group of decorators and designers what they would like for potential clients to know. We received so many great tips, that we decided to feature as many professionals as we could. We will be releasing more tips in ensuing weeks…because there is SO much more to share! Here are the first five responses we received…
Hire a designer that you can trust – they are spending your money, acting on your behalf and in many ways will know things about you that you might not even tell your closest confidant. If you do not understand or are unclear with what your designer is proposing, ask for clarification – this will ultimately save time and money in the long run. Designers are not psychic – communicate, communicate, communicate; it saves time and money in the long run.
George Brazil, CID
Understand that the design process takes time. Too many people have the impression (from watching design shows on TV) that they will get “the big reveal” immediately. They do not realize that the “make-over mentality” is created for TV. The reality is that the entire process takes time, including: building a relationship with the client, shopping and honing design direction, choosing and curating products and furniture. People hire designers because there are many different moving parts, and you need that expertise to manage it all. But quality design takes time. If you are hiring a decorator, trust in their expertise.
Co-Founder & CEO of Décor Aid
You hired us for our skill set and expertise. Let us help you! Many clients have a very difficult time letting go of the reigns, which really inhibits a project and the creative process. Collaboration is wonderful; being a control freak is stifling. One of the greatest challenges is when you want us to decorate a room that is already half-done. It is next to impossible for me to create my look and accomplish what I want when I did not start from an empty (or near empty) space. I have no problem mixing in pieces you already own, like your grandmother’s table and things like that; but when you already went out and bought the sectional sofa or the rug, my hands are tied.
Reality shows are not reality! These shows leave people with unrealistic expectations of how much a decorator designed room costs and how long it takes. Nothing is perfect; sometimes the magic happens in the Plan B and it’s the reason you hire a professional! We do a lot of problem solving! You, as the client, have to be ready to purge or shed the old look. I can’t tell you how many times somebody hires me and then wants me to “work around” many things that do not fit into a new floor plan.
“Free” estimates and quotes aren’t really “free” for the designer or decorator. It takes time to compile all the specs, products and items required for a project with pricing, as well as time to put together a schedule for a project. This time is often uncompensated or is incorporated into a project fee IF the designer/decorator is hired. Most states require designers to be licensed, which requires annual CEU attendance and education to keep up-to-date on code, trends and policy in the state the designer does business in, including specialty (IE: commercial, healthcare, government, education & kitchen/bath). Degrees from 2 or 4yr colleges are required to get licensed and in most states, to call yourself a “designer” you MUST have a college degree as opposed to a decorator which is not licensed.
There is a fee range based on: experience, education/license/certification level, area of expertise (residential vs. commercial vs. hospitality, kitchen/bath vs. LEED designer) and profile. Someone who has authored numerous publications/books, is a speaker at events, contributes to regional/national media, works on large-scale, high profile projects will command a higher fee than someone out of design school, non-published and/or no specialty or certifications.
“Helping You DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In”
**We wish to thank the above professionals for providing insight and clarity for our customers!