Just in case you don’t know about ‘Quora’, it’s an online answer forum. You ask a question and an expert will answer. I’m a Quora answerer in Home Decor and Interior Design/Decoration.
If you know Quora, you know that there are some really, really, peculiar questions. But every once in awhile a question comes along which makes me think, or re-think, and I try to give a concerted reply. I got one of those today.
“Why do people who really can’t afford it hire a designer?”
As someone who charges money for consultations on color, interior decoration or window coverings, let me share a few things you may not know about professionals like me.
If we have managed to stay in the business for 10 years or longer, there is a really strong chance we know what we are talking about and can give some good advice. The industry standard of 60-75% repeat or referral business bears this out.
I don’t know for sure, but I’d say I’ve probably done 3,000 house calls. At least. I’ve seen the before, done the consultation, and seen the afters. So I have an idea or two of what works, and what doesn’t.
I know what colors will work in your space. I know what colors will NOT work in your space, and — unlike someone who works on ‘instinct’ (read not trained) — I can tell you why. The price of a color consultation is a lot less than repainting.
I’ve been selling binds and shades since the mid 1990’s. I was there ‘in the beginning’ when the first remote-controlled, battery operated blind from Hunter Douglas came onto the market. I’ve seen the knock-offs, I’ve watched the blind and shade trends come and go, and I know what stands the tests of time. And which are just plain ole trendy. At 1-2K a pop for a medium-sized blind, this can be an expensive error.
I’ve been through at least four color trends and can spot them a mile away. I know how to deal with upgrading those trends without spending a whack of money.
And because of all of this knowledge, I can help you not make mistakes.
Here’s an example: A gal was building a new home she had designed herself. I looked at her blueprints (which the architect had drawn to her specifications) and saw that the door to the bathroom was at the end of a small hall and was at the same elevation as the window across the open-concept living room. Which looked directly across the street to the large picture window in the neighbours home.
A client wanted help changing her counter-top. After a discussion, it became evident that the only reason she was doing it was because she thought she should — all her friends were doing theirs. She liked her counter-top, it fit into the kitchen perfectly and she had no intention of selling or leaving the home for several more decades. Husband liked that we saved about 5K.
So, basically, the smaller your budget, the more you need to hire a pro to help ensure you don’t make mistakes.